Senator Robert Nichols has taken to recent political grandstanding against privatizing some of Texas’s failing state bureaucracies. Recently Senator Nichols has been in the headlines, mostly in the name of “transparency”.

Some of these recent actions bring reason to take a look at Senator Nichols record, to see if his recent actions are consistent with his rhetoric, or a tune he’s singing to relate to the grassroots.

Shadowing Funds

Shadowing Government Slush Funds

It’s interesting that transparency seems to be an issue with Senator Nichols lately since it was only last session that he was one of a few Republicans who voted against auditing the Texas Enterprise Fund. A government slush fund that takes taxpayer dollars and dolls it out to the politically connected. The slush fund isn’t conservative in the first place, but the fact that Senator Nichols opposed auditing it is even more egregious.

(SB 1390 Passage; April 16, 2013; Journal Page 929)

Shadowing Bureaucrats

Shadowing Bureaucrats from Accountability

Senator Nichols has opposed conservatives for many years, but just last session he went so far as to actually support legislation that took power away from the board of regents of taxpayer-funded higher education institutions, and would give that power to the state bureaucrats. Regents are appointed by the governor to add transparency and taxpayer accountability, but Senator Nichols has decided to empower bureaucracies instead.

(SB 15 Passage; April 11, 2013; Journal Page 842)

Accounting Tricks

Bloating Budgets and Playing Accounting Tricks

Senator Nichols likes to take small instances in the attempt to play the “taxpayer hero” in fighting to curb government waste, but he has overseen the unprecedented growth in government. He actually voted to increase spending in Texas by $22,000,000,000 in 2013, a move that caused the Wall Street Journal to say “Texas goes Sacramento” and in 2011 he supported a budget that was filled with $7,000,000,000 of accounting tricks and gimmicks.

(SB 1 Passage; June 14, 2013)
Texas Goes Sacramento –

Senator Nichols is one of the more liberal Republicans in Texas and his record points to opposing transparency and being a poor steward of our tax dollars.