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State of Texas
Americans for Prosperity-Texas
News Release
Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Santa announces legislative “Naughty and Nice” list based on grades
from AFP-Texas’ 2009 Legislative Report Card

18 Legislators from the Houston area earn an “A” 

AUSTIN – Americans for Prosperity-Texas released its 2009 Legislative Report Card to taxpayers on Monday with the help of Santa Claus, who read the names of legislators who made the “Nice” list by earning an A for the 81st Texas Legislative Session and those who made the “Naughty” list by earning a D or F.

“A number of legislators earned good grades this year. As result of their work, Texas is doing relatively well,” said AFP State Director Peggy Venable. “Texas remains the beacon of fiscal sanity in this country because of the leadership of these legislators. Our legislative leaders –Governor Rick Perry, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, and Speaker Joe Straus, along with all of those legislators who earned high marks – deserve recognition for steering Texas in the right direction.”

Legislators from the Houston area who earned an “A” include Sen. Mike Jackson (R-Dist. 11), Sen. Dan Patrick (R-Dist. 7), Sen. Tommy Williams (R-Dist. 4), Rep. Dennis Bonnen (R-Dist. 25), Rep. Bill Callegari (R-Dist. 132), Rep. Joe Crabb (R-Dist. 127), Rep. Brandon Creighton (R-Dist. 16), Rep. John Davis (R-Dist. 129), Rep. Rob Eissler (R-Dist. 15), Rep. Allen Fletcher (R-Dist. 130), Rep. Charlie Howard (R-Dist. 26), Rep. Ken Legler (R-Dist. 144), Rep. John Otto (R-Dist. 18), Rep. Debbie Riddle (R-Dist. 150), Rep. Wayne Smith (R-Dist. 128), Rep. Larry Taylor (R-Dist. 24), Rep. Randy Weber (R-Dist. 29), and Rep. John Zerwas (R-Dist. 28).

“Taxpayers have one thing on their Christmas list – less government and more liberty – and Santa made his list accordingly,” said Venable.

Grades for AFP’s Report Card were determined on a numerical basis based by the legislators’ votes on key issues which relate to AFP’s mission statement and AFP-Texas’ “Defending the American Dream Agenda” (see it at AFP tallied votes on issues ranging from fiscal responsibility and limiting government growth, to appraisal reform.

Santa announced today that four State Senators and 44 State Representatives earned a coveted spot on the “Nice” list, including six House members who earned A+ grades. Those on the ill-fated “Naughty” list include 17 State Senators (three D’s and 14 F’s) and 27 State Representatives (22 D’s and five F’s).   The complete listing of numerical grades and the votes considered are available on the AFP-Texas website. 

“Legislators who rated well used fiscal restraint in spending, and that will serve Texans well in the future as Congress is cramming more unfunded mandates to the states,” Venable said. “Even Santa has tightened his belt in these tough economic times, so we commend Texas legislators who have done the same.”

“What better time than the holidays to let citizens know which legislators protected their constituents’ pocketbook and liberty in the 2009 legislative session,” Venable continued, “and which legislators were generous with other people’s money and used it to grow government.”

Legislators who received A’s on the AFP-Texas report card voted in a manner which promoted individual liberty, lower taxes and fewer onerous regulations.

“It is no coincidence that we are releasing our state legislative report card list this week, as Congress is poised to pass one of the most expensive and expansive pieces of legislation in my lifetime,” Venable said. “We are bankrupting our children and grandchildren.”

“Texas is doing well as the No. 1 state in the country for business relocation, for having more Fortune 500 companies than any other state, and thanks to sound fiscal and regulator policies, Texas has created more jobs than all other states in the country combined,” said Venable.

AFP is encouraging legislators on the “Naughty” list to adopt the principles of AFP’s Defending the American Dream Agenda if they want to continue to see Texas in the No. 1 spot in the nation.   They are being encouraged to read the AFP-Texas booklet “Keeping Texas Competitive, Prosperity in the Lone Star State.” 

“Government doesn't provide prosperity – businesses do,” said AFP-Texas Advisory Board chairman Ben Streusand from Houston. 

“As Congress has put us over $12 trillion dollars in debt, it is appropriate to recognize that Texas has a strong economy as result of those in leadership who have followed the right course,” Streusand added.  

To see the full report card, including the legislators who made the “Naughty” list, visit

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