TSRA PAC 2012 voter guide – follow up
Alice Trip, TSRA Legislative Director, has always been an open and approachable person. When I wondered why only R’s and D’s were printed in the 2012 voter guide, I knew I could ask her. So I emailed her.
Here’s her reply, reprinted with her permission:
We offer information on the two major parties for several reasons but the most important is best explained by an example. In 2009 an incumbent, A rated state senator (R) lost to a known anti-gun challenger (D) by 9,000 votes. The (L) candidate in that race took 9,000 votes.
To me, that answer comes across as “we don’t want to promote L’s because they can and do take votes away from R’s, who are generally more gun-friendly than D’s, thus we’ll lose races”.
That bugs me.
I don’t like it because it doesn’t paint a complete picture to make for fully-informed voters. It furthers the 2-party system, which just about everyone has a problem with (except those benefiting by it). And it keeps solid alternatives and better choices in the dark from voters. Granted, people are overcoming the darkness on their own, but things like this don’t help.
But I can’t really hold it against Alice. TSRA-PAC has specific goals. They do what they have to do to achieve their goals. And I’m sure if there were, in some smaller races, an L and a D running (no R) and the L was more pro-gun, they’d get the endorsement. If they put down the R and the L and the D, and the R and L were both listed with A-ratings, people will choose and votes will be split and you’ll get what Alice said above. So from her angle, I understand why it’s done.
I have different goals and ideals, and one of them is breaking away from the two-party system. I don’t like the political jockeying nor game-playing. I accept it exists and is part of the reality of it all, but it’s also part of the problem of it all.
I do not hold this against Alice nor TSRA/TSRA-PAC. I remain a Life Member of TSRA, and will continue to support them (just sent them money for the beautiful 2013 calendar that recently arrived). I do hope she’ll continue to fight her good fight (I know she will), and I’ll continue to fight mine. If you are a gun-owner or someone who cares about gun-rights in Texas, I encourage you to join and donate to the TSRA and TSRA-PAC. We don’t have to agree on everything, but that doesn’t have to stop us from being friends.