Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst has sent Republican Texas lawmakers on Capitol Hill a letter, asking them to look into whether the National Security Administration’s surveillance program tapped Texas gun show phones, tracked gun purchases or attendance.
Professor Jim Henson heads up the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas at Austin and said Dewhurst’s request serves the purpose of wanting to be viewed as a staunch conservative.
"If you look at the crossroads of Republican anxieties about privacy and spying and an overreaching federal government, you know this is a pretty good strategy for the lieutenant governor, whether it has a basis in reality or not," Henson said.
A recent poll put out by the University of Texas at Austin shows 81 percent of Texans see the NSA as a threat to their privacy. Henson said the Dewhurst letter takes two areas of concern and stretches them and that somewhat works in a primary election where he is being accused of not being conservative enough.
"But there is kind of a, 'Methinks the lady doth protest too much' problem here," Henson said, "in that there is the sense that when you try too hard you call attention to the problem you’re trying to remedy."
Dewhurst will face Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples, state Sen. Dan Patrick of Houston and Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson in the Republican primary in March.