State Representative Jonathan Stickland (R-Bedford) made his first run for the Texas Legislature in 2012, and special interest money has played a big role in both his political success and in his legislative votes. Stickland certainly hears his special interest campaign contributors loud and clear, but he won’t listen to us.
In less than four years, Stickland has raked in more than a million dollars from special interest groups and political action committees (PACs) across the state. His top contributors include party and committee special interest groups who have donated $70,372, and anti-consumer groups who have donated over $65,000. Other contributors who have donated more than $20,000 include lawyers, lobbyists, and insurance companies. Jonathan Stickland has played the political money game better than most.
As Texans know all too well, money can have a large influence in decision making for elected officials, and that’s exactly what special interest groups and PACs count on when they contribute to political campaigns. When these groups help further Rep. Stickland’s career, they expect him to return the favor by voting their way in Austin on the issues they care about. And too often the public loses.
Jonathan Stickland has quickly amassed an anti-consumer record in Austin. He voted against creating a committee to study problems with construction contracts and voted to prohibit local governments from regulating new construction. And Stickland, who is funded by anti-consumer PACs, voted against HB 950, which would help prevent wage discrimination against women, improving equal pay standards.
We won’t get the property tax relief we need as long as the corporations are getting their tax cuts first. We won’t get better schools if the privatization interests still give millions to legislators. We won’t get the consumer protection we deserve when it comes to insurance, utilities and corporations if policymakers are seduced by big campaign cash.
As long as the business lobbyists have their deals and willing politicians like Jonathan Stickland, our taxes will go up and our services will suffer. We need honest government and real transparency. We need to Reform Austin.
By ALEX WUKMAN The phrase “elections have consequences” has become a cliche, a political version of “it is what it is.” However, it’s doubtful that