Monday, May 1, 2017

#TXLEGE: House leadership attempting late session attack against Sid Miller

“Thus let all Your enemies perish, O Lord!
But let those who love Him be like the sun
When it comes out in full strength.”
So the land had rest for forty years.
Judges 5:31

Update: It gets better, check out Sections 5 and 6 of the bill:
SECTION 5. (a) The term of office of the commissioner of agriculture expires on the effective date of this Act.

(b) As soon as practicable on or after the effective date of this Act, the governor shall appoint a person to the office of commissioner of agriculture in the manner provided by Section 11.004, Agriculture Code, as amended by this Act.

SECTION 6. This Act takes effect September 1, 2017.

We've always enjoyed the ability of Ag. Commissioner Sid Miller to use social media to drive the left INSANE.  It's certainly fun, and Miller has adeptly used the platform to gain a national following.  But he's also been accused of abusing his office in the past.

We've never investigated the accusations against Miller (though we're skeptical).  We've had off the record conversations with members of leadership about Miller, and were struck by the degree of their unhinged hatred towards him.  Thus, we were confident they would run a candidate against Miller in the next election, and that there would be plenty of time to litigate the accusations then.

With that longwinded introduction out of the way, check out this bill that's up in House State Affairs this Wednesday:
HB 3646       Larson                  
Relating to the appointment of the commissioner of agriculture.
Here's the most important section of the bill:

Sec. 11.004.  APPOINTMENT [ELECTION] AND TERM OF COMMISSIONER.  (a)  The governor shall appoint the commissioner with the advice and consent of the senate [is elected for a term of four years].

In other words, in their hatred of Sid Miller, House leadership wants to convert the position of Ag. Commissioner to an appointed position.

[Note: That Miller was a vocal Straus supporter six years ago tells you everything you need to know about the degree to which loyalty with Team Straus is a one-way street; see here as well (or here).]

Eliminating the Agriculture department entirely might be a discussion worth having, but for as long as it continues to exist, there's no reason to remove the commissioner as an elected position.  If anything, transferring appointment authority to the Governor can only strengthen the influence of the Austin lobby over the department.  Elections are a highly imperfect mechanism, but they at least offer a vehicle for public accountability.

Bottom Line: This bill won't pass, but good grief is it revealing.

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