David Dewhurst: Do As I Say, Not As I Do … Oh wait.

Last week, Texas Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst was interviewed by the Texas Tribune and had a lot to say about his run for U.S. Senate, but it’s important to share with all Texans, what he did not say.

What Dewhurst Said:
Dewhurst said he was strongly against calls for a personal income tax in 2003, when the state faced a budget shortfall.

  • What He Left Out:
    • While he may have been opposed to an income tax in 2003, he did float the idea of raising the state sales tax in 2002; about 24-hours later, he completely flip-flopped and was against it. (Terrence Stutz, “Sharp, Dewhurst Clash During Forum,” Dallas Morning News, 5/2/02)
    • But Dewhurst did call for an income tax in 2005. He instead called it a “wage tax” and The Wall Street Journal said it would have expanded government & amounted to a new “income tax” on Texans. (Editorial, “Deep In The Heart Of Taxes,” The Wall Street Journal, 5/10/05)

What Dewhurst Said:
“Over my dead, cold political body will [we] ever have a personal state income tax.”

  • What He Left Out:
    • Dewhurst said in 2005 of a business income tax: “What good Texan is going to have heartburn over them paying $6,000 to $8,000 a year on income of $650,000 to improve the education of our youngsters?” (Terrence Stutz, “Dewhurst Blasts Tax Plan Foes Lieutenant Governor Tells Businesses: Pay Your Share,” Dallas Morning News, 5/4/05)

What Dewhurst Said:
“I’ve been involved in legislation 51 times that cut spending.”

  • What He Left Out:
    • The Democrats were also involved in the legislation to cut spending; however, as any capitol watcher knows, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst was considered the “weak link” among state leaders on taxes. In fact, he pushed taxes on a number of occasions:
      • ·Dewhurst was the Senate leader as the legislature considered a series of dramatic tax increases including a Wage Tax, a Car Tax, a 4% Business-Profits Tax, raising the Sales Tax, and various Sin Taxes. (Editorial, “Deep In The Heart Of Taxes,” The Wall Street Journal, 5/10/05)
      • Dewhurst told Business Groups in 2005: “It’s time to start paying your fair share.” “Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst angrily accused some top business groups of spreading false information about the Senate’s tax plan Tuesday, and he issued them a stern warning: It’s time to start paying your fair share.” (Terrence Stutz, “Dewhurst Blasts Tax Plan Foes Lieutenant Governor Tells Businesses: Pay Your Share,” Dallas Morning News, 5/4/05)
      • The Wall Street Journal Called Dewhurst’s Comments “The Kind Of Class-Warfare Reasoning Normally Reserved For Washington.” “[T]he Legislature is set to lift outlays for its two-year budget to $137.5 billion from $118 billion, or 12.5% a year – the biggest two-year bulge in Texas history. Mr. Dewhurst defends his plan by trotting out the kind of class-warfare reasoning normally reserved for Washington. ‘What good Texan is going to have real heartburn about paying – out of $650,000 – $6,000 to $9,000 to improve the education of youngsters?’ he asked last week.” (Editorial, “Deep In The Heart Of Taxes,” The Wall Street Journal, 5/10/05)
      • Dewhurst proposed a new tax on advertising in 2003. (Wendy Melillo, “Lieutenant Governor Proposes Texas Ad Tax,” AdWeek, 4/30/03)

What Dewhurst Said:
He called himself a problem-solver. Interviewer Evan Smith asked, if Dewhurst thought he solved school finance. Dewhurst’s response? “We solved it at the time.”

  • What He Left Out:
    • If solving an issue “at the time” is his standard, then Dewhurst owes Texans an apology for wasting their time as he didn’t solve problems when the Sanctuary Cities bill came up, or when the TSA Groping Bill came up. He stood aside and let the bills be killed in the Senate when he could easily have intervened.

What Dewhurst Said:
When asked if he was with anti-tax activists who pushed back against the administration, Dewhurst said, “I’m with the people of Texas.”

  • What He Left Out:
    • Dewhurst has not been to a Tea Party meeting and since entering the U.S. Senate race, he has skipped 18 candidate forums, bypassing an opportunity to be with the “people of Texas.”

What Dewhurst Said:
“‘I’m not conservative enough,’ some say; they don’t know me. When they get to know me . . . .”

  • What He Left Out:
    • Even the media recognizes Dewhurst as a middle-of-the road guy:
      • “When Dewhurst was first elected Lieutenant Governor in 2002, he was viewed as a conservative, but more moderate in his approach than then-House Speaker Tom Craddick, a Republican from Midland who was often at odds with his Senate counterpart. Even Senate Democrats praised Dewhurst in his first session.” (Terrence Stutz, “Dewhurst Seeks 3rd Term With Eye On D.C.,” Dallas Morning News, 10/16/10)
      • “Dewhurst is smart, even a bit nerdy—a good listener, everyone agrees, and a moderate at heart. But for whatever reason, he has broken with tradition and used the Senate for his own political purposes.” – Saul Elbein, “The Extra-Lite Gov” Texas Observer, 10/29/10

So there you have it.  What was said and what was not.  As the primary kicks into high gear just after the holidays, it’s very important we investigate all the facts and records for anyone running for office.  

Don’t simply support a name that looks most familiar to you on a ballot.  Please research all outlets for the good, the bad and the ugly facts.  Find out who has the conservative record.   Find out who gets what endorsement.  Find out who will stand for what is best for you, your family, for Texas and for America.
In the meantime, as Dewhurst avoids debates with opponents, meeting with grassroots tea party activists in Texas and even Ducking Dewhurst around Austin, one thing is for certain.  Voters will remember on election day and I’ll continue to do my “fair share” to help inform Texans of what I find as well.

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