margarethunthillbridgeDallas voters played a key role in sending Ted Cruz, the Tea Party darling, to the U.S. Senate. And no one would call Republicans Jeb Hensarling and Pete Sessions, who represent the northern half of the city in the U.S House, tax and spend liberals.

So why, when it comes to city politics, does none of that matter?

Last week’s vote to continue work on the Bridge to Our Pockets, given how Dallas residents vote in U.S. and state races, was baffling. No one on the council who voted for the bridge – many of whom regularly rail about waste in city government – seemed the least bit concerned that they were bucking a trend. And, in one regard, they weren’t. It’s as if Dallas voters have two standards: One for city elections and one for everything else. The more I watch it, the less I understand it.

Why do the voters who helped elect Cruz, who is willing to shut down the federal government in the name of what he calls fiscal conservatism, let their council member get away with the budget foolishness that has been the hallmark of city government for the past five years? It’s not like the bridge is the only silly thing that has gone on downtown. Why isn’t it time to call them on this?