Setting the Record Straight: Lance Gooden did not support the Privacy Act and criticized those that did
Races across Texas are heating up as Texas’ Primary Runoff Election quickly approaches on May 22. One of the most high profile runoff races is the Congressional District 5 race to replace Congressman Jeb Hensarling.
The runoff pits small-business owner and long-time conservative activist Bunni Pounds against moderate Texas House member Lance Gooden (67% on Faith and Family Scorecard).
At a recent candidate debate hosted in Canton, Gooden was asked whether he supported the Privacy Act – legislation that would protect Texas’ women and girls from “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” (SOGI) legislation pushed by LGBT advocates that have been imposed at the local level across Texas forcing private business, government buildings, and public schools to open up girls’ showers, changing rooms, and bathrooms to men.
His dishonest response was unfortunately typical of a “campaign conservative” – someone that tells voters they are conservative when running for office after having actively opposed important conservative reforms while in Austin. It’s a common ailment of Speaker Straus allied Texas House members, like Rep. Gooden.
Watch the video below:
Rep. Gooden: I was actually a supporter of legislation that failed in the Senate that would have allowed our public schools to ensure that boys were using the boy’s room and girls were using the girl’s room. Now ironically that really wasn’t really a big issue in this campaign but I’m glad we’re talking about it now. Because it’s important, I think, that our school districts are allowed to police that and make sure that we have proper protocols in place. So yes I did support legislation to ensure that our women and girls were protected. Unfortunately, it died in the Senate the so that was a disappointment.
Voters in CD 5 deserve to know the truth. Here are the facts about Rep. Gooden’s record on the Privacy Act in the most recent 2017 Texas Legislative Session:
Lance Gooden called the effort to protect privacy a “huge waste of time” and criticized the Texas Senate for considering the issue. Contrary to his comments in the debate of being “glad” to talk about the issue, Rep. Gooden publicly criticized the Texas Senate for its focus on the privacy issue and called the special session called by Gov. Abbott, which included the privacy issue (and other conservative and pro-life issues), a “waste of time.” It sure doesn’t seem Gooden was “glad” to talk about this issue when he actually had the opportunity to do something about it.
Lance Gooden did not support the Privacy Act. Rep. Gooden refused to sign on as a coauthor to any version of the Privacy Act supported by our pro-family coalition in the Texas House (a supermajority of Republicans in the Texas House signed on). After the legislation, authored by Rep. Ron Simmons (HB 2899), was repeatedly blocked and ultimately killed in the House during the regular session by Speaker Straus and Chairman Byron Cook, Governor Greg Abbott called a special session with a specific call to pass privacy legislation. Every Republican in the Texas House, including Gooden, was asked to sign on to the bill by our legislative team, supporters of Texas Values Action from their own districts, and by the Governor. Even with a second chance in the special session, Rep. Gooden did not sign on to the Privacy Act and instead sided with liberal Democrats and Speaker Straus over Gov. Abbott. The bill by Rep. Simmons (HB 46) was ultimately killed (again) by the Texas House leaders in the special session.
The Texas Senate passed the Texas Privacy Act – TWICE! Under the strong leadership of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, the Texas Senate passed the strongest version of the Texas Privacy Act two times – once in the regular session (SB 6 authored by Sen. Kolkhorst) and again in the special session (SB 3 authored by Sen. Kolkhorst). Gooden’s insinuation that the Texas Senate is to blame for the failure to protect our women and girls is purposefully deceitful. His reference to legislation he supported is to a poorly worded amendment offered by Rep. Chris Paddie, another Speaker Straus ally, which did not sufficiently address the privacy issue or adequately protect the privacy of Texas schoolchildren. Our pro-family coalition and Lt. Gov. Patrick rightly rejected this attempt to fool Texans.
Pro-family conservatives in this district have already made their voice heard on the need to protect privacy as Proposition 6 (privacy protection) passed overwhelmingly on the March 6 Republican Primary ballot. In fact, on average, the seven counties that are at least partially included in the district (Anderson, Cherokee, Dallas, Henderson, Kaufman, Van Zandt, Wood) passed Proposition 6 at 93%, even higher than the statewide total of 90%.
With the Trump Administration admirably trying to undo much of the LGBT agenda pushed by the Obama Administration, Texans in CD 5 deserve a representative in D.C. that will join in the fight to protect privacy and stand up for our conservative values.
Lance Gooden did make one true statement in the debate – protecting privacy is an important issue. But his record in Austin and deceptions while campaigning should give voters little reason to trust him to do the right thing on Capitol Hill.