Anyone who thinks I have been writing too much about Dan Patrick, the snake oil salesman of Texas politics, may want to stop reading now. But remember, folks, this guy is running for what, in some respects, is the most powerful office in state government, and he needs a lot more attention than the mostly peek-a-boo campaign he is running.
Patrick’s latest major transgression — for which his Democratic opponent, Leticia Van de Putte, already has called him out – was claiming credit for restoring most of the $5.4 billion in school budget cuts during the 2013 legislative session. These would be the same cuts he voted for in 2011 and Van de Putte voted against.
In truth, most of the funding was restored in spite of Patrick because he voted against the entire state budget in 2013. That means he voted against all state funding for public education and every other program and service the state has to offer, including the salary for his own services, such as they are, as a state senator.
Patrick voted against funding for every state-supported university in Texas, every health care program, every environmental protection program operated by state government, new highway construction and maintenance, every economic incentive for job creation and every educator’s and state employee’s salary. And the list goes on.
Patrick, who continues to scream “border security,” also voted against something more critical and relevant – domestic security. His vote against the budget also was a vote against continued funding of the highway patrol and other law-enforcement functions of the Department of Public safety, a much more critical concern of law-abiding Texans than the political theater of immigration bashing.
For someone who aspires to hold the state’s No. 2 job, Patrick has demonstrated a strong disrespect for the essence of public service.