Jon E. Dougherty is a Missouri-based political science major, author, writer and columnist. Follow him on Twitter.
Conservative activists in Texas say Gov. George W. Bush — the
front-running candidate for the Republican presidential nomination — is
masquerading as a leader for a smaller, more limited role for government
in Americans’ lives.
According to Texas Eagle Forum, Bush’s
state legislative priorities show him to be anything but a political
For example, Bush helped to expand federally subsidized school health
programs and promoted “native language” use for special education
students — two decisions Eagle Forum considers anathema.
According to TEF’s scorecard, the Texas governor signed HB 1275 into
law, which requires that education plans for special education students
be translated into the parents’ native language. TEF, like many
conservatives, believes in an “English-only” official policy both for
schools and all government functions. Bush — who has been known to
cater to Hispanics during his initial campaigning — has also not spoken
out against a small Texas border town’s decision last month to adopt a
“Spanish-only” policy for official government functions, and instructed
city officials not to talk to the Immigration and Naturalization
“He supports bilingual education, federalizing education while
calling it ‘local control,’ and school-based health clinics,” said
Cathie Adams, spokesperson for the TEF. “In my book, a politician who
supports these things is neither conservative nor moderate but a
Adams also said Bush supports “Hillary Clinton-style health care
reform,” noting that the GOP frontrunner also signed legislation
expanding school health care initiatives.
“That’s what SB 445 was all about,” she told WorldNetDaily. Under
the auspices of the Children’s Health Insurance Program, the law
authorizes the use of Texas’ tobacco settlement money to enhance the
TEF also noted that Bush’s agenda included hate crimes legislation
that excluded sexual orientation, United-Nations-backed trade measures,
the homosexual agenda over traditional family roles, state-sponsored
gambling via a lottery and global treaties that circumvent the U.S.
Constitution — such as support for the Kyoto Treaty and the
International Criminal Court.
A spokesman for Bush’s presidential campaign told WorldNetDaily that
the governor, should he become president, will “implement the core
conservative principles of smaller government.”
He said growth to state government during Bush’s 10-year
administration, “when adjusted for inflation and population growth, was
just 3.7 percent.” He said Bush “has a record of cutting taxes and
slowing the rate of growth” in state government.
“As you know, he also signed the two largest tax cuts in Texas
history, totaling $3 billion,” the spokesman said.
Regarding whether or not a President Bush would cut federal
government and bureaucracies, the spokesman said, “He’s guided by …
principles of limited government, cutting taxes, strengthening families,
promoting individual responsibility and individual control.”
He added that Bush intends to lay out tax and economic policies
“within the next few months.”
However, TEF argues that the Bush state administration has enlarged
government by “nearly 38 percent,” with increased entitlements mostly to
public schools. And, the watchdog group added, the governor has a
penchant for incorporating existing federal funds into state programs,
which, they say, is anathema to decreasing the size and expense of the