Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Why do we "celebrate" new politicians in the first place?!?

"A man’s pride will bring him low,
But the humble in spirit will retain honor."
Proverbs 29:23

Trib yesterday:
Appointees of Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov Dan Patrick raised a record-setting $5.3 million for the 2019 inaugural festivities, two days’ worth of VIP events that included a ball with country crooner George Strait and a candlelight dinner with the state’s top elected officials.

They reported spending every dollar of it. But don’t ask for any receipts.

The Texas Tribune tried this summer to obtain expense records from multiple state agencies as well as the inaugural committee, a group of private donors appointed by Abbott and Patrick. They claim no such records exist.

“We have conducted a thorough search,” the group’s former executive director, Kim Snyder, who serves as Abbott’s campaign director, said in an email last month. “The 2019 Texas Inaugural Committee has no responsive records.”

The Tribune filed a lawsuit last month under open records laws, seeking to discover what happened to the $5.3 million raised through ticket sales and donations from top lobbying firms, corporations and banks, wealthy businesspeople and trade groups. No taxpayer dollars were expended on the inaugural celebrations, according to the governor’s office.

Bill Aleshire, the attorney representing the Tribune, said the expenditure of money by governmental entities — whether they get it from taxpayers or deep-pocketed contributors — is one of the “core pieces of information the public is entitled to see.”

“The committee is a governmental body by law and is required to keep records,” Aleshire said. “They are not allowed to keep secret the expenditures by this public entity any more than any other public entity can keep that secret.”
The remainder of the article attempts to answer the question posed above. In this specific instance, there may or may not be something wrong. At a minimum, Abbott's stonewalling looks bad.

But this isn't really about Greg Abbott.  Or the Trib.  Or 2019.

2015 was the first time this author attended any Governor's inauguration.  There were aspects that day we enjoyed.  Nevertheless, something felt off.

By 2019, the whole thing was a cult of personality.

Obviously, an oath of office is part of the job description for executive branch officials.  That's fine.  Likewise, there's nothing wrong with a speech outlining priorities.

On what planet, however, does the governor deserve a parade?!?

This is supposed to be a republic.

Bottom Line: Whether or not anything untoward happened in this specific instance, that such questions are relevant illustrates our misplaced lionization of politicians.

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