To most educators and others who actually care about improving the future of Texas, Michael Quinn Sullivan is not a household name, and thank goodness for that. He is an agitator for a misnamed group called Empower Texans that basically wants the Legislature to stop spending tax dollars for public schools, health care, highways and just about any other public service critical to moving Texas ahead in the 21st century. He was one of the reasons the Legislature left several billion dollars of taxpayer money sitting unspent in the Rainy Day Fund while slashing $5.4 billion from public education two years ago.
Sullivan’s massive email campaigns and other intimidation tactics in Republican primary races in recent years have helped replace some Republican legislators who dared to be moderate with ideologues from the far right who share Sullivan’s cut-cut-cut litany.
In the blog post linked below, Texas Monthly’s Paul Burka notes that Sullivan finally may be getting some pushback from conservative members of the business community, donors who have a history of supporting Republican legislative candidates but now fear that the continued growth of extremism in the Texas Republican primary is, indeed, bad for business – particularly their businesses.
Contractors, after all, need tax dollars to build highways, and employers need a strong, educated workforce.
It is a war that is developing, not only in Texas, but also nationally.
The business community’s growing dilemma also makes me wonder what business contributors will do in the governor’s race. Traditionally, they have heaped millions on Attorney General Greg Abbott. But does Abbott continue to get their support in his race for governor? So far, Abbott’s gubernatorial campaign has ignored education, health care and every other legitimate Texas need in favor of looser gun laws and other hot-button, right-wing issues that won’t educate a single child or build a single mile of highway.
It’s something to think about.