This is the first organization to come out publicly against the statewide Debt-A-Palooza the Legislature placed before voters this fall. On Prop #4, which requests voter approval to borrow money to build three new prisons and other construction projects, AFP declares:
OPPOSE. Reasons: $57 million GR funds have been obligated to pay for debt service payments, and though many of the these projects appear deserving of some funding, with a state budget surplus, we should not be obligating bonds/future taxpayers to fund them.Meanwhile, on AFP's Texas blog, long-time conservative activist Peggy Venable accuses the Travis County Commissioners Court of "using a tactic other local governments have been advised to use: increase taxes and 'sell it to the public' as more money for police."
It never ceases to amaze me that, although common stereotypes attribute anti-incarceration attitudes to liberals, the only people in the state with enough cojones to oppose new prisons or jails often are small-government conservatives like Venable or Judge Cynthia Kent in Tyler. By contrast, the so-called "liberal" pols are too often afraid of being called "soft on crime," and with the election three weeks away I'm not aware of a single liberal group that's come out against Prop #4.