Ten Worst Texans of 2014
Competition for worst Texan was steep this year, but we managed to narrow it down to ten:
Predatory Payday Lenders
Payday lenders have been running rampant across Texas—exploiting vulnerable families and charging obscene interest rates on small loans that then trap people in a devastating cycle of debt. Earlier this year, the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau fined two Texas-based payday lenders—ACE Cash Express and Cash America—$10 million and $19 million, respectively, for employing predatory tactics and abusive practices. Our newly elected Governor Greg Abbott helped clear the way for predatory lenders to proliferate across the state in return for more than $250,000 in campaign cash.
Attorney General-Elect Ken Paxton
Our new Attorney General, Texas' top law enforcement official, is an admitted felon and may even be indicted before the end of 2015. Enough said?
House Representative-Elect Molly White
The thought that first-time Texas legislator Molly White—who “won” an uncontested House race—will wield any influence during the upcoming legislative session keeps us up at night. White ran on a disturbingly extreme anti-science, anti-abortion platform and insists that abortion is not related to women’s healthcare. But we remain hopeful knowing brave legislators like Rep. Dawnna Dukes will be there to fight back against White’s dangerous, widely-discredited lies.
The Cover Photo of Texas Monthly's "Bum Steer" Edition
Though we value Texas Monthly's insights on Texas politics—and even shared some the publication’s criticism of Greg Abbott's lack of political judgment on several issues—the Wendy Davis cover of their annual “bum steer award” issue easily earned them a spot on our worst. The grotesque cover art depicting Davis in her iconic pink running shoes covered in manure is appallingly demeaning, smearing shit on the symbol of an unprecedented progressive movement.
As the president of Texas Values, a hate-mongering right-wing group, Jonathan Saenz is a frequent mouthpiece for some of the most vitriolic attacks on LGBT equality in Texas. And when he’s not fighting to deny LGBTQ Texans basic legal protections, Saenz spends his free time trying to turn public education in Texas into a Christian fundamentalism training program.
Congressman Blake Farenthold
A last minute addition to our list, Blake Farenthold (guy on right in ducky pajamas) proved in just one week why he ranks among the worst (again): a few days after it was revealed he owned the domain blow-me.org, a former staffer filed suit against his congressional office alleging she was mistreated in a sexually-charged work environment helmed by Farenthold and then illegally fired after complaining about sexual harassment.
Lieutenant Governor-Elect Dan Patrick
Dan Patrick is scary. This shock jock turned Tea Party politician is scarily big government when it comes to regulating women’s bodies and virulently anti-immigrant. He compared same-sex marriage to polygamy, incest and pedophilia and authored the discriminatory voter suppression law and preceded to testify in favor of it in court. As the Houston Chronicle put it: he's a “divisive, disruptive and self-aggrandizing…potential demagogue."
- Dan Patrick, Not for Lieutenant Governor
- Anti-Immigrant, Anti-Equality Platform Reflects Rhetoric of Abbott, Patrick
Governor-Elect Greg Abbott
From defending the indefensible as Attorney General to following in the footsteps of Rick Perry's cronyism and corruption, Greg Abbott will be moving into the Governor's mansion with a lot of baggage:
- Beautiful Disaster - The Republican Hoax of the Texas Miracle
- Would Greg Abbott Defend Interracial Marriage Ban?
- Greg Abbott: Pays Women Less Than Men for Same Job
- Court Strikes Down Voter ID As A Poll Tax - So Greg Abbott Vows To Defend It
- Perry and Abbott Allowed $222 million to Companies that Did Not Ask for It
- Timeline of Abbott Ignoring Child Sex Abuse Charges
- Greg Abbott: Against Raising Minimum Wage
- Abbott Appeals Marriage Ban, Refuses Petitions
- Greg Abbott's (Not So) Greatest Hits - Volume 2
- Greg Abbott's (Not So) Greatest Hits
Senator Ted Cruz
Senator Ted Cruz thinks he’s qualified to be president. We tend to disagree. And we have bipartisan support on that front.
- McCain Speech Against Torture Dismantles Ted Cruz Talking Points
- Help Explain Net Neutrality to Ted Cruz
- Til Death do They Part, Abbott and Cruz Vow to Block Marriage Equality
- Perry, Cruz and Abbott Speak Before Sexists and Bigots
- Ted Cruz Creates Worst Congress Ever
- Texas Republicans Stall Court Nominations, Create Judicial Emergency
- Cornyn and Cruz Rally to Defeat Minimum Wage
Governor Rick Perry
We’ve been through a lot with Rick Perry over the last 14 years. And though 2014 is his last year as Governor, he's going out with a bang: leaving office with a mugshot and a two-count felony indictment to add his resume.