Texans are all too familiar with the outsized role money plays in politics these days. Political action committees (PACs), lobbyists and special interest groups dole out huge sums of campaign cash to get what they want from elected officials. Politicians rake in this money to further their careers, special interests get what they pay for, and too often the public ends up losing. After just five years in office, State Representative Tony Dale (R-Cedar Park) has become very skilled at playing the political money game.
In just the first six months of this year, Dale has taken tens of thousands of dollars from political action committees (PACs), CEOs, lawyers and lobbyists, according to campaign finance reports filed with the Texas Ethics Commission. The construction industry seems to be a special interest of choice for Rep. Dale, who has raked in nearly $97,500 from the construction lobby since 2012.
And the construction industry’s investment in Dale seems to be paying off. Dale voted for HB 1736, supported by the construction industry, that would weaken local governments ability to enforce higher efficiency standards which would save consumers money. He also voted for HB 1449, which limits a local government’s ability to regulate new construction.
Who does Tony Dale work for – his campaign contributors, or the people he is supposed to represent?