Friday, February 1, 2013
Mark My Words - Vouchers are DOA
Don't get me wrong, I think vouchers or school choice is a good idea. Competition always makes something better and strengthens an organization. But I don't think it has a chance in hell passing this session. Here's why.
Jimmie Don Aycock has just been appointed as the chairman of the committee that oversees public education. When he first ran for office his opponent was Dale Hopkins - a nice guy but out of his league. His campaign would have gone nowhere except for the deep pockets of Dr. Jim Leininger. From what I remember - and I am too lazy to look up the exact amount - but the good Doctor gave over $300K to Dale to run a brutal campaign against Chairman Aycock. It wasn't pretty and I doubt Aycock has forgotten. I don't know if Dr. Leininger is involved in this latest effort but the reason he poured so much money into the race was because he thought Aycock was not sufficiently pro school choice. Looks like those chickens are coming home to roost.
In addition, you have the same old guys running the show. Dennis Calabrese, Anthony Holm, Dick Weekly, Dick Trubulsi (I know sounds like TLR and it basically is) are the people responsible for putting together the campaign to ram this through. This is the same group that ran the brillant campaign Texans for Excellence in the Classroom - that put a terrible ad on the radio against Senator Eltife who I doubt has forgotten.
There will be some strange coalitions fighting this effort, those who think school choice will hurt public schools (mostly Democrats) those who represent rural districts (mostly Republicans) and those who have been harmed by TLR (most of Bryan Eppstein's clients that happen to be Chairman)
It will be an interesting fight but I don't see it happening.
Big loser - David Dewhurst. He unnecessarily used his political capital to get Dan Patrick's endorsement in his US Senate race which was worth exactly nada.