Worst of 2017: State Rep. Dan Flynn
“The Toy Soldier”
Originally a conservative champion, State Rep. Dan Flynn (R–Van) sold out to House Speaker Joe Straus and became one of his attack dogs in 2013. Since then he has been an errand-boy for the Speaker, most notably leading an effort to attack whistle-blowing UT Regent Wallace Hall.
This session, Flynn’s main effort was carrying a controversial pension bill for Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, a former Democrat state representative. Throughout the process, Flynn boxed out conservatives and levied vitriolic insults and threats at firefighters who were opposed to the deal.
But Flynn’s most shameful action was when he attempted to expand the definition of military veteran to encompass members of the Texas State Guard, which does not carry weapons and does not see combat. Flynn has repeatedly sought to equate service in the Texas State Guard–which does not carry weapons and cannot be called into service beyond the state–with actual US military service.
Flynn was soundly defeated in that effort by State Rep. Tony Tinderholt (R–Arlington), a decorated combat veteran. Flynn’s attempts this session were enough for citizens to choose him as one of the worst lawmakers in the Legislature.
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