Since State Representative Matt Shaheen (R-Plano) made his first run for the Texas Legislature in 2014, special interest money has played a big role, both in his political success and in his record in the Texas House. Shaheen has heard his special interest campaign contributors loud and clear, but he won’t listen to us.
In less than four years, Shaheen has raked in hundreds of thousands of 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 over $20,000 include lawyers, lobbyists, and insurance companies, Matt Shaheen 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. Shaheen’s career, they expect him to return the favor by voting their way in Austin. And too often the public loses.
Matt Shaheen 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 Shaheen, who is funded by telecomm PACs, voted against SB 586, which would have fostered competition and improved telecommunications service in the Texas market.
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 Matt Shaheen, our taxes will go up and our services will suffer. We need honest government and real transparency. We need to Reform Austin.
In the mid 1960s, enterprising education proponent John W. Gardner and former North Carolina Governor Terry Sanford proposed a Compact on Education between the states