Can Conservative Complacency Bring Liberal’s Victory?

Conservatives are energized about the prospects of numerous electoral wins throughout the state in November. But don’t think for a moment that the other side has accepted this as inevitable. Even Williamson County, a conservative bastion in Central Texas that traditionally votes Republican, has a liberal Democratic state representative vying for re-election with major help from her friends.

Freshman state Rep. Diana Maldonado (D-Round Rock) was elected to an open seat with just over 800 votes in 2008 (a less than 1% margin of victory), perhaps due to conservative discontent combined with the wave of support for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign.

While Ms. Maldonado held a long-time bureaucratic position in state government, and had served on a local school board, she doesn’t appear to have had ambition to seek state office before being contacted by a liberal, pro-abortion, interest group.

In a recent news account, previously reported about on the Empower Texans website, Rep. Maldonado admitted that she was recruited by Annie’s List, a Texas group modeled after a national organization called EMILY’s List, to run for the Texas House.

Referring to the liberal organization, Rep. Maldonado said, “They came knocking on my door, we had a conversation and from that point on it has been history.”

Additionally, Ms. Genevieve Van Cleve, the deputy political director for Annie’s List, admitted that, “Ultimately we are not looking just to put women in the legislature, but to build a pipeline of women leaders to move up the chain.”

Ms. Van Cleve was somewhat vague in her quote. She probably meant to really say they are looking to position liberal, pro-abortion, women for higher office. It should make you wonder, who then is their real target in Williamson County?

Could it be that they’re laying the groundwork to challenge or replace the county’s conservative congressman in the next few years?

After all, U.S. Rep. John Carter (TX-31), affectionately known as “Judge” to his supporters, because of his previous service on a state district court, is in the U.S. House Republican leadership, and is one of the most pro-life members of Congress.

Now of course, recruiting candidates is not necessarily an uncommon practice. But what makes it interesting, in this case, is the fact that Rep. Maldonado appears to be trying to hide the intense level of connection she has with a liberal organization that seems to be out-of-step with the political leanings of her district.

If not, why then would she fail to initially report to the Texas Ethics Commission that Annie’s List gave her campaign an additional $25,000 during the latest campaign reporting cycle? Mind you, this is on top of donations from this group that exceed $100,000.

Such an oversight would seem odd, particularly since Annie’s List is the group that talked Ms. Maldonado into running for state office, and are perhaps her largest political and financial backer.

Furthermore, shortly after taking office, Rep. Maldonado helped form an organization called Moving WilCo Forward PAC, which according to filings with the Texas Ethics Commission is largely funded by Annie’s List, as well as at least one member of their board of directors.

This should be a warning sign for conservatives throughout Texas. If this level of liberal organizing and activism has been going in Williamson County, for at least two election cycles, don’t think that it can’t be happening in your county.

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