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For Decades conservatives have dominated the Texas legislature which has largely spent it's time blocking and cutting social programs, undermining Roe v. Wade, and doling out tax breaks to large corporations. However, this might change as a number of circumstances, movements and ideals, particularly campaign finance reform are uniting Texans in a big way.
Bi-Partisan groups that have been working on public corruption and corporate abuses in Texas like Texans for Public Justice, Common Cause of Texas and Wolf-PAC Texas, have been forging unlikely alliances across the political spectrum for years. These groups who in the past flew under the radar, are becoming ever more visible due to the spotlight shined on campaign finance reform this primary season has made hard to forget. Added to the networks of volunteers from the Sanders campaign and a greater public awareness of political corruption, these issues are bound for center stage here In Texas. Moreover, this is an issue is people are talking about, and more importantly agreeing on, around the kitchen table and across the state.
The efforts of Sanders supporters have made strides already. One of these victories came through the grassroots group, P.R.E.P. , which enacted resolutions through petitions to the Texas State Democratic Party’s platform. They, along with other advocates who helped ensure placement of Sanders supporters on key committees - rewrote the platform to be the most progressive in Texas history. Included in these resolutions passed only after a contentious floor vote , was a measure to reduce the percentage of super delegates from 10 to 15 % and barred corporate Lobbyist from being appointed to these positions.
The traction campaign finance reform and cracking down on corruption is gaining is not for progressives to claim alone. Activists within factions of the Tea-Party movement years ago reintroduced many Texans to the idea of political influence outside of the two party machine which had been nearly impossible in the past. At the same time they introduced language and articulated the argument Texans have against undue influence of big money on politics in their rally against Tax-dodging corporations.
While some Texans can find little to agree about , voters from both sides are threatening to "vote incumbents out". This could cost the political parties these voters feel abandoned by, to favor candidates left or right who want to keep the money out of politics. This is happening as Bernie Sanders has reached out to his supporters asking them to run for office at the local level to create governance that represents and looks like the communities they serve. Brand New Congress, just finished touring the state to organize and find trusted candidates to run on any ticket they can win on to break up the influence "political insiders" have on the legislature.
What happens next in is anyone's guess, but mine is that campaign finance reform and ending public corruption will be the focal point in upcoming elections across the state of Texas.