Sid Miller Might Wear the Cowboy Outfit, But He's No Texas Conservative

These days, when someone in a major Texas city wears boots with a business suit, you can be sure he's trying to sell you something. Usually himself.Lawyers, car salesmen and politicians are the usual suspects of disingenuous boot wearing, usually flaunting some custom-made exotic with little resemblance to the footwear of a working ranch hand.Sid Miller adds a cowboy hat to the getup.Texas' latest exercise in political ineptitude, Miller serves (using the term loosely) as the state's agriculture commissioner. That's a formerly highly important position in a farm- and ranch-rich state that has devolved into a stepping stone to higher office.A conservative in name only (though a Republican Party animal through and through) Miller has led the Ag Commission with an arrogance and pecuniary ignorance most Texas voters associate more with Democrats. To call him politically tone-deaf would be a compliment.And that was before he found someone reminiscent of Lolita's Humbert Humbert to join the Texas Rural Health Care Task Force.According to a story in the April 6 Austin American-Statesman, Miller's 2016 appointee Rick Ray Redalen has lost his license to practice medicine in three states for drug abuse, failure to report malpractice cases and committing perjury in a court case revolving around his marriage to his 15-year-old stepdaughter.For the past two years, Redalen has pushed adoption of "telemedicine" through the task force. It's surely just coincidence that he runs Quest Global Benefits, a company that provides telemedicine services. Just as it's a coincidence that he donated $17,000 to Miller's campaign.This story came a bit too late for Texas voters to hold Miller accountable. Miller neatly avoided a runoff for the Republican nomination for Ag Commission in March, taking 55.8 percent of the primary vote.Given the status of the Democratic Party in Texas -- still tainted by ties to a deeply liberal national party -- Miller should easily be returned to the office he's abused for the past four years.The same holds for Miller's fellow social media malignancy, Attorney General Ken Paxton, who ran unopposed in the Republican primary this year, despite his own self-aggrandizing media tours and suggestions that parishioners pack heat in the pews each Sunday.Until Texas voters are willing to look beyond the political party branding mostly set on a national level, we're stuck with a few glitches in the system. Like Miller.  Continue reading...

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