Since State Representative Tony Dale (R-Cedar Park) made his first run and was elected to 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. Dale has heard his special interest campaign contributors loud and clear, but he won’t listen to us.
In less than four years, Dale has raked in hundreds of thousands from special interest groups and political action committees (PACs) across the state. His top contributors include party and candidate donors who have given him $320,684.62, as well as anti-consumer groups who have donated $116,610.44. Numerous contributors have given more than $20,000, including the energy, insurance and construction sectors, attorneys, lobbyists, and finance and banking groups. Tony Dale 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. Dale’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.
Tony Dale 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 Dale, who is funded by finance and real estate PACs, voted for HB 1736 , removing a local government’s ability to set their own energy efficiency standards and pay generic providers who offer non-competitive pricing.
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 Tony Dale, our taxes will go up and our services will suffer. We need honest government and real transparency. We need to Reform Austin.