Editorials

Burton should rethink stand on lobbyists

Konni Burton
Konni Burton

It’s clear to constituents of state Sen. Konni Burton, R-Colleyville, that she’s conservative to the point of being a Tea Party favorite and an ally of U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz.

She doesn’t have to make that point anymore. She does have to make decisions on hundreds of issues to be debated in this, her first legislative session.

She can’t do that alone. She must decide what to support or oppose, but like other legislators she’ll need help from her staff, constituents, trusted advisers, fellow lawmakers — and, yes, lobbyists, who often are policy experts.

Burton has said she will not speak with lobbyists paid by cities, counties, school districts or other special districts using taxpayer dollars.

Her political consultant, Luke Macias, says it’s “a personal thing.”

Burton says she’d rather see those dollars go back to taxpayers.

That’s an admirable thought, but she should rethink her position, especially where lobbyists paid by entities in her district are concerned.

Burton says lobbyists “very well could be pushing policy that is in direct conflict with the will of the people.”

She shouldn’t make that judgment before she knows what they want to talk about.

Elected officials in her district hire lobbyists to push specific policies, presumably ones they believe represent “the will of the people.”

She can make lobbyists tell her what they want to discuss and decide case by case which she wants to hear. To reject them all without consideration is a disservice to the people back home, and it’s not smart.

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