Top San Angelo Democrat is Mad as HellOpinion
OPINION — We reported he was posing as a pastor, but he said that’s not entirely true. “I am on the board of Pastors for Texas Children,” insisted David Currie, who is also the Chair of the Tom Green County Democrats. He wasn’t trying to pull off an incognito appearance at Texas Sen. Charles Perry’s town hall meeting Wednesday night, he insisted.
“[It’s] kind of hard to blindside a guy when you have eaten a meal sitting next to him in the past and walk up to him prior to the meeting yesterday and inform him you are going to ask him to clarify his position on vouchers,” Currie stated in an email to LIVE! after we published a first-hand account about the Chair of the Tom Green County Democratic Party identifying himself only as a pastor, not a local politico, when he popped a rambling question to Perry about school choice, vouchers, and raising the franchise tax.
“I wear many hats in this community and around the state and nation even,” Currie insisted.
Republican Party Chairman Jeff Betty said Currie was attempting to color his appearance at the Republican senator’s town hall as speaking as a pastor or for a group of pastors, while pushing a political narrative of the Left. That is, vouchers and school choice are bad, higher taxes on the wealthy business owners are good. These are issues the Democratic Party has adopted.
“He was misdirecting people about the reasons for his statements,” Betty said.
Currie said his question, and self-introduction as a head of a group of pastors, were legitimate.
“I wear lots of hats, I don't teach Sunday school as chair of Dem Party or go for interviews on TV for the Adult Literacy Council and say I'm Dem Chair. I fought David Barton for 22 years at Texas Baptists Committed and still fight his stupid ideas as board member of Interfaith Alliance. My opposition to him has nothing to do with my being Dem Chair and everything to do with me being a real Baptist,” he stated in an email.
David Barton is a Texas-based, self-described student of the U.S. Constitution who holds strict constructionist views on the document. He spoke at an event put on by the Concho Valley Republican Women last month. Before the event, Currie wrote an op-ed in the local paper condemning Barton as “dangerous.”
But what was up Currie’s crawl Thursday night wasn’t Barton, but what Currie perceives as Perry’s slight-of-hand on the school voucher issue. “Is he for them or against them,” Currie wanted to know for his pastors.
Betty said Currie’s question began with vouchers but quickly meandering into a question about funding public schools with higher franchise taxes.
Perry was adamantly against increasing franchise taxes on businesses. It will kill the Texas economic miracle, he said. Companies are fleeing high tax states like California to resettle in Texas because the business climate is nurtured by low franchise taxes, Perry argued.
Perry also said he opposes vouchers within the generally rural areas like his district.
Betty thinks Currie should identify himself for who he is, the head of the Democrats in Tom Green County with an agenda, when asking questions at political events like Senator Perry’s town hall.
Currie disagrees. “A lot of what I do has nothing to do with Democrats, but with my values,” he said.
Currie also said, “Jeff Betty just has no integrity or courage. Ask him on the record if he supports vouchers?”
As for LIVE!, Currie said we should have called him to clarify before reporting he was speaking as a pastor, not as the head of an organization of pastors.
For that, “don't let the facts mess with your lack of journalist ethics,” he said.
Maybe Currie could have been more clear about who he was when asking questions. All this time, we all really thought he was just a homebuilder.