Patterson is Faking His Conservative Credentials

January 27, 2014


January 27, 2014

Contact: Jenna White, Executive Director
Mobile: (512) 843-1980
Email: [email protected]

AUSTIN, TX — This December, Young Conservatives of Texas (YCT) was proud to endorse Sen. Dan Patrick to be the state’s next Lt. Governor. The race for Texas’s most powerful elected official has shaped up to be the most competitive race in the 2014 campaign cycle.

In recent weeks, Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson has tried to position himself as a “conservative insurgent” in this race, boasting endorsements from Tom Pauken, Ron Paul, and Dick Armey. Patterson has tried to leverage these big-name supporters into a late surge before Election Day.

Commissioner Patterson has been an elected official or lobbyist for almost all of the past 20 years and has increasingly become a part of the Austin Establishment during that time. He’s known for his “straight talk” but few know what he has actually achieved for the conservative movement outside of his passage of the concealed handgun legislation.

It is important for conservatives to remember that beyond Patterson’s rhetoric lies a record that is anything but conservative.

Patterson is outside of the conservative mainstream on a number of issues—none more so than the issue of illegal immigration. Put bluntly: Patterson is soft on illegal immigration. In an alarming interview with the El Paso Times, Patterson went into detail about his moderate, dangerous views on immigration policy . In the interview, Patterson called for a guest worker program and called any demands to secure the border before implementation of such a program a “cop-out.”

The most telling component of Patterson’s interview was when he talked about illegal immigrants receiving in-state tuition rates at Texas college campuses, which is a marquee issue for YCT. Patterson claims not to support the law as written, but would instead like to see illegal immigrants’ status “fixed.” He went on to say, “I would support a method of providing them a lawful status where in-state tuition for illegals wouldn’t be a problem.”

When taken in their totality, Patterson’s remarks left it very clear that he supports an essentially open border with legal status being provided for nearly everyone. It all amounts to calling for de facto amnesty while dismissing conservative demands to secure the border. Patterson is simply wrong on this fundamental issue.

Without looking any further than Patterson’s first term in office, voters will find many things that would unsettle any conservative. Patterson coauthored SB 456, which created “hate crime” laws in Texas. Patterson also voted for the creation of the state lottery commission. He was part of a failed attempt by a majority of Democrats to consider a ban on corporal punishment in schools on the Senate floor (1). He voted for the creation of the “Robin Hood” system, which has redistributed tremendous wealth across Texas and, according to a study, destroyed around $81 billion (that’s $81,000,000,000) in property wealth in our state.

As an elected statewide commissioner, Patterson has not fared any better. He has repeatedly used his position as Land Commissioner to dictate to property owners along the Gulf Coast, even going so far as to confiscate their land without compensation after a natural disaster.

The conservative, pro-private property rights majority of the Texas Supreme Court ruled against Patterson not once, but twice, as he attempted to use the state government to confiscate private property. As recently as January 15th of this year, an op-ed in the Galveston County Daily News called out Patterson for what the author claims is his “unethical, and likely illegal, decision to capriciously suspend Galveston’s disaster relief funding.” He has continually threatened and bullied the people of the Texas coast and used his position as Land Commissioner to punish those who disagree or stand in opposition to him. And more troubling still is that he has used the government as a weapon to take private property without compensation.

Sen. Ted Cruz recently quoted the Bible in a speech to talk highly of Sen. Ken Paxton. The verse he referenced was Matthew 7:15-16, which reads “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits.” We ask conservative voters to heed the same advice. Patterson is not one of us. Look at his record, his position on key issues, and who he has endorsed and supported in political races. Patterson went to Austin and has become Austin. We conservatives cannot entrust the highest legislative position in Texas to him.

(1) SB 456 — Coauthored Texas Hate Crimes Law; HB 1587 — Voted to create the state lottery commission (Thursday May 6th, 1993; 73rd Texas Legislature Senate Journal Page 1277); SB 290 — Voted to ban corporal punishment in public schools (Wednesday April 28, 1993; 73rd Texas Legislature Senate Journal Page 1034); SJR 7 — Voted for Robin Hood Bill to move out of Senate (Thursday January 28, 1993; 73rd Texas Legislature Senate Journal Page 137).

Young Conservatives of Texas is a non-partisan organization that has promoted conservatism at universities across the Lone Star State for over three decades. The State’s most active political youth organization, YCT is composed of hundreds of members and alumni who participate in the full spectrum of politics. YCT issues the most respected ratings of the Texas legislature and is the only conservative group to have done so without interruption over the past 20 legislative sessions. For more information about YCT, please visit


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