"Austin has changed markedly under Perry – from advancing the core philosophies of the conservative movement to cronyism and back-door dealings."
The Dallas Morning News
Last week, Kay Bailey Hutchison formally announced her run for governor of Texas. She traveled the state hitting 19 cities in five days and was met with great enthusiasm for her message and candidacy.
Kay's message is one of positive reform that cleans up the politics-as-usual mentality in Austin. And she offers voters a conservative vision for addressing the critical issues facing our state: taxes, education, jobs, transportation and health care.
If voters asked themselves after 10 years of Rick Perry where are we, the answer would be sky-rocketing property taxes, a state debt that has doubled, private property rights under attack, a record tax increase on business, the highest unemployment rate in the region, and one of the highest dropout rates in the country.
Austin has changed markedly under Perry – from advancing the core philosophies of the conservative movement to cronyism and back-door dealings. These are precisely the problems the Republican Party has faced at the national level and caused the demise of our numbers in Congress and cost us the White House. We can do better, and with Kay Bailey Hutchison, we will.
Her record is one of success. She'd insist on accountability from state government – in other words, results not politics. She led the charge against the state income tax while state treasurer. In the U.S. Senate she fought and won a repeal of the marriage tax penalty. She has successfully fought for Texas to keep more of the transportation dollars we send to Washington. She fought and kept the deduction for sales tax on our income taxes. And she is working to protect our nation's border.
Kay believes we must advance the ball on our conservative principles while taking care to attract and recruit new conservatives into our party. Whether fighting for our Second Amendment rights by leading the fight to overturn the D.C. gun ban, promoting a culture of life by fighting against federal tax dollars for abortions or vowing to kill the nationalized health care scheme currently being promoted by President Barack Obama, Kay's conservative record is rock solid.
She wants to tackle the problems that plague us now and will cripple us in the future. She wants to work with parents and teachers to tackle our skyrocketing dropout rate. Kay will reach out and build consensus from the local communities on building an infrastructure system, which works and is not based on land grabs, toll roads and political back scratching.
Kay knows that we must reform the way Austin conducts itself on behalf of the taxpayer. No more executive orders on behalf of lobbyist friends that place mandates on parents regarding their children's health care. No more board appointments based on campaign contributions. No more cronyism. Texans deserve better.
This campaign is about the future of not only the state but the Republican Party of Texas. As a longtime Republican activist, I know the crucial need of returning our mission to the conservative ideas our party stands for: small government, low taxes and protection of private-property rights.
We are on the verge of losing our majority in the state Legislature. Kay will build the party with Ronald Reagan's philosophy.
Kay Bailey Hutchison knows that Texas can do better and that we should not settle for four more years of politics and power-mongering. Her love of this state and the humility she brings to this race is a breath of fresh air, which is badly needed in Austin, where the air has become stagnant with arrogance and the decision-making inert with indifference to the taxpayers of this state. Let's change that in March 2010.
James B. Francis Jr. is a longtime Republican activist, Dallas businessman and former chairman of the Texas Department of Public Safety.
© 2009 The Dallas Morning News: www.dallasnews.com
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