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Senatorial Candidate David Dewhurst; Honest?


Photo Courtesy of the Texas Tribune

David Dewhurst was interviewed by the Texas Tribune. Here’s what he said – and more importantly – what he didn’t say: 

What Dewhurst Said:

Dewhurst says he was strongly against calls for a personal income tax in 2003, when the state faced a budget shortfall.

What Dewhurst Left Out:

While he may have been opposed to an income tax in 2003 Dewhurst in the 2002 campaign floated raising the state sales tax; about 24-hours later he completely flip-flopped and was against it.  (Terrence Stutz, “Sharp, Dewhurst Clash During Forum,” Dallas Morning News, 5/2/02)

But Dewhurst did call for an income tax in 2005He called it a “wage tax” – The Wall Street Journal said it would have expanded government & amounted to a new “income tax” on Texans. (Editorial, “Deep In The Heart Of Taxes,” The Wall Street Journal, 5/10/05)

What Dewhurst Said:

“Over my dead, cold political body will [we] ever have a personal state income tax.”

What Dewhurst Left Out:

David Dewhurst said in 2005 of a business income tax: “What good Texan is going to have heartburn over them paying $6,000 to $8,000 a year on income of $650,000 to improve the education of our youngsters?”(Terrence Stutz, “Dewhurst Blasts Tax Plan Foes Lieutenant Governor Tells Businesses: Pay Your Share,” Dallas Morning News, 5/4/05)

What Dewhurst Said:

“I’ve been involved in legislation 51 times that cut spending.”

What Dewhurst Left Out:

Even the Democrats were involved in the legislation to cut spending, and a cow is involved in a hamburger. But as any capitol watcher knows, as Lt. Gov., David Dewhurst was the weak link among state leaders on taxes. In fact, he pushed taxes on a number of occasions:

·       Dewhurst Was The Senate Leader As The Legislature Considered A Series Of Dramatic Tax Increases Including A Wage Tax, A Car Tax, A 4% Business-Profits Tax, Raising The Sales Tax, And Various Sin Taxes. (Editorial, “Deep In The Heart Of Taxes,” The Wall Street Journal, 5/10/05)

·       Dewhurst Told Business Groups In 2005: “It’s Time To Start Paying Your Fair Share.” “Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst angrily accused some top business groups of spreading false information about the Senate’s tax plan Tuesday, and he issued them a stern warning: It’s time to start paying your fair share.” (Terrence Stutz, “Dewhurst Blasts Tax Plan Foes Lieutenant Governor Tells Businesses: Pay Your Share,” Dallas Morning News, 5/4/05)

·       The WSJ Called Dewhurst’s Comments “The Kind Of Class-Warfare Reasoning Normally Reserved For Washington.” “[T]he Legislature is set to lift outlays for its two-year budget to $137.5 billion from $118 billion, or 12.5% a year – the biggest two-year bulge in Texas history.  Mr. Dewhurst defends his plan by trotting out the kind of class-warfare reasoning normally reserved for Washington.  ‘What good Texan is going to have real heartburn about paying – out of $650,000 – $6,000 to $9,000 to improve the education of youngsters?’ he asked last week.” (Editorial, “Deep In The Heart Of Taxes,” The Wall Street Journal, 5/10/05)

·       Dewhurst proposed a new tax on advertising in 2003(Wendy Melillo, “Lieutenant Governor Proposes Texas Ad Tax,” AdWeek, 4/30/03)

What Dewhurst Said:

Dewhurst called himself a problem-solver. Interviewer Evan Smith asked, if Dewhurst thought he solved school finance. “We solved it at the time.”

What Dewhurst Left Out:

If solving an issue “at the time” is his standard, then David Dewhurst owes Texans an apology for wasting their time.

David Dewhurst didn’t solve problems when the sanctuary cities bill came up, or when the TSA groping bill came up. He stood aside and let the bills be killed in the Senate when he could easily have intervened.

What Dewhurst Said:

When asked if he was with anti-tax activists who pushed back against the administration, Dewhurst said, “I’m with the people of Texas.”

What Dewhurst Left Out:

David Dewhurst has never been to a Tea Party meeting. And since he entered the U.S. Senate race, he has skipped 18 candidate forums, bypassing an opportunity to be with the “people of Texas.”

What Dewhurst Said:
“‘I’m not conservative enough,’ some say; they don’t know me.  When they get to know me . . . .”

What Dewhurst Left Out:

Even the media recognizes Dewhurst as a middle-of-the road guy:

  •  “When Dewhurst was first elected lieutenant governor in 2002, he was viewed as a conservative, but more moderate in his approach than then-House Speaker Tom Craddick, a Republican from Midland who was often at odds with his Senate counterpart. Even Senate Democrats praised Dewhurst in his first session.” (Terrence Stutz, “Dewhurst Seeks 3rd Term With Eye On D.C.,” Dallas Morning News,10/16/10)
  • “Dewhurst is smart, even a bit nerdy—a good listener, everyone agrees, and a moderate at heart. But for whatever reason, he has broken with tradition and used the Senate for his own political purposes.”– Saul Elbein, “The Extra-Lite Gov” Texas Observer, 10/29/10
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