Tony Tinderholt Spent Six Years Working Against The People Of Arlington.
Tony Tinderholt has been pushing an extremist agenda since the first day he was elected. He was elected because of gerrymandering, and he has worked against the people of Arlington the entire time. Whether you’re a woman, a person of color, a parent, or part of the LGBTQ community, Representative Tinderholt has spent his time in office working to make your life in Texas worse.
Since Tony Tinderholt’s first day in office, he has worked feverishly to take away women’s rights.
Tinderholt has been married five times, has children with three different women, and was once charged with domestic assault. Yet, he has spent his entire legislative career working to hurt women and strip them of their Constitutional rights.
One: In 2015, Tinderholt was the co-author of the bill that required doctors to notify the parents of any girl under the age of 17 seeking abortion, and she must receive parental consent in order to obtain one. 31% of teenage pregnancies end in abortion and 90% of pregnant teens do get their parents involved. However, the teenagers who don’t let their parents know, almost always have a good reason not to.
- 22% of teens who did not tell a parent about their abortion decision feared that they would be kicked out of the house if they told their parents.
- More than 8% feared that they would be physically abused because their parents had beaten them before.
- Of those who did not tell a parent, 12% did not live with either parent.
- 14% had parents who abused drugs or alcohol.
This Texas law puts the safety of pregnant teens at risk and does nothing to benefit families or the embryo.
Two: In 2017, Representative Tinderholt voted against expanding healthcare to cover postpartum depression.
When he tries to present himself as pro-life and pro-family, his voting record tells us that isn’t true. 1 in 7 women may experience postpartum depression in the year after giving birth.
Three: Tinderholt introduced a bill in 2017 to sentence women who received an abortion to death.
Yep, you heard that right. Tinderholt wanted to kill women for making decisions about their bodies. This man who has been married five times has a lot of gall trying to control women’s bodies. Luckily, this bill never came to fruition.
Tony Tinderholt is one of those “liberty and freedom” Republicans, meaning he wants to take away the liberty and freedom of women and people of color.
Four: In 2017, Tinderholt co-authored a bill that raised the costs of non-emergency abortions. That way, lower-income women would be forced to have children that they can’t afford.
Five: Tinderholt co-authored the Preborn Nondiscrimination Act. This bill prohibited women from seeking abortions if their fetus was deformed or had severe fetal disease.
Six: He voted for the Choose Life Grant Fund. Suppose you’re unfamiliar with this waste of taxpayer dollars. In that case, it’s those Christian Pregnancy Centers that offer free pregnancy tests to low-income women, so they can talk them out of abortions by telling them they’re going to hell.
What’s his deal, anyway?
Seven: Tony Tinderholt wants to take away women’s Constitutional rights because of his own personal tragedies.
He’s the second House Representative this year, who I became aware of, that his push behind ending safe abortions was due to his struggles with infertility. Shelby Slawson is the first.
Tinderholt and his latest wife have had eight miscarriages, which is sad. Many women know the pain of a miscarriage and can relate to the agony that the Tinderholts have suffered.
That being said, Tony Tinderholt has taken his heartbreak from his latest wife’s miscarriages and directed at inflicting pain on Texas Women.
Some may understand Shelby Slawson’s and Tony Tinderholt’s positions of, “I can’t have a baby, so Texas women shouldn’t be able to have abortions.” But, unfortunately, it’s based on grief and the inability to compartmentalize their emotional trauma away from their jobs appropriately.
However, as sad as it might be, some may argue that punishing Texas women for emotional trauma in one’s own life is immoral.
Eight: This year, Tinderholt was a co-author of the bill that would completely prohibit abortion if Roe v. Wade is overturned at the Supreme Court.
Don’t be confused; Tony Tinderholt is NOT pro-life or pro-children.
Nine: Tinderholt voted in favor of prohibiting municipalities from banning fracking in their towns and counties.
Studies have shown living near fracking wells increases the risk of premature births, high-risk pregnancies, asthma, migraines, fatigue, nasal and sinus symptoms, skin disorders, and heart failure.
Surely, a pro-life person would be against killing people with the chemicals from fracking, but Tony Tinderholt isn’t.
Ten: In 2015, Tinderholt voted for open carry, and this year, he co-sponsored constitutional carry. While most of us understand that more guns equal more gun crime, let’s talk about what the experts say.
In 2017 the Bureau of Economic Research published a study, which they found that states with “right-to-carry” laws have a higher violent crime rate. In addition, in 2013, the National Institute of Health published a 30-year study that showed a correlation between gun ownership and violent crime, especially homicide. Similarly, in 2015 a study from Boston’s Children’s Hospital and the Harvard School of Public Health found that states with the highest levels of gun ownership also had the highest rates of firearm-related assaults and homicides.
