August 24, 2011
Michael Quinn Sullivan
PO Box 200248
Austin, TX 78720
Dear Mr. Sullivan:
Thank you for your letter regarding Empower Texans 2011 legislative scorecard. Upon reading it, my first thought was of George Bernard Shaw, who responded to one of his critics thusly: “I am sitting in the smallest room of my house. Your critique is in front of me. Shortly it will be behind me.”
Then I realized this thought was perhaps too harsh and too confrontational for, in fact, I am proud to have earned an “F” from Empower Texans for my work in the 82nd legislature. I know I am doing things right in Austin, and would seriously question both my judgment and values were I to receive any higher grade.
I am proud to have opposed Voter ID, which does nothing to protect the sanctity of the ballot and is designed only to limit the participation of the disenfranchised; I am proud to have fought against those who held the Rainy Day Fund hostage and to use an additional $3 billion to alleviate devastating cuts to vital programs; I am proud to have voted for other bills that would have reduced the impact of those cuts, and to get rid of tax loopholes that provide billions in tax breaks to huge oil companies even as we cut funding for our children’s schools and health care; I am proud to have voted against hypocritical “look at me” votes calling on Congress to balance the federal budget while we failed to actually balance our own, and against the interests of the predatory payday loan industry. I will wear my “F” grade from Empower Texans as a badge of honor and look forward to further disappointing you in the future.
To paraphrase the greatest President of the 20th Century, Franklin Delano Roosevelt: I welcome your hatred. After all, I’d much rather be a champion of the powerless than a lickspittle of the powerful.