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September 14, 2004

Flip-Flop Baxter

By Karl-Thomas Musselman

Since Republicans love to talk about flip-flopping, it makes it even more fun to talk about flip-flopping Republicans.

Todd Baxter, Republican State Representative for District 48 here in Travis County, is busy telling anyone who will listen that he is the champion of West Austin, defending it from the threat of toll roads.

Baxter’s website states the following:

As a member of the Capitol Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO), I voted against the Central Texas toll road plan that converts some of our existing roads to toll road systems.

I believe that the primary purpose of toll-roads should be congestion reduction, not revenue generation. The CAMPO plan is a patchwork quilt of toll-roads that will make our daily commutes either more expensive or more time-consuming.

I propose that we abandon the CAMPO toll road plan, and allow for meaningful public input to create a new plan that our community supports.

This is misleading. As a member of the State Legislature, Todd Baxter was a supporter of toll road legislation. House Bill 3588 was the legislation which enabled CAMPO to convert existing roads into toll roads, and Baxter voted in favor of this bill. The vote was taken on May 10, 2003. It was Registered Vote #608, which can be viewed on Page 2963 of the Journal of the 78th Legislature.

Todd Baxter's opponent is Democrat Kelly White. Last week I heard some chatter about an independent poll, separate from either campaign, that had White up 10 points on Baxter. I haven't heard it confirmed, but if true, people should watch out in Travis County because it means the Democratic campaigns and the Coordinated Campaign are having a huge effect beyond what we expected.

In August alone, about 10,000 new voter registration cards flowed onto the rolls, putting us literally halfway to the 20,000 goal set for the fall, and that was without the major coordinated Voter Registration drive having even started around UT and Central City. (The University Democrats have now registered upwards of 1200 voters alone since August 25.)

Posted by Karl-Thomas Musselman at September 14, 2004 04:19 PM | TrackBack


Todd Baxter is the kind of politician who had two or three positions on each issue. This is no surprise. In fact, I'd be willing to bet he supported putting toll roads on the agenda for CAMPO just so that he could look good by voting against them (the fact that the vote passed, and Austin will now have toll roads, probably isn't a matter that concerns him all that much).

Posted by: Anaxagoras at September 14, 2004 04:47 PM

Didn't he win by fudging his position on vouchers, or something like that?

It's all a blur now, those long gone, heady college days of yore.

Maybe Byron or Karl will remember this, but I seem to remember him being "for and against" several things when he was campaigning against Ann Kitchen.

Flippity-flop, floppity. Floop.

Posted by: Jim D at September 14, 2004 11:24 PM

Yes, Baxter's history is filled with flip-flopping when he actually chooses to even take a stand. I know some people that called him Mr Abstain from his days on the Travis Co Commissioners Court. When he bothered to show up, he seemingly abstained more often than taking a position.

Posted by: Craig at September 15, 2004 02:01 PM
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