Regardless of Texas Republicans’ love for guns, the mentality of “guns, guns, guns for everyone” increases violent crime and homicides in the State of Texas. A person who was truly pro-life wouldn’t want more Texans to die.
Tony Tinderholt is pro-birth, not pro-life.
Eleven: In 2017, Tinderholt co-sponsored and voted to authorize faith-based child welfare organizations refused to contract with other organizations that don’t share their religious beliefs. What was this bill really about? It discriminated against LGBTQ people seeking to be foster or adoptive parents and against people who may have different religious views.
Now, here it is in 2021, and we’ve seen a huge crisis with CPS and children in foster care. Hundreds of children have been sleeping in CPS offices this year. A problem made worse by previous legislation and a problem Republicans did nothing about this year. Pro-life means you care about the kids after they’re born.
Twelve: In 2016, in Texas City, a teenager committed suicide after being cyberbullied. Studies have shown that teenagers who are cyberbullied are at an increased risk for suicide. That’s why in 2019, the Texas Legislature passed a bill that classified cyberbullying as a crime. But, of course, being the pro-lifer that he is, Representative Tinderholt voted against it. Because nothing says pro-life life voting against suicide intervention.
Thirteen: Self-harm is the leading cause of death for new mothers within a year of giving birth. Despite that, in 2017, Tony Tinderholt voted against expanding healthcare to cover post-partum depression.
What about the kids?
Fourteen: In 2019, Tony Tinderholt voted against requiring children under the age of two to be seated in a rear-facing car seat.
Fifteen: This year, Tinderholt voted against establishing the State Utilities Reliability Fund. This bill enhances the reliability of water, electricity, natural gas, and broadband utilities in this State.
What does that have to do with kids?
During Texas’ winter freeze of February 2021, over 700 Texans died, including 11-year old Christian Pavon, who died of carbon monoxide poisoning after his family went two days without power in below-freezing temperatures. In addition, Olivia Loan, 11, Edison Loan, 8, and Colette Loan, 5 all died along with their 75-year old grandmother in a fire they set in their home to keep warm while their power was out in February.
When the power grid failed, hundreds of Texans lost their lives, including many children. Yet, Tony Tinderholt voted against making sure it never happened again.
It isn’t just children that Tony Tinderholt voted against; it’s also senior citizens.
Sixteen: The Texas Legislature reduced barriers to SNAP this year, explicitly reducing food insecurity among senior citizens. Before the pandemic, 11% of senior citizens in Texas experienced hunger. This bill reduced barriers and allowed some of our most vulnerable citizens access to food. Unfortunately, if you were wondering how Tony Tinderholt voted for this bill, he voted against it.
Like the rest of the GOP in the Lone Star State, Representative Tinderholt appears to be working for and voting on an agenda of hate.
Seventeen: In 2017, Tony Tinderholt voted to prohibit Sanctuary Cities in Texas. Countless studies have shown that Sanctuary Cities have lower crime rates, lower unemployment, lower poverty rates, and stronger economies. Over the last five years, we’ve all heard experts and human rights groups talk about these studies and how Sanctuary Cities keep crime low and economic conditions high, but Republicans still vote and work against them.
Republicans typically say it’s because they’re against undocumented immigrants.
Both Democrats and Republicans agree that America needs immigration reform. However, by taking the stance against Sanctuary Cities, Republicans hurt each town by forcing higher crime rates and weakening its economy.
Eighteen: Texas has been marching to the beat of the culture wars for several years now. That’s why in 2019, Republicans passed a bill that prohibited the State from doing business with any contractors which boycott Israel. Tinderholt voted in favor of this bill.
Representative Tinderholt co-sponsored the 1836 Project.
Nineteen: If you haven’t heard much about the 1836 Project, think of it like Trump’s racist 1776 Project, except for Texas. Yeah, Tinderholt co-sponsored that. Just like Trump’s racist bill, which was tossed out the moment he was out of office, Texas’ 1836 Project seeks to warp and whitewash the true history of Texas.
Is the 1836 Project racist? It will ignore the role of slavery and campaigns of anti-Mexican violence and would fail to educate a generation of students growing up in a state undergoing huge demographic shifts. Is that racist? I think so.
Twenty: Tinderholt was also a co-sponsor of the anti-CRT bill. You know, the bill which tells teachers that they must teach opposing views to the Holocaust. Living Blue in Texas has extensively covered the anti-CRT issue this year from the school board’s perspective. What’s more clear than anything else in this fight is that Republicans are using the guise of “CRT” to push a white supremacist agenda in Texas public schools.
