Texas’s political culture is a combination of traditionalistic and individualistic subcultures. The traditionalistic aspects of Texas politics are a long history of one-party dominance in state politics, the low level of voter turnout, and social and economic conservatism. The individualistic nature of the State’s political culture can be seen in the support for private business, opposition to big government, and faith in individual initiative. Recent examples illustrate this and are apparent in Legislation from the 2013 Texas Legislation. For example the overwhelming Republican majority in the bicameral Houses of the Legislature enacted legislation such as the Abortion Bill restricting a woman’s ability to have an abortion in the State of Texas. Additionally the Legislature continued its position that a State imposed income tax not be enacted. It is perceived that this could be detrimental to a wide range of Texas based businesses and be a negatively impact attracting new business to the state. The composition of the Texas Legislature also contributes to the dynamic and volatility of Texas unique political culture. The Texas Legislature recently has been composed ethnically and by gender of the following ethnic demographics: 78%Caucasian80%Male
Party Composition of the Texas Legislature
Republican: 19Democrat: 12
Republican: 101Democrat: 49
Over 33% of the Texas Legislature is composed of Attorneys. Followed by about 25% being business people or business owners. They come from a wide range of business, legal, agricultural, and educational backgrounds. Many of the Texas Legislators have personalities and egos as big as the State itself. On a personal note one of Bob Bullock’s, former Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts and Lt. Governor, personal staff members related a story to me that illustrated this. While he was the Comptroller of Public Accounts he apparently became interested in the use of an airplane from the Texas Aircraft Pool for use in carrying out the duties of his office, as well as other personal and political reasons. The commissioner of the Aircraft Board indicated to Mr. Bullock that an airplane could not be dedicated to his sole use. That their budget also did allow for the purchase of one for the Comptroller’s agency. That they were only maintaining and repairing the aircraft pool that they already had in inventory. It was told to me that Bob used funds from the Comptroller to purchase a wingless broken aircraft fuselage and had it delivered to the State Aircraft Board. Where he then asked to have it repaired, as it was now a State owned aircraft. The Commissioner having directly experienced some of the Texas political culture first hand from Bob never had any problem finding an aircraft to put at Mr. Bullocks disposal after that.