AUSTIN — Grover Norquist, known for saying he wants to cut government “to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub,” says he was sort of, you know, kidding.
Maybe he forgot to tell his buddy Gov. Rick Perry.
At least that's the implication in a slim new book called “Getting Out of Grover's Tub” (available at www.groverstub.com) by state Sen. Eliot Shapleigh. The El Paso Democrat sees Norquist's limited-government message so clearly in Perry's tenure that he calls it “government by Grover.”
From Texas' ranking as the No. 1 state in the percentage of its residents without health insurance to a college financial aid program that's been estimated to leave a huge chunk of eligible students uncovered, Shapleigh sees government failing Texas.
“Perry's leadership for 25 years has been about starving government,” said Shapleigh, whose criticism goes back to Perry's days as a Democratic legislator, when Perry was one of the budget writers known as “pit bulls” for attacking spending. “Good government is of, by and for the people — and those irresponsible few who seek to starve government, are really starving us.”
Shapleigh's been a lonely voice as a legislator who's advocated a state income tax to largely replace the school property tax, calling it the fairest way to provide for state needs. Although the move would require a vote of Texans, it's seen as political suicide by many on both sides of the aisle, aside from their policy differences.
In his book, Shapleigh scoffs at what he sees as a “tax cuts are king” philosophy, saying it only serves the wealthy.
Friday, October 16, 2009
El Paso Democrat Elliot Shapleigh hates Rick...
An enemy of the extremely liberal unabashedly big government loving Shapleigh is a friend of mine (link). He hates Rick with a burning passion. Makes me like Rick a lot more. Excerpt follows...
Shapleigh is such an advocate for higher taxes and bigger government that his attacks on Rick for being a budget cutter even back when he was a Democrat almost seem like he is being paid by Rick's peeps to make their point in the primary that Rick is truly a small government conservative.
Being attacked by Shapleigh is a little like being attacked by Charlie Rangel or Nancy Pelosi... it can only help if you are a Republican in a Republican state to be attacked by this guy. Most people outside of Austin or El Paso probably have no idea who Shapleigh is though.