Intimidation, lies, and sleazy tactics. Jason Villalba has made a name for himself in Texas, and not in a good way.
First, it was his controversial bill to eliminate vaccine exemptions in Texas. Regardless of the good intentions behind this, he sought to essentially make the state the Religion Police by making people prove their state-approved religion was “acceptable enough.” It was unquestionably unconstitutional.
Not to mention (okay, I will) his horrendous voting record on issues that never made national headlines: in favor of an amendment that would have made it illegal to record a conversation with a state legislator, and opposing the bill prohibiting employers asking for an employee’s private email password.
He also supported a bill that gave hospitals the ability to withdraw life-sustaining treatment from pregnant women. He is called a “pro-life fraud” from the gold standard in the state, Texas Right to Life.
Villalba is also a staunch supporter of the worst – and most anti-conservative – Republican Speaker of the House in the country, Joe Straus.
Did I mention this guy calls himself a “Lone Star Conservative?” I’m not joking.
Villalba’s sole tactic has been to flash the vocal and visible endorsement of the Dallas Police Association. That carries weight here in the Dallas area, but it’s worth examining, how did Villalba get this endorsement?
The main reason is that Villalba has been an opponent of pension reform, which is one of the most important fiscal conservative issues at the state and local level. The ballooning cost of public pensions is crippling state budgets and Villalba has actively opposed all such efforts. Unsurprisingly, the police unions are willing to back anyone who protects their pocketbook and they are in the tank for Villalba big time.
Additionally, Villalba made national news with his patently unconstitutional “police filming bill,” which would have made it illegal for citizens to record police unless they were 25 feet away, or 100 feet if the citizen happened to be one of those pesky second amendment lovers and dared to have a handgun on them.
As we noted here at RedState at the time:
A person who is standing and watching an altercation between police and a suspect without a videocamera or camera phone is definitionally no more of an obstruction or safety hazard to the cop than the citizen who is watching the police with one. The presence of a camera or camera phone in your hand doesn’t make you more dangerous or hazardous to police whatsoever, at least in the physical sense. What it does make you is more dangerous or hazardous to the police in the context of possible criminal prosecution or internal discipline for the police. And that is what the police lobbyists who have somehow prevailed upon authoritarian stooges like Villalba want to eliminate.
As the Breitbart article notes, they have already attempted numerous times (and succeeded in many cases) to prevail upon state legislatures to just flat make recording of cops illegal, but those laws have uniformly been struck down by courts as unconstitutional. So they are now trying the next best thing, which is to at least make the recording unclear and allow for more ambiguity. If this were about safety of the officer, the proposed law would require everyone to get back 25 feet when police officers were performing their official duties. The fact that it only requires people with a camera to get back clearly indicates the authoritarian impulse behind the law.
Real supporters of good police want the police to be recorded at every time possible. If the police are involved in a clean stop and are respecting the constitutional rights of citizens, they will want that recorded for the sake of clearing their name as well. Supporters of authoritarianism and covering up for bad cops want laws like Rep. Villalba’s to pass.
Villalba is so in the pocket of the Dallas police (public sector) union that off duty Dallas cops have been some of Villalba’s most frequent poll greeters, and they have (surprisingly!) used borderline intimidation tactics to frighten his primary opponents’ poll workers from talking to voters, even when they are following the law.
Now being an actual conservative in the state of Texas (who supports the police but not necessarily the police unions), I have been actively campaigning for Villalba’s opponent, Dan Morenoff. Morenoff is new to the political arena, but has been actively involved in grassroots conservatism his entire adult life, and would undoubtedly represent his conservative district much better than the joke who currently holds the state rep title there.
Early voting started last week, and I manned my post as a poll greeter, along with other volunteers. By the way, the difference between paid staffers and grassroots volunteers at the polls? Night and day. You should always be able to tell this difference. The volunteers are passionate and enthusiastic. The paid crews stand there holding their signs with blank looks on their faces, like they’d rather be anywhere else.
But what really struck me this week was this representative’s tactics and behavior.
I have never seen such obnoxious, unapologetic behavior in all my life so I’m not sure where to begin.
Last week, when I was volunteering as a poll greeter, I was approached by a gay Democrat voter who was there to vote in the Democrat primary. This voter just wanted to discuss the fact that she was fiscally conservative and hoped that in the near future social issues would fade into the background and she would feel more comfortable voting for Republicans. I did not start this conversation or ask for it, but was merely engaging a possible future voter for the GOP and explaining the importance of a limited view of government. Villalba approached, completely uninvited, with his wife behind him, and called me a liar. To a voter. He had no idea what I said or whether I was even discussing him (I was not).
I started recording their disgusting behavior, so people would have a chance to see these two for who they really are. After that, Representative Villalba told his clan, “She’s recording this, so just be careful.” Shameful. But I guess I should consider myself lucky it’s still legal for me to record my conversation with a state legislator, though I’m sure it is much to his dismay.
This class act also called one of our volunteers a “joke” as she was walking past him. Under his breath, but loud enough for her to hear: “what a joke.” And he later admitted to her that he was, in fact, referring to her. This was after he asked her if they “could be friends after this.”
This same volunteer would talk to voters with her back towards Mr. Villalba, on the other side of the parking lot. As she was talking to the voter, not within earshot, Villalba stood behind her and animatedly shook his head “no” toward the voter while she was speaking. I have never seen a candidate so openly disrespectful in the face of the voters. I can’t decide if he’s that out of touch, or just that dumb.
And that’s not all. He asked voters as they were walking up to the polls who they were voting for in the Presidential election. These voters were complete strangers to him, but that didn’t matter. He had no problem getting too personal.
After badgering them about who they were planning to cast a vote for in the Presidential election, he also asked every single Republican voter as they left the polling place, “Did we getcha?!” I feel weird asking my mom who she voted for. But this candidate is apparently a walking exit poll.
And if all this wasn’t enough to convince you that the guy is a monster, I give you reason number ten billion:
Of course he’s that guy. Bro, you’re a local state rep. The parking lot rules still apply to you. Stay in your lane.
And for those would like to donate to the Morenoff campaign to help defeat the faux-conservative Villalba, you can do so here.