Sunday, October 14, 2007

Conservative group opposing prison bonds, other new debt on Texas' November ballot

Having just mentioned that incarceration growth is driving higher taxes at the local level, I was interested to see that a conservative group called "Americans For Prosperity" has come out to oppose the bonds for new prison building and other expenses proposed on Texas' Nov. 6 ballot.

This is the first organization to come out publicly against the statewide Debt-A-Palooza the Legislature placed before voters this fall. On Prop #4, which requests voter approval to borrow money to build three new prisons and other construction projects, AFP declares:
OPPOSE. Reasons: $57 million GR funds have been obligated to pay for debt service payments, and though many of the these projects appear deserving of some funding, with a state budget surplus, we should not be obligating bonds/future taxpayers to fund them.
Meanwhile, on AFP's Texas blog, long-time conservative activist Peggy Venable accuses the Travis County Commissioners Court of "using a tactic other local governments have been advised to use: increase taxes and 'sell it to the public' as more money for police."

It never ceases to amaze me that, although common stereotypes attribute anti-incarceration attitudes to liberals, the only people in the state with enough cojones to oppose new prisons or jails often are small-government conservatives like Venable or Judge Cynthia Kent in Tyler. By contrast, the so-called "liberal" pols are too often afraid of being called "soft on crime," and with the election three weeks away I'm not aware of a single liberal group that's come out against Prop #4.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

you know it's really sad all they hype fom the legislature this year. They said they were committed to improving the juvenile justice system, and part of that was to build a pilot facility. But yet despite huge budget surplus they did not fund it, rather took the easy way out and put it on the november ballot. what a joke. so committed to trying things to improve the juvenile system...