I’ve seriously considered changing the name of this column from the Carl Parker Column to the Hypocrisy Watch. A hypocrite, as you well know, is someone who preaches one thing and does another. My nomination at the end of the year for hypocrite of the past ten years has to be Rick Perry. Rick Perry started his career advertising himself to be a Democrat, got elected; and at the first opportunity for glory, switched parties. Thereafter, he campaigned and held himself out to be a born-again Christian and an arch-conservative, guardian of the public till.
First of all, although Perry was regularly seen at the services of one of the largest Baptist churches in Austin, Texas, while he was running for office and espoused the virtues of Christian belief, there it appeared to stop; at least so far as the charitable feature of Christianity and giving yourself to others less fortunate. The records revealed several years ago that Perry’s only contribution to charity, or religion, was a donation of secondhand clothing in the amount of about $200 (a value which he and his wife placed on it). Though he went from a poor country boy to a millionaire, he has never explained the source of his wealth, or ever attributed it to hard work and wise investment. Most of it came from one of his rich beneficiaries who allowed him to make a bundle off of a piece of land he was able to secure on credit.
However, part of Perry’s worst hypocrisy is the fact that while espousing to be a conservative and guardian of our tax dollars, he spent millions traveling around the nation to further his presidential ambitions. Although at one time he had over $100-million in his campaign coffers, he still soaked the taxpayers of Texas for several million dollars.
While espousing holding a tight rein on the purse strings of our state treasury, he gave away multiple millions of dollars from “his” slush fund under the guise of attracting business to Texas. Most of his grants from this fund went to those who had given him large contributions; and about half of them never produced anywhere near the jobs or economic windfalls promised in justifying the gross giveaways.
Perry—who claimed to be guardian of our tax dollars—recently showed his true colors. According to an article in the Houston Chronicle, Perry, as he and his staff were leaving office, bestowed gifts of our tax money to his pals. One of his gifts was $19,700 which is more than a minimum wage earner makes in a year. His administrative assistant, who was paid $250,000 per year was given $13,000 on her way out the government door. More appalling, this assistant took her tax money gift and promptly went to work on the ex-governor's campaign for president at another generous salary.
My nominee for runner up for the 2015 Hypocrite of the Year would have to be Sid Miller, our recently elected Agriculture Commissioner. Sid Miller, while a member of the House of Representatives was one of the attack dogs searching for waste in our budget. No new tax was the chorus he sang at every opportunity, condemning waste and allegedly saving the taxpayers.
It seems Commissioner Miller has now had a change of heart in that he has recently imposed 117 new taxes on many Texans. Commissioner Miller has increased the fees for most of the services of the Department of Agriculture saying it was needed to efficiently administer the Department. I wonder why Mr. Miller didn’t think about how hard it would be to deliver an education to the school children of Texas when he went along with millions in cuts on our public education budget?
And it also seems Commissioner Miller is not so conservative when it comes to dishing out favors to his buddies. Commissioner Miller recently awarded thousands in the form of bonuses to many of his employees who had been on the payroll less than a year. Several of them were hired by bypassing the state law requiring posting and bidding for state jobs.
It makes me wonder how Rick Perry and Sid Miller define conservative. It sure isn’t the one listed in the dictionary.