of being supported by third-party groups. In a new attack ad, the Congressional Leadership Fund attacks Gallego for his backing from “radical environmentalists” and their “job killing agenda.”
Environmental groups like the League of Conservation Voters, which funded an ad blitz supporting Gallego during his runoff against Ciro Rodriguez in the Democratic Primary, and the Sierra Club have rallied hard for Gallego, hoping to flip the district Francisco “Quico” Canseco won in the 2010 Tea Party wave. The LCV has targeted Canseco as one of the “Flat Earth Five” climate-change deniers it hopes to unseat in next week's election.
The Sierra Club points to Canseco's support from big oil and gas, and to a series of “toxic votes” Canseco has taken since entering office (you can view that list here and judge for yourself). According to OpenSecrets.org, Canseco has taken over $250,000 from oil and gas interests since 2010.
The Congressional Leadership Fund, which has vowed to flood the district with more than $1 million to help Canseco, is equally weighted with oil and gas interests. Chevron dumped $2.5 million into the PAC this year, while Koch Industries and San Antonio's Valero each donated $5,000.
In its new attack ad, the CLF claims, “Pete Gallego already shot down tax cuts, voting for higher taxes and fees,” with small print at the bottom pointing to a number of bills Gallego voted on as a Texas state rep. One is SB 1, the Texas Senate budget passed by the GOP-controlled Lege in 2011 which, though it cut deep from public education and other social programs, was less severe than the proposed House budget. Another bill CLF lists is an Internet Sales Tax bill authored by a Republican and passed overwhelmingly in 2011 attempting to force Amazon and other online retailers to collect taxes on sales made to Texans.
As further evidence of Gallego voting for “higher taxes and fees,” the CLF also lists a bill that Gallego, as well as many other Republicans, supported in 2009 that required a motor vehicle sales tax for vehicles transferred as gifts, along with another 2001 bill that called for an extra $1 fee for motor vehicle registration to support state trauma centers. -- Michael Barajas