DALLAS, Texas — Konni Burton is the favored grassroots candidate for Senate District 10 (SD 10); it’s considered to be one of the most hotly contested legislative races in the state’s November midterm election. The longtime Colleyville conservative has pulled ahead of her liberal challenger, Libby Willis, who was handpicked by Democrat, Sen. Wendy Davis, according to BuzzPo. A Burton win would mean Texas inches closer to a Republican legislative majority and SD 10 would be represented by an elected official who shares their conservative values. Burton would succeed Davis, who vacated the seat in her gubernatorial bid against Greg Abbott, the GOP frontrunner and current state Attorney General.
Breitbart Texas followed Burton through the primary campaign. The Tea Party candidate continues to resonate with SD 10 voters on topics including the state budget to transportation, education, immigration and border safety. Burton touched base with Breitbart Texas on a few of these issues.
On state government, one of her priorities as senator will be the budget. She told Breitbart Texas, “We need to cap state government spendingwith the formula “population plus inflation” to keep spending in check. We don’t want government spending to grow at a faster rate than population,” she explained.
It’s about responsible state government and a state living within its means, according to Burton. No doubt, the Texas economy has and continues to experience impressive growth over the past decade because of its low-tax, business friendly environment; however, for Burton, it’s never acceptable to live beyond the state’s means because even the best of circumstances can be thwarted by an economic downturn.
She pointed out that state departments and agencies only have to justify additional money they ask for in legislative session. Burton would propose they start from zero.
“I am adamant about zero-based budgeting. I want them to have to justify every penny they are spending,” she stated.
Burton’s common sense measure of zero-based budgeting would be a key transparency measure. It would change the current method where budgets are rolled over and, like a snowball charging down a mountain, they often wind up humongous at the other end. She believes in accounting for every tax dollar in each session. She is also against passing on debt today and tomorrow.
“Burton understands state government needs to steer clear of piling more debt on future generations of Texans,” said JoAnn Fleming, Grassroots America Executive Director and chair of the Advisory Committee to the TEA Party Caucus of the Texas Legislature. She endorsed Burton as a “common sense” leader “that won’t play games with your money and your liberty.”
Burton’s concerned that on a federal level the government is top down. These days, constitutional conservatives like Burton lament the heavy federal hand overreaching into the states on a variety of issues including in education.
No surprise, she is against the Common Core State Standards, which Texas did not adopt although materials have surfaced in the Lone Star state. Burton is not a fan of this federally led education. Instead, she supports local control.
“When I am speaking to families in lower income areas of SD 10, they desperately want more choices for their children’s education. They are not happy. While we have a lot of great public schools in SD 10, too many underprivileged children are being left behind,” said Burton.
On the other hand, she talks to superintendents in SD 10 as well. “Administrators are looking for more control over their schools, and I think we should allow them to make the decisions they feel are best for their unique needs. I want to redirect funds back to the classroom, and let local schools innovate and be held accountable for their decisions,” she told Breitbart Texas.
When talking about education, Burton addressed another big issue — state testing. She said, “During the last legislative session, we made a lot of headway with HB5. We can work on reducing standardized testing even more so that children can maximize their time spent learning instead of preparing for the test.”
The area of public safety is one that Burton pointed out government should provide and said, “Protecting citizens is a constitutional duty of the state government. From border security to local law enforcement, Texas should be a safe place to live.”
It’s also a priority these days because it relates to border security. Burton believes Texas will continue to have to address it because the federal government has not. She added, “Many people think that only the federal government provides border security but since 2005, Texas has provided funds in this area. In a post 9/11 world we must absolutely know who is coming across the border. The constituents of SD 10 want this, and every Texan deserves it.”
Safety matters. On September 30, the first case of the often fatal Ebola was diagnosed in Dallas. Just a few months ago, the state of Texaswas overwhelmed by an estimated 65,000-plus undocumented alien minors and a host of illegal immigrant adults crossed into the United States illegally. Concerns about 0verwhelmed schools, health and safety issues have all been raised since then. President Obama just signed an executive order that jump starts citizenship for DREAMers who serve in the military Breitbart News reported.
However, Burton, a constitutional conservative and supporter of legal immigration, proposes to work towards removing the appealing “magnets” that draw illegal immigrants into the United States in the first place. That includes in-state college tuition for DREAMers and ending sanctuary cities to curb the financial and emotional drains of illegal immigration.
Lastly, Burton tackled the bottom line, saying, “We need to stop the budget diversions in the Legislature.” She was referring to how some tax dollars are often diverted from their intended destinations and into the general fund where they get spent on pet projects.
For example, this has been a problem with the gas tax, originally intended to pay for road building and repair, but now diverted for other purposes. In 2013, a Texas Conservative Coalition Research Institute op-ed ran in the Austin Business Journal that addressed this this very problem.
Generally speaking, Burton told Breitbart Texas “I am tired with the federal government forcing its one-size-fits-all policies on Texas. Texans know best how to address issues facing our own state.”
Burton has been endorsed a strong list of conservatives that includes state Rep. Jonathan Stickland, state Sen, Bill Zedler, the Texas Association of Business, National Federation of Independent Business, the nation’s leading voice for small business owners, and the Manufacturers PAC of Texas. US Sen.Ted Cruz (R-TX) not only endorsed Burton, he came out on her behalf at campaign events in Fort Worth. She is also recognized as a fierce supporter of the second and tenth amendments to the United States Constitution, and a loyal right-to-life proponent.
Meanwhile, Democratic Party opponent Libby Willis is backed by teacher unions, United Educators Association (UEA), the Texas State Teachers Association, the Texas Classroom Teachers Association, and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), AFL-CIO. AFT is the second largest teacher’s union in the nation and is a proponent of the Common Core State Standards and Promise Schools, a union initiative that transforms the local public school into the hub of community life, which Breitbart Texas reported.
Among other Willis supporters are CLEAT, the largest officer’s union in Texas and the very liberal ladies at Annie’s List and Emily’s List, the latter which was founded by Ellen Malcolm, who served as Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential election campaign co-chair and is back for 2016. The Burnt Orange Report called Willis the candidate to “turn Texas Blue.”
Like Democratic gubernatorial opponent Davis and Lt. Governor challenger Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, Willis is endorsed by Battleground Texas, whose PR machine spins Willis as a moderate.
Battleground Texas is currently in the spotlight for more fraud. Breitbart Texas reported on the latest undercover sting by James O’Keefe’s organization Project Veritas. They busted the left wing Battleground Texas for illegally copying voters’ personal data for campaign purposes. Battleground Texas has one goal – to turn the state Democrat.
Follow Merrill Hope on Twitter @OutOfTheBoxMom.