September 03, 2014

Rural #redstate Texas gets left out

The Texas Trib, for all I like to kick it, and all the kicking it deserves, has a good series of enterprise stories about how "Rick Perry's Texas miracle" (which never really existed in the first place, as it was built on out-state moves to Texas plus illegal immigration) has left much of the state behind.

First, you know how Perry, the rest of the GOP, and hangers-on like to tout how the state's electric grid is largely separate from the rest of the nation? (Well, except when cold snaps mean we have to "borrow" power from Mexico.)

Well, that "isolation" may be part of why the energy boom, especially in West Texas, is adding a pretty penny to electric bills.

Second, in many of the same rural areas, for a variety of reasons (like the now-unconstitutional school finance system) has stuck municipalities, small school districts, and small counties with ever more debt. You can find out your local debt load here.

And, at the same time, taxes (along with "fees" and other euphemisms) also get pushed down from Austin to local levels.

But yet, all of these places won't "bite" on Wendy Davis' sometimes pandering rightward. She could sell them a real populist message on corruption at CPRIT that's connected to both opponent Greg Abbott and incumbent Rick Perry. She could talk about how Medicaid expansion will help poor white folks as well as poor minorities. She could talk about how Abbott's blockade of better school funding hurts their small town schools. None of that panders rightward.

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