In the Texas GOP Senate primary between the moderate and establishment David Dewhurst and the anti-establishment conservative Ted Cruz (who is surging in a new poll), who has been endorsed by almost every prominent conservative, including Sarah Palin, whose support often serves as the gold standard for anti-establishment conservative fighters, a third candidate who is even more liberal than Dewhurst, Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert, is strangely trying to rebrand himself as a conservative.
But upon closer examination of Leppert’s record, one wonders if he even belongs in the Republican primary. Leppert’s record and associations can only make conservatives and Republicans scratch their heads. Leppert sought ACORN’s support and supported sanctuary cities for illegal immigrants. He sought the support of another liberal union, SEIU. One of his first acts as Mayor was to raise taxes. And, as a high-ranking official in the failed Washington Mutual bank, Leppert said the bank had “good things ahead” merely two weeks before the bank disastrously collapsed.
Acorn and Sanctuary Cities
What may be the most troubling aspect of Leppert’s record is his having sought support of ACORN, the liberal organization community organizing group that Andrew Breitbart helped put out of business. In 2007, Leppert, while running for mayor of Dallas, sought ACORN’s support, as these videos show. In these videos, Leppert is standing in front of the ACORN logo promising to help them implement various parts of their radical agenda if elected mayor. Further, he signed an ACORN pledge — that stated immigration was not the responsibility of cities — that the organization had directly used to advocate for sanctuary cities.
In addition, Leppert also sought the support of the liberal union, SEIU. Leppert not only courted SEIU during his campaign, he continued to support them and their policies while mayor, often meeting with SEIU leaders and worker organizations. According to The Dallas Morning News, SEIU political coordinator Shannon Perez said plenty of information links Leppert to the SEIU. Such evidence would include the time when Leppert, according to the SEIU, “came to the Union Hall” to show “support for the Union.”
Rasied Taxes and Supported Bank Bailout and Stimulus Supported Federal Bank Bailout and Stimulus
One of Leppert’s first acts as mayor was to raise taxes. His disregard for the taxpayer was made more evident when as mayor, as Mayor, Leppert supported both federal bailouts and the stimulus programs. In fact, Leppert chastised Congress for voting down the bank bailouts of October 2008 when, according to the Dallas Morning News, Leppert “bemoaned the inability of Washington to come together for the benefit of the nation.”
Associated with Washington Mutual Bank Failure
At Washington Mutual, Leppert was in the highest ranks of leadership. But two weeks before what many have called the largest bank failure in U.S. history, Leppert told The Dallas Morning News that the bank had “sufficient capital” and there were “good things ahead.”
These reasons are why The Dallas Morning News reported in March of 2011 that Leppert “newly expressed conservative stands” had “jolted” some Dallas residents who are familiar with his record.
One such resident of Dallas is Ken Emanuelson, who posted a note on his Facebook page, titled, “A View From A Dallas Constituent.”
Emanuelson says Leppert is being packaged in a slick manner that is contrary to his liberal record:
Presented with opportunities to select between a “conservative” course and a “liberal” path, Tom has often chosen the more liberal/big government path, created a middle compromise or declined to choose a path at all.
Emanuelson notes Leppert’s support of the liberal Ron Kirk against Republican John Cornyn in the 2002 senate race and his donations to “Democratic Party candidates.” In addition, Emanuelson also mentions his disappointment at Leppert’s alliance with SEIU and ACORN:
After the election, Leppert used his position as Mayor to advance SEIU’s agenda. As Mayor of Dallas, Leppert wrote the State Legislature in support of Sen. Royce West’s SB 1450, which would have provided for collective bargaining by government employees over “wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment.”
Emanuelson then writes what may most trouble him about Leppert.
Tom says that he considers himself a “conservative,” and I’m willing to believe that he sincerely believes that he is. Based on his past actions, however, Tom has either undergone a radical realignment of his political ideas very recently, or he has an idea of “conservative” broad enough to encompass the policy agendas of far-left groups like ACORN and SEIU. For me, either one is a problem.
All this is enough to make people wonder how can someone who is more liberal than the moderate establishment candidate, David Dewhurst, be running in a Republican primary in the conservative state of Texas.