From the Annals of Chutzpah: State Rep. Debbie Riddle Plays the Role of Champion for 'Poor Families of Texas'

by Dan Quinn

State Rep. Debbie Riddle, R-Tomball, made herself sound like a champion for the poor during Thursday’s debate in the Texas House over a measure barring public funds for private school vouchers. (The measure passed overwhelmingly.) She wanted to know why opponents of private school vouchers weren’t considering “the poor families of Texas” who can’t afford private education for their children. Wow. Talk about chutzpah. Just two years ago Rep. Riddle voted with a majority of Texas legislators to slash billions of dollars in funding for the very public schools that educate the children of those “poor families of Texas” (and most other kids in Texas). But here’s what she said Thursday on the House floor:

“I’m really surprised with this amendment because it appears that you oppose for families that do not have a great deal of wealth to have the same choice that families that have wealth can make for their children. Is that correct? I find that hard to believe that you would actually do that to the poor families of Texas. I would think that you would want them to have the same choices for education that the wealthier families in Texas have for their children.”

Not only did Rep. Riddle vote in 2011 for the draconian budget cuts that are strangling public schools in Texas. In 2003 she also crassly defended deep cuts in social services that help low-income families:

“Where did this idea come from that everybody deserves free education, free medical care, free whatever? It comes from Moscow, from Russia. It comes straight out of the pit of hell. And it’s cleverly disguised as having a tender heart. It’s not a tender heart. It’s ripping the heart out of this country.”

That’s the real Debbie Riddle — the one who thinks public education is communism.