Progressive values are now showing up in Republican incumbent political ads as television ad season begins.
Progressive values are taking center stage in Texas campaigns, as we approach the November 2020 Elections and candidates in targeted Texas House races begin to release their television advertisements to attract voters. Many of them are rewriting history by telling voters to focus on their “goals,” and ignore their records. Incumbent Republicans are distributing advertisements on progressive issues like healthcare, education, and the COVID-19 pandemic, but have voted against public schools, against Medicaid expansion, and have only recently flipped their positions on mask wearing and social distancing. With the state trending towards Democratic control, many of these candidates are saying whatever it takes to attract voters, regardless of their voting history in Austin.
While these are just a few examples of incumbent Republican candidates using progressive values to help their reelection campaigns, it is a similar trend seen throughout Texas. Polling in the State has shown Biden and Trump tied, and these candidates are doing whatever they can to appeal to the moderate and progressive voter. This election is it imperative that voters educate themselves on not only a candidates goals, but also their track record to determine if their claim to progressive values is real or smoke and mirrors.
Let’s take a look and break down some of these candidates.
While Meyer says he is not for partisanship, he has stood by his Republican colleagues time and time again to vote against Medicaid expansion, a move that would bring billions of dollars into the state and expand coverage for the lowest income Texans. In his ad, he talks about supporting public schools, but yet still accepted $7,500 from the Texans for Education Reform PAC which supports charter schools. His progressive opponent, Joanna Cattanach, ran against him in 2018 and the race was decided within 220 votes. Her top issues include accepting Medicaid expansion and increasing funding for our public schools.
Representative Leach follows a similar path in his advertisement talking about supporting public schools and teacher pay increases. However, Leach has also been known to support teacher pay-for-performance, which would directly target low-income schools and result in less funding. He supported House Bill 3 in the 2019 legislative session, but the bill did not go far enough to fund school employees with a sustainable raise. Lorenzo Sanchez, his opponent in the House District 66 race, has been endorsed by the Texas Parent PAC and hopes to bring permanent funding to increase teacher wages.
Krause, a Texas Freedom Caucus member, talks about securing $500 million to protect TRS, the Teacher Retirement System in Texas, however, does not talk about how he also supported dedicating money to the Alternatives to Abortion program while defunding Planned Parenthood. While his opponent, Lydia Bean, has been endorsed by the Planned Parenthood Texas Voters PAC and supports a woman’s right to make her own reproductive decisions.
Representative Goldman’s advertisement takes direct aim at democrats nationwide, while talking about federal legislation such as the Green New Deal. Since Goldman serves as a State Representative, he serves in the Texas House of Representatives in Austin, not the House of Representatives in Washington DC. His negative political rhetoric does not focus on his own district, instead talking about the City of Austin. His progressive opponent, Elizabeth Beck, however, is focused on issues pertinent to House District 97 such as access to healthcare and local governance.
Here are a few more.