Go Local

For far too long, local government has been ignored by conservatives. The effect is nothing short of bankrupting. Unrestrained and unobserved local government is a wild beast devouring our wallets. It’s time for citizens to engage more forcefully.

Big-government policy decisions in our cities and schools have increasingly served as an excuse for outlandish spending by state and federal government. Meanwhile, local government debt in Texas is far outpacing state-level debt.

For that reason, Texans for Fiscal Responsibility is this year going to begin endorsing candidates for municipal office and engaging in those elections.

We have developed a candidate questionnaire, submission of which is the threshold for endorsement consideration. We will also consider their previous voting history and input from our local 1836 Champions.

Texas Comptroller Susan Combs has written extensively about the problems presented by skyrocketing local debt, while abuses of eminent domain and intrusions on the free market are growing at an alarming rate in Texas’ local government.

School boards enact massive tax increases and sue the state for more money, all while growing bureaucracies and threatening to fire teachers.

Yet voters stay home. In most local government elections, voter turn-out is usually less than 5 percent. That’s appalling, and a trend we must address.

The issues covered at a city council or school board meeting might not be as “sexy” as federal issues, or make for screaming headlines on cable news — but make no mistake: they are critical.

We look forward to engaging in this arena, and hope you will do the same!

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Michael Quinn Sullivan

Michael is president and CEO of Empower Texans. A graduate of Texas A&M, former newspaper reporter, one-time Capitol Hill staffer, think tank vice president, and an Eagle Scout, Sullivan is married with three children. He divides his time between the Metroplex, the rest of Texas, and Austin.

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