Carl Parker's archive

As a student of government, educated by experience, I have long held the belief that public education is among the most important functions of state government. Unfortunately, more and more it appears my belief in education being the future of Texas is not shared by the leadership of state government today.

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A recent edition of the New York Times revealed the results of an investigation. It showed that lobbyists in Washington are spending more than $3 billion per year lobbying Congress. A recent analysis conducted by former Agriculture Ctommissioner Jim Hightower identified amounts of money spent on lobbying in campaign contributions by category. His report was broken down by financial institutions, pro sports, radio, television and publishing companies.

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In looking over recently introduced measures in the current session of the State Legislature, I discovered H.B. 1819. The bill was offered by Bryan’s state representative, Kyle Kacal. The bill provides a cause of action if a homeowner harms or kills a goat. Although that seems appropriate for the representative from the area of Texas A&M, I am given to wonder why the Legislature appears to have more concern for animals than it does many of the people of Texas.

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Texas’ newest United States senator is attracting quite a bit of attention in Washington. Apparently, Ted Cruz is stepping on lots of toes in his early entrance into the good ole boys club known as the United States Senate. Recently, Cruz was criticized for inferring former Sen. Chuck Hagel, the president’s selection for Defense Secretary, had taken money from Iran, Saudi Arabia and/or North Korea. He further alleged Iran had celebrated the nomination of Hagel as Defense Secretary of the United States. The allegation concerning Iran’s celebration turned out to be patently false.

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Bill Hobby, a former Texas lieutenant governor, was often quoted as saying any impending legislative session would be about the allocation of money or appropriation of tax dollars. All else, said Hobby, was poetry.

I’m not sure it was poetry, but anything other than the allocation of money fades into obscurity during any legislative session. Always the last and most important focus of any session is the passage of the appropriations bill and adjustments for differences therein between the House and Senate.

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