Americans of varying political viewpoints are alarmed by the influence political action committees (PACs) and special interest groups have in politics. Data from the Pew Research Center found 76 percent of Americans say money has a greater influence on politics today than ever before.The Center for Responsive Politics reports 2,065 super PACs have reported more than $150 million in total independent expenditures so far for the 2018 election cycle.
At a time when the public is more wary than ever about the influence of special interest money in politics, State Representative Morgan Meyer (R-Dallas) can’t get enough of it. While he considers himself a “friend of the taxpayer”, his real friends are the special interests who fill his campaign coffers.
In less than four years, Meyer has raked in nearly one million dollars from special interest groups and PACs across the state. His top contributors include energy special interest groups who have donated $242,311.66, and finance and real estate groups who have donated over $240,986.92. Contributors who have donated more than $30,000 include anti-consumer groups, attorneys, the construction sector, lobbyists and insurance interests. Morgan Meyer 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. Meyer’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.
Morgan Meyer has given his campaign contributors an excellent return on their investment. He voted against creating a committee to study problems with construction contracts and voted to prohibit local governments from regulating new construction. And Meyer, who is funded by finance and real estate PACs, voted for HB 1736, removing a local government’s ability to set its own energy efficiency standards and pay generic providers that 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 Morgan Meyer, our taxes will go up and our services will suffer. We need honest government and real transparency. We need to Reform Austin.