DALLAS – In the aftermath of Tuesday night's Belo Debate, U.S. Senate candidate Paul Sadler is trying to explain why he once supported legislation to look at a state personal income tax.
Texas doesn't have an income tax and Texans don't want one. Nine of 10 registered voters in a UT/Texas Tribune poll last year said they oppose an income tax.
While Sadler tries to explain why he wanted to consider one, Cruz isn't backing up his schedule, which he cites as among his reasons for no more than two debates.
Even hinting of a state income tax is radioactive for a candidate. Sadler says there was a reason as a state representative, "Ultimately I put together a tax based consolidation bill and a resolution on an income tax. It became really apparent very quickly that public wouldn't support that."
Under a court order to fix school finance in 1992, Sadler says House leaders ordered all revenue sources be considered. He confirms he sponsored a resolution to consider an income tax.
The issue exploded in the Belo Debate when Cruz claimed Sadler "championed" an income tax. Sadler tried to characterize his intent at the time as responsible legislating.
With his voice rising and facing Cruz he said, "But what you don't do is do your job as a legislator worried that some troll will come along 10 years later or 20 years later and try to run a campaign against it."
"I'm sorry Mr. Sadler that you think I'm a troll," Cruz responded.
Cruz said he doesn't support a state income tax. Sadler claims the income tax won't doom his underdog campaign although he'll keep busy explaining.
Cruz implied he’s so busy he can't do more than two debates, "In the meantime I am on the road in a different city just about every single day between now and election day crisscrossing the entire state of Texas."
Before the GOP primary, Cruz criticized Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst for skipping candidate forums. WFAA asked the Cruz campaign for his schedule to learn how busy he is but didn't get a response.
Cruz, who's never been elected to any office, enjoys the advantage of criticizing the legislative records of Dewhurst and Sadler. But he won't have it anymore if he's elected Senator.