In a year full of racist bills that came out of the Texas Legislature, the anti-CRT bill is likely the most racist of them all.
Twenty-One: This year, Representative Tinderholt co-sponsored a bill that punishes cities if they invest money in their community and mental health instead of policing. There have been more studies done about the relation of policing to crime than we all can county. Nevertheless, there are several facts which even the most Conservative officials can’t deny. First, police do not keep all communities safe. Second, community programs have proven to work in helping reduce crime rates. Suppose a city in Texas wants to improve crime while simultaneously improving police-community relationships. In that case, they will now be penalized, thanks to Tony Tinderholt and the GOP in the Legislature.
It is all about the culture wars.
Twenty-Two: That’s why in 2019, he voted to make protesting a pipeline a felony, punishable up to 10-years. That’s right. In the state of Texas, you’re perfectly free to use your First Amendment rights to protest unless it’s a protest against a pipeline.
Twenty-Three: If you’re blocking an ambulance from getting into a hospital. I have to point out, once again, that was a bill Republicans passed based on fake news. Tony Tinderholt co-sponsored a bill based on fake news by far-right media, which makes it a felony to block a hospital driveway while protesting. So, if you were wondering if Representative Tinderholt knew how to decipher lies on OAN and reality… There’s your answer.
Twenty-Four: Recently, I spoke with Justin Calhoun, who’s a candidate for House District 73. He said that one of the reasons he was running for the State House was because his mom died from an overdose. Calhoun mentioned how the State Legislature needs to do more about the opioid crisis in Texas. Then, he said, there were laws passed after she died that would have helped her.
One of those laws he spoke about was the 2019 bill that established services for people with substance abuse, specifically opioids. Tony Tinderholt voted against that bill.
The culture war for Representative Tony Tinderholt trickles down to children, as well.
Twenty-Five: As many as 9 million Texans still don’t have access to broadband internet. This year, the Texas Legislature passed a bill prohibiting a state education agency from requiring a fee from disadvantaged students to establish broadband internet at the school. Schools were trying to charge disadvantaged students for access to broadband internet. The bill passed, no thanks to Tinderholt, who voted against it.
Twenty-Six: This year, the Texas Legislature launched a full-on assault against transgender children. While this disturbing fight in Austin is synonymous with Bryan Slaton, who spent the entire year obsessed with what children, Tony Tinderholt had a part in it, too. The Representative from Arlington was a co-sponsor of the bill that attacked the LGBTQ youth in Texas.
On top of all of that, Tony Tinderholt was a key member in stripping voting rights away from Texans.
Twenty-Seven: Representative Tinderholt was a co-sponsor of a bill that would stop houseless Texans from being able to vote. The law states that a person must have a home address and not a PO Box to vote. This is a problem for people who don’t have a home or transients that move often. The intention is to stop as many low-income people from voting as possible.
Twenty-Eight: This year, the Legislature passed a bill that would withhold funds from county election officials if they fail to do a monthly purge of their voting rolls. Texas has repeatedly been in trouble for purging voters off of voting rolls. They purge common-sounding names, often Hispanic, from the voter rolls saying that person was dead or moved when neither happened. Paul Bettencourt, the king of voter roll purges, wrote this bill and was fired from Harris County years ago for purging the Hispanic names off of the role. Unsurprisingly, Tinderholt voted in favor of this.
Twenty-Nine: Tony Tinderholt voted to limit voting hours by banning 24-hour voting. 24-hour voting was used in Harris County last year and was credited for increasing turnout, especially among people of color.
Hasn’t Arlington had enough of a representative who works against their interests instead of for what’s best for the community?
Arlington is a diverse and inclusive city, everything that Tony Tinderholt has done since in office has hurt people in Arlington. Whether they are women, people of color, parents, or part of the LGBTQ community, Representative Tinderholt hasn’t had their best interests at heart while in Austin. It’s time for him to go, and it’s time to elect a representative who will work to make the lives of their constituents better, not worse.
The primary election is five months away, and the general election won’t happen for 53 more weeks. Make sure to keep an eye on Living Blue in Texas’ 2022 Election Hub for updates about the election. Currently, Dennis Sherrard is a Democrat running to replace Tinderholt. Like all of us, Sherrard is tired of elected officials like Tinderholt working against us instead of for us. Make sure to check him out.
Never forget how important voting is. Vote in every single election. To take our state back from these far-right extremists, we all have to show up at the polls.
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