The Lone Star state of corruption

From the Hill Country to the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, Texas is filled to the brim with beauty, hardworking citizens and unwavering government corruption.

Agriculture commissioner Sid Miller has been accused of billing taxpayers for expenses including travel to receive a pseudo-medical treatment known as the “Jesus shot” and going to Mississippi for a rodeo competition. According to the Houston Chronicle, not long after taking office Miller billed taxpayers at least $1,120 for flights and a rental car to Oklahoma City, where he claimed to be meeting Oklahoma National Stockyards officials. Unfortunately for Miller, officials said they had no plans to meet with him at all and it was discovered that Miller had planned the trip around receiving his Jesus shot—a supposed elixir to cure pain for the entirety of one’s life.

Mythical treatments aside, Miller was also caught spending taxpayer money to fund a trip to Mississippi. He spent almost $2,000 in taxpayer and campaign funds to compete in a calf-roping event. Granted, he did not go in vain—Miller won $880 in the competition.

Before Miller joined the Texas branch of the Legion of Doom, current Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton was indicted on three felony charges of securities law violations. Paxton had allegedly encouraged potential investors to allocate more than $600,000 into tech company Servergy Inc. It gets worse. Paxton allegedly failed to mention that he was making a commission on the investment and that he wasn’t even an investor in the company.

People may be inclined to think these are just a few bad apples. When observing the governor, however, it’s no wonder these two have been caught with their pants down. As the saying goes, the fish rots from the head down.

“I go into the office in the morning, I sue Barack Obama, and then I go home,” Abbot once said with confidence. Assuming wrongdoing on the federal government’s part, a case can be made for Greg Abbot’s litigious predilections—unless it is juxtaposed with his utter inaction when it comes to his own administration.

Aside from a couple of spokespeople alluding to “thorough investigations,” Abbot himself has been relatively silent on these issues of misuse of funds and illegal activities. Paxton remains under investigation for misuse of taxpayer money, as does Texas looney-tune and carcass aficionado Sid Miller. Yet, Abbot is too busy suing Obama to get work done.

His governance has been marred with controversy, yet he remains relatively silent save a single statement signaling the issue with one-party rule.

Texas only has one legislative session every two years, which does nothing but exacerbate government corruption in the state. Combine that with light regulations and a hands-off approach to everything but social issues, and it is clear why National Review published a piece titled “Texas Has a Corruption Problem.”

When one party allows its members to act with impunity, those individuals can disappear down a rabbit hole of corruption. Their party lets them believe their influence is immovable and, for the time being, unchangeable. With that kind of unchangeable system, it’s only a matter of time before officials take governing and the people for granted. After all, what are Texan consitutents going to do? Vote Democrat?

As Abbot’s administration enters its second year, it has been mired with controversy and the Texas people are the ones left looking like buffoons. An agricultural commissioner who is more worried about roping animals at a Mississippi rodeo than doing his job and an attorney general—the chief lawman of the land—is an alleged criminal mastermind. Only in Texas.

It is time to focus on real issues affecting Texans like gentrification and the CPS scandal. Time to get back to proper governance for the sake of Texans everywhere.