A Better Texas Politics
competition makes us better
Elections should be more competitive. This may sound odd coming from a political candidate, but more competitive elections mean representatives that are more accountable to their constituents—and therefore better at their jobs. That's how we get better regulations for our economy, more money for our schools, and a government that treats us with the dignity we deserve.
We need candidates people can root for, not the “least worst” option in a race. We need candidates that are cut to fit the district, not tailored to a state party platform.
So what does that mean?
As your representative, I will fight to establish one day, every session, in which all State Representatives and State Senators must vote on and the Governor must sign or veto a set of bills chosen by the people. I call this The Peoples' Agenda.
It's hard to hold elected officials accountable when you don't know where they stand. Ideas fail in Austin all the time, and no one is willing to take the blame for it. Our process encourages grand standing without consequences. Time to call their bluff.
One of the simplest ways to improve the number of choices we have in Texas is to make it easier to start up a new political party. Burdensome regulations prevent people who think outside the two-party box from offering voters any alternatives. Keeping the voter file hard to obtain and difficult to use is another important impediment.
I have met so many people on the campaign trail who would be excellent public servants, but are discouraged from running by our two party system.
Every so often, a third party candidate makes it onto the ballot. Voters are then faced with the question: is the third party candidate a spoiler? With ranked choice voting, voters can express their true opinions without worry that their votes are being wasted. If no one candidate receives a majority of the vote, those voters choosing the least popular candidate can send their support to their second choice, guaranteeing majority support without a costly runoff.
The most important part of the job of a representative is being accessible to the people. Even though the population of Texas grows each year, the number of representatives stays the same, reducing access to constituents.
In 1976, there were about 80,000 people per state representative; by 2020, there will be nearly 200,000 people per state representative. The state senate is equally challenging, moving from under 400,000 people per senator in 1976 to nearly a million people in 2020.
Making districts smaller will mean that representatives are closer to the people they serve (and not so close to lobbyists) and therefore more accountable.
Creative map making by elected officials means they choose their voters, instead of the other way around. Recently, the blog FiveThirtyEight redrew our US Congressional maps to be more competitive. They tripled the number of competitive districts - districts that either party had a shot of winning. Faced with serious challengers, elected officials are forced to be more responsive to their constituents. Not to mention that with more competitive districts, more constituents will keep their donations local, reducing the impact of money in politics.