Are Texas Republicans at War With Democrat-Dominated Cities?

The recent decision of the Republican dominated Texas Supreme Court to prohibit cities from enacting bans on those cheap plastic grocery store bags for environmental purposes is seen as the latest salvo in the conservative state's war on liberal dominated cities, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

In his Special Session call last year, Governor Greg Abbott specifically called out Democrat dominated urban areas like San Antonio, Austin, and Houston, when he called on the Legislature to pass limitations on zoning and property tax increases.

"Some local governments like the City of Austin are doing everything they can to overregulate," Abbott said.  "In the process, they are stifling our economy."

Mark Jones, a political analyst at Rice University in Houston, says the cities have replaced Barack Obama as the bogeyman for Texas Republicans.

"For eight years, Texas Republicans focused in on a common enemy in the White House and that was Barack Obama," Jones said.  "Now that enemy is gone, and to unite Texas Republicans now need another common enemy, and they're finding that on the local level."

Jones says Texas Republicans see everything they dislike emerging as priorities for Democrat dominated governments in the state's urban areas.

"The big liberal towns where the state sees cities that are controlled by Democrats pursuing policies that the Republicans disagree with," Jones said.

The State Supreme Court ruled that banning the use of plastic bags violates the state's local government code.

Abbott, who is expected to cruise to re-election in November, is expected to still have a Republican dominated Legislature when the Regular Session begins in January, and he is expected to again propose further limiting the scope of local governments, by imposing hard limits on property tax increases.


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