Monday, December 16, 2019

#TXLEGE: Impeach George P. Bush (It's Time)

"Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need."
Ephesians 4:28

Yeah, this is bad:
Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush failed to disclose his ties to at least 11 companies, including a Cayman Islands-based oil and gas firm that did business with a state fund he helps oversee, records obtained by The Texas Tribune show.

Arabella Exploration, which declared bankruptcy in 2017, put Bush on its board in January 2014, paid him $43,000 for his service and granted him stock options that were valued at over $100,000, regulatory filings show. The next year, a few months into his new job as land commissioner — and about a year after he left the Arabella board — the School Land Board, which Bush chairs, approved a lease agreement with Arabella for oil and gas exploration in West Texas, records show.

State politicians must provide details of their personal finances, including business dealings and corporate board service, every year to the Texas Ethics Commissions so voters can judge whether their elected leaders have any conflicts of interest.

Nowhere did Bush’s 2015 state disclosure mention Arabella, however. Nor did he list 10 other companies in which he has a stake on more recent disclosure forms. The other companies on the list include investments held or owned by St. Augustine Partners, LLC, some of them focused on the oil and gas business.
Wow.  Oil leases for a company in whom you hold stock options.  Wonder what the vesting schedule was there.

It's just so...blatant.

The full Tribune article is wild, we recommend reading the whole thing here.

(We'll wait)


Obviously, this isn't the first scandal to consume Texas' undistinguished land commissioner.

Among others:

At this point, however, the biggest takeaway ought to be that Texas' undistinguished land commissioner regularly finds himself enmeshed in significant scandals.

This isn't the first time this has happened, and it probably won't be the last.


[T]he George P. problem isn't going away.

There is, however, a solution (even if he gets a second term): Impeachment.

According to Article 15 of the Texas Constitution, the power of impeachment lies with the legislature. The house has the authority to impeach statewide officers for pretty much any reason they want [Note: This power was abused a few years back]. If a simple majority in the house votes to impeach, it goes to trial in the Senate. If two-thirds of the Senators vote to convict, the office-holder is removed.

Obviously, this would be a drastic step. But it might be a necessary one.
Fourteen months, and at least three additional scandals, we are.

If not this scandal specifically, something like it was not hard to predict.


Bottom Line: After what we learned this morning, it's undeniable and indefensible.

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