The political system in Austin is a rigged game in favor of the moneyed and powerful special interests at the expense of everyday Texans. First-time candidate Cynthia Flores is playing right along.
As Texans know all too well, whether it’s in Washington or Austin, money influences decision making by elected officials. It’s exactly what special interest groups and political action committees (PACs) count on when they contribute to politicians. These groups further the careers of candidates and incumbents and in return, they expect their “support” will make officials vote their way when it comes to legislation and projects.
Over the course of her brief political career, state legislative candidate Cynthia Flores has become very proficient at raking in special interest campaign cash. These contributors range from lawyers and lobbyists to payday lenders and insurance companies, and they all have an agenda in Austin.
Special interest money is so prevalent in Austin, it seems corruption is contagious – spreading from legislator to legislator, and passed down from one generation of public officials to the next.
In 2015, two bills – HB 3511 and HB 3736 – were introduced increase government transparency, but they were amended in the Senate to widen a reporting loophole, shielding the spouses of legislators from having disclose details about their financial interests. After public uproar, Gov. Greg Abbott vetoed the bills, but Larry Gonzales voted for both bills.
Gonzales was the most recent occupant of the legislative seat Flores is seeking to claim. He is also the largest donor to Flores, and endorsed her in the March primary to succeed him. Why would Gonzales support Cynthia Flores if she did not plan to continue the special interest pay-to-play tradition?
It appears Flores is trying to star in the latest episode of the rigged political show in Austin – politicians who talk about serving the people, but who take special interest money, support the establishment agenda, and stick it to everyday Texans. Taxpayers need to demand more accountability and transparency, and elected officials need to reject special interest cash and serve our needs, not their own. It’s time to Reform Austin.