Matula's race represents one of those races that a lot of folks in the "bricks and mortar political establishment" may have underestimated in the early part of this year. However, this district is ripe for a flip. Matula laid the groundwork for this year's campaign with a respectable general election showing in 2006 and her "Apple Corps" team of volunteers and on-the-ground activists has worked very hard this year to register new voters, identify Democratic voters in the district, and conducting GOTV.
This race, however, is one where the Netroots have consistently seen the potential for defeating incumbent John Davis (a legislator who Texas Monthly appropriately deemed "furniture") and the value in Matula's traditional and online campaign operations.
Sherrie Matula is a longtime public school educator and science education consultant who served two terms on the Board of Trustees of Clear Creek Independent School District. She's served on the board of the Texas State Teachers Association, and has a very impressive resume. She will bring to the Texas House of Representatives a wide array of knowledge and experience, especially on education issues.
Too, Matula is running against arguably one of the most pathetic, ineffective, corrupt, pieces of GOP furniture to hold a seat in the Texas Legislature. State Rep. John Davis is a prime target for progressives this cycle, and the Netroots has long had its eye on him. Why? Here is a small sampling:
Ethically Challenged. John Davis is one of the state's more ethically-challenged State Reps. Remember when he spent campaign cash on a pair of $1,500 boots? Or when he failed to itemize over $48,000 in American Express card purchases (and got hammered by the Texas Ethics Commission for failing to do so)?
Against Schools, Children & Education. John Davis has cast a lot of votes against schools, children, and Education. For starters, he voted for tuition deregulation and then had the audacity to say that 44% increases in college tuition costs are "not unreasonable". As a result of Davis' vote (combined with the votes of many other Republicans), it has become very difficult for middle class families to afford to send their kids to college because tuition costs are skyrocketing. Davis voted to slash funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program, and help create the "permanent wall" that kept kids off CHIP. Of course, after Sherrie Matula held Davis accountable for this vote in 2006, he quickly changed his tune and became "for" CHIP after he was "against" CHIP. Of course, by then it was too late and thousands of Texas children had suffered as a result of his vote. Davis has also voted time and time again against everything from teachers, teacher retirement, childhood immunization programs, and anti-discrimination measures to help school children. John Davis even put the interests of one of his big financial supporters, Houston Home builder Bob Perry, above middle class students who want a college education when it came time to cast votes on the Appropriations Bill on the House floor!
Anti-Environment. For a State Representative that actually has to breathe the air in Houston, Davis is solidly against clean air. He's time and again voted against improving the air quality in his own district. Here is some of what Davis actually has to say about this topic:
“It’s much cleaner than it was 20-30 years ago. I believe we are on the right track. I don’t want to choke off industry.
You can also watch a YouTube of Davis actually making that statement here.
Pay To Play. Even in the pay-to-play culture of the Texas House's Republican Caucus, Davis stands out as among the worst offenders in terms of taking money from corporate PACs and lobbyists and then giving them the keys to the legislative candy store. Davis has taken money from Center Point Energy, Reliant Energy, and TXU--all the while never casting a vote to give Texans meaningful relief from out-of-control utility bills.
He took money from a lobbyist for Accenture, and then voted for legislation that allowed Accenture to take over and operate health and human services call centers. It led to the worst social services disaster in Texas history.
Who else has Davis taken money from? Dow Chemical, Blue Cross Blue Shield, AT&T, Cigna, Aetna, Chevron, Marathon, and Merck--just to name a few.
Davis has even taken money from H.B. Zachry construction's PAC--and voted for bills that promoted the Trans-Texas Corridor.
There is no one that Davis won't take money from.
It's time for a change in HD 129. Sherrie Matula is the change we need in the Texas House. Help her campaign today, and help TexBlog PAC support more candidates like Sherrie.