Is Gov. Greg Abbott desperate enough to throw Texans under the bus in hopes of a voucher program? He might. Whispers around the Capitol are that Abbott’s desire to gain national prominence have him resorting to less-than-cheap tactics.
Lately, the governor’s attempts to shove vouchers down lawmakers’ throats are starting to become a nuisance. Insiders at the Capitol see his efforts as “all stick and no carrot,” Abbott is going around spitting threats, yet he does not offer anything in return. In addition, representatives don’t appreciate the governor weighing into their districts with his most recent tactic: push polls.
A week ago a poll intended to intimidate rural legislators was rumored to be from Abbott’s consultant Dave Carney. The survey, which the Quorum report reviewed, focused on the state representative for the area, on Abbott, and on “school choice” for “Parent Empowerment.” The language the poll used was clearly pro-voucher and aimed at gathering information for Abbott’s campaign.
It was never clear if the push poll did come from Abbott himself, however, this week another poll went out and Abbott didn’t feel the need to hide anymore.
A “Political Ad paid for by Texans For Greg Abbott,” which is Abbott’s campaign committee, is going out to voters on school vouchers. Respondents can either opt out of having “woke agendas” in schools or choose that kids should be taught to hate America.
This type of negative campaigning is quickly marginalizing Abbott.
His “school choice” crusade has transformed from a “parent empowerment” speech to an aggressive campaign against public schools, teachers, and administrators. While he is not giving up on his efforts to promote vouchers, protests against his tour have only gained momentum.
Just last night, Abbott received a rough welcome at Reflections of Christ’s Kingdom World Outreach International (The R.O.C.K.) Public school advocates disrupted his event with a chant and were escorted out – this isn’t the first time Abbott gets booed during his “Parent Empowerment ” tour.
Not only are his efforts backfiring, but most people in the Capitol can see behind his smokescreen, and perceive his actions as being more motivated by national politics than a genuine commitment to a sound policy.
So, again: Would Abbott throw Texans under the bus for his own political gain?
So far, he has demonstrated he is not above these cheap tactics. In an effort to catch up to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, his potential rival for the Republican nomination in 2024, Abbott has been leveraging the concept of “school choice,” thereby using public school teachers, staff, and students as pawns for political gain.