Before any Texans rejoice over Gov. Rick Perry deciding not to seek reelection, they might want to read this article by my former colleague Mary Tuma. She points out that his likely replacement, current Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, may well be even worse:
Of the 27 lawsuits against the federal administration, the conservative attorney general has taken on the Environmental Protection Agency to oppose greenhouse gas emission and air quality regulations, the Affordable Care Act and sought to impose Voter ID rules on Texans, according to a list complied by the Texas Tribune. He’s also sued the government to exclude religious organizations from the ACA’s contraception rule and prevented Planned Parenthood from being part of a life-saving Medicaid program that serves low-income women.
Abbott lightheartedly jokes about suing the federal government for fun: “I go into the office, I sue the federal government and I go home,” he is quoted as saying. I suppose the punch line is the fact taxpayers are footing the bill–his fondness for litigious sport cost citizens about $2.5 million in legal fees.
Abbott matches Perry’s anti-federal government, anti-abortion, anti-environmental regulation ideology but the attorney general, equipped with a law degree, comes off much more poised and articulate than the gaffe-plagued governor. In short, he’s likely an even bigger threat to progress in Texas than Perry.