Abbott Goes Ballistic on GOP State Reps
for Ads on School Choice as Migrant Perk
February 10, 2024
Governor Greg Abbott exploded with outrage during the weekend when he accused a pair of Republican state lawmakers of scurrilous attempts to deceive voters about a school vouchers plan that they both helped kill in regular session last fall.
Abbott came unhinged in posts on X on Friday and Saturday that sought to discredit video advertisements that GOP State Reps. Drew Darby of San Angelo and Gary VanDeaver of New Boston began running this week in re-election fights with primary opponents who the governor is backing over them.
The commercials revolve on the same central message - depicting the school choice legislation as welfare in disguise at the Texas taxpayers' expense for migrants who are in the state illegally.
"Gary VanDeaver is a fraud," Abbott declared in a social media post. "
Every session he served in the Texas House he voted to use your taxpayer dollars to provide free education for illegal immigrants at your local public schools.
Now, he knowingly misleads his own voters to try to protect the teacher unions."
Abbott published an almost-identical attack on Darby on Friday afternoon.
"Drew Darby is a liar," the governor asserted. "Every session he served in the Texas House he voted to use your taxpayer dollars to provide free education for illegal immigrants at your local public schools.
He repeatedly votes like a Democrat.
Now he adds lying to his résumé.
He’s out of touch."
With a school choice revenge tour starting to backfire as a result of Abbott being outfoxed, the state's top leader waltzed into the teeth of the traps that the two House Republicans had set for him with the interjection of migrants into the private school vouchers debate. The VanDeaver and Darby videos will get substantially more exposure now that the Texas governor has posted them on his own X page.
Abbott is backing Stormy Bradley of Big Spring in the March 5 primary in House District 2 where Darby is seeking a ninth term in the Legislature's lower chamber. The governor supports Chris Spencer of Hughes Spring in the battle for the House District 1 seat that VanDeaver won initially in 2014.
Darby's spot begins with black-and-white scenes that show migrants. The ad contends that school choice is "a magnet for illegal immigrants."
"We all know our border is in crisis - drugs, cartels, traffickers," Darby says. "But it's also very much driven by the free handouts offered to illegal immigrants. That's why I stopped the recent school vouchers scheme."
VanDeaver's video shows a line across the screen with the question "School Vouchers for Illegal Immigrants?" VanDeaver says no to that.
"Now I'm being attacked by politicians and outside groups who want to rob our local communities to benefit big cities, suburbs and special interests," VanDeaver says in the ad. "It's just wrong - and I won't stand for it."
more to come ...