You are here

Lone Star Project Report

Konni Burton Bails Out on Local Control & Embraces Big Government

Konni Burton Bails Out on Local Control & Embraces Big GovernmentIn 2014 video Burton pledged support for local control. Now she argues Austin should call the shots.

Don’t be surprised if you hear Texas Republican State Senator Konni Burton (SD10 – Colleyville) complain about whiplash after the hard 180 she’s pulled on local control.  During her 2014 campaign, Burton passionately pledged support for local control saying Austin should back off and let local officials decide local issues.  On Tuesday, though, Burton reversed course, giving a bear hug to big government and arguing that local officials can’t be trusted and the suits in Austin should call the shots.

We should have seen it coming.  The City of Fort Worth makes up the core of Senate District 10 and has become the epicenter of tension between Austin-based politicians and local community leaders.  Last month, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick stomped into town to bully the local school board.  Patrick had barely caught the plane back to Austin before Attorney General Ken Paxton piled on by issuing a nonbinding “legal opinion” designed to pressure local leaders.  Konni Burton didn’t lift a finger or say a word in defense of her local constituents.  

Now we know why.

Burton embraces big government in op-ed

In a guest column written for Tea Party Republican front group Empower Texas, Konni Burton systematically lays out her belief that local officials are subservient to state officials.  She says, they “receive their responsibilities from” and are “subject to” direction and priorities from Austin.  Slamming local authorities in cities from Fort Worth to Houston, from Big Spring to Sulphur Springs, Burton wrote: “Let me be crystal clear: no such equality exists between the state and its own political subdivisions.” 

Burton more-or-less makes the argument that what Austin says goes. This is a 180 degree turn from what she said on the campaign trail. 

2014 video documents Burton’s betrayal 

Konni Burton’s embrace of big government isn’t just a reversal, it’s a betrayal.  Back during her 2014 campaign for State Senate, Burton appeared on WFAA’s Inside Texas Politics and insisted to highly respected DFW journalist Bud Kennedy that she didn’t want the state imposing their views on the local level.




“You know I am very frustrated with the federal government imposing on the state level, that’s one of my great frustrations. So what I don’t want to do at the state level is impose things at the city level, right.”

- Konni Burton, WFAA, 9/28/2014

Burton’s words back in 2014 can now be seen as classic campaign double-speak.  Rather than see her role as a representative and advocate for communities in Senate District 10, she embraced and promoted top down Big Government Republicanism where ideology is imposed and discipline is enforced by political strong men in Austin.