Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

Dan Patrick on the Texas Truth-O-Meter

Dan Patrick enjoys his win of the 2014 Republican nod for lieutenant governor in Houston on May 27, 2014 (Associated Press, Patric Schneider).
Dan Patrick enjoys his win of the 2014 Republican nod for lieutenant governor in Houston on May 27, 2014 (Associated Press, Patric Schneider).

State Sen. Dan Patrick of Houston, who trounced incumbent David Dewhurst in this week’s runoff for the Republican lieutenant governor nomination, has a mixed record on the PolitiFact Truth-O-Meter.

Scroll Patrick’s full report card here.

Recent highlights:

* Patrick said the Senate, on Dewhurst’s watch, expanded free health care and in-state college tuition for illegal immigrants. False, we found, noting the legislative measures cited by Patrick either had no effect (on the tuition benefit) or preserved/restored services already offered by taxpayer-funded hospitals.

* Earlier, Patrick called himself the only aspirant for lieutenant governor to oppose in-state tuition for illegal immigrants. Not so, though he was the only candidate to have filed specific proposals to repeal the 2001 law.

* Patrick also said the 2014-15 state budget passed into law in the 2013 legislative session cut funding for border security and to fight criminal gangs. This claim proved Mostly False. Patrick relied on incomplete budget figures. In contrast, budgeted border security funding in 2014-15 exceeded the same portions of the 2012-13 budget by about one third, while budgeted 2014-15 spending on battling gangs wasn’t finally calculated when he piped up. We concluded Patrick could have pinned down total border security funding before he spoke.

* Dewhurst charged Patrick with advocating higher sales and gas taxes. That’s Mostly True; Patrick spoke publicly once in favor of regular gas tax increases, in a 2009 talk, making it clear related revenue should pay for transportation projects. Similarly, he had previously made consistent calls for higher sales taxes--almost always linked to reductions in property taxes, a detail Dewhurst’s claim didn’t cover.Then again, Patrick has not made increasing either tax a theme of his current campaign.

Patrick faces state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, the Democratic nominee, in November. See her Truth-O-Meter record here.

What else do you hear?