Best People's Lobbyist

Tom 'Smitty' Smith

If there's a public-spirited proposal with hope of life at the Lege, chances are Tom Smith - known universally as "Smitty" - has a hand in it. He's probably best known for his work on environmental legislation - if there is significant improvement in the state's air over the next few years, Smitty's teeth-grinding work with the regulatory committees on Senate Bill 5 had much to do with it. But he also works on campaign finance reform, consumer action, public safety - anything that Texas Public Citizen and its national office devote their attention to. Smitty is painfully familiar with the backward state of Texas politics - "I'm tired of losing," he says, as he returns for one more meeting, one more huddle, one more floor fight - but he's indefatigable on public policy, and a refreshing straw hat in a lobby full of $400 suits with $50 consciences. All during the interims, and again in two years, he'll still be there - and we'll need him.

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