Wednesday, October 20, 2010

HD-45: A Rose by any other name is still a Democrat

If you've watched local Austin commercial television in the past three weeks, you probably couldn't help but see one of several commercials from current Texas state representative Patrick Rose, who is running for reelection in District 45. What you might not have noticed from his ads is that Rep. Rose is a Democrat.  The reason for this confusion is fairly obvious to those of you who have actually watched the campaign ads this season (and for those who have, I feel for you):  he presents himself as more of a conservative than his opponent, Jason Isaac.

Let's take a look at Rep. Rose's conservative bona fides for a moment.  The first ad of the season that I saw from Mr. Rose shows that he is against taxes.  That sounds good, right?

Now, wait a minute:  why did Mr. Rose start his ad by raising the specter of "raising the sales tax on hard-working families, seniors, and small businesses"?  No one's proposing this right now, are they?  Of course no one is, but Mr. Rose would have you believe that Jason Isaac is such a tax fetishist.  See for yourself:

Now, is it just me, or does this ad come close to having every stupid political-commercial cliche in the book?  Let's take a grainy black-and-white video of your opponent, include an ominous sounding announcer telling you why your opponent is the spawn of Satan, and use rejected music from a very special episode of The Facts of Life, and voila!  Instant victory, right?

Well, not so fast, Mr. Rose.  Things aren't quite so black-and-white.  (SWIDT?)  Jason Isaac is not proposing in any way to raise the sales tax to 14.5%.  (He's also not the spawn of Satan, and that music sounded more like it belonged in an episode of Walker, Texas Ranger.)  Mr. Isaac's website puts Rep. Rose's out-of-context claim back into the context in which it belongs:

ISAAC FULL QUOTE: Jason Isaac believes that a consumption-based model is one possible solution, but there are limitations.  “If you just eliminated property taxes and if you wanted to make it a pure consumption-based tax, you increased the sales tax to 14.5% and you’ve got a wash.  It balances out.  You could eliminate all your property taxes, but everything you buy, you pay 14.5% tax on.  My thought process is if you get above 9.5% and you’re going to start driving people to the black market, out of state, they’re going to order everything off and I think you wind up losing state revenue.” (Texas Sons of Liberty Riders Radio Show, 8/17/2010)

Mr. Rose:  where, amidst the quasi-ominous/Western music and deep-voiced announcer statements about Mr. Isaac would I find the part about the replacement of the property tax, which is paid by everyone, whether they know it or not?  (Seriously, you who think you don't pay property taxes because you're renting, do you really think your landlord is eating those costs?  Of course not:  those costs are passed right on to you in the form of higher rent.)

But Snowed, I hear you cry, didn't Jason Isaac also distort a claim about Patrick Rose?  Well, according to the fact-checkers at KVUE, yes, he did.  To wit:

"(Rose) backed the largest tax increase in Texas history,” claims an Isaac ad.

The Isaac campaign is referring to House Bill 3 in the 79th legislative session.

It re-worked the state's franchise tax, a tax paid by businesses, and Rose did vote for it.

According to state estimates, that business tax collected about $3 billion in new tax revenue. That is about $1.2 billion less, than the tax bill passed in 1987, when the legislature crafted a tax package which yielded $4.2 billion in new revenue. To find a larger single tax increase you need only look to that 1987 tax increase signed into law 23 years ago by then-governor Bill Clements.

Somehow, stating that 3 billion is less than 4.2 billion (when both are admittedly rather large tax increases) doesn't seem to be as bad as taking a statement completely out of context and basing an entire negative campaign on it.  (It doesn't excuse Mr. Isaac's misstatement, though.)

So, where are we at this point in HD-45?  Well, both candidates have been called on the carpet for false claims.   A more recent Patrick Rose ad even cites KVUE as it saying Jason Isaac is lying about him.  (Paging one deep-voiced announcer...)  Of course, that ad goes right on to repeating the same claim about Jason Isaac and his eeeeevil intent to raise your sales taxes through the roof...yes, the same claim debunked by KVUE in the same article Rep. Rose cites.  (Rep. Rose's recent ads do not seem to be up on YouTube yet.  I wonder why.)

But the truth here is that both candidates are trying to position themselves as being the anti-tax, pro-business candidate.  Based on the traditional behavior of the two major parties, that would mean both are trying to appear to be Republicans.  The problem is that one of them isn't one.

Patrick Rose, no number of Jason-Isaac-is-evil commercials will change the fact that you are a Democrat.  Perhaps one of your ads should admit that.


lawyersgunsmoney said...

Here's the easy way to tell if a politician is a Republican or Democrat. Generally in Texas when a politician runs as a Republican they have the word "Retard" stamped on their forehead. Rose doesn't have the word "Retard" stamped on his forehead. Ergo, Rose is not a Republican.

Let's see if you've grasped the concept. Rick Perry has the word "Retard" stamped on his forehead. Ergo, Perry is a ____*____.


Snowed In said...

I can't imagine why you aren't convincing everyone with such a stellar argument.