Ethics is easy— so why is Sid so bad at it?

TDA has an ethics problem. The incumbent Commissioner’s political consultant has been indicted for trying to sell hemp licenses for tens of thousands of dollars when they cost $100 and are available to anyone. The Commissioner himself is a smorgasbord of scandal and surrounds himself with equally ethically-challenged people, like hiring that consultant’s wife for an apparent no-show job then hiring as an assistant commissioner someone who plead guilty to a federal felony over a scheme to conceal the source of campaign contributions to his failed congressional campaign. In any organization, ethics comes from the top.

Texas is withering under a pay-to-play political culture. When you ask for a meeting with an elected official, only to get a call demanding a campaign contribution first, that’s not good for business. Elected officials should be public servants, not looking to feather their own nests. I’m running against that obvious corruption and against other, more subtle, kinds of corruption that are just as damaging, if not more so, because they rot our government and society to the core:

The soft corruption of using the powers of your office not for the greater good of Texans but strictly to further your own political career.

The partisan corruption of using our tax dollars and government programs only to help those who vote your way instead of all Texans. Or failing to take steps to help Texas just because it means accepting an idea that came from the other party, like refusing to expand Medicaid so that more Texans have access to healthcare and our rural hospitals have a better chance of staying open. The cancerous corruption of vilifying those who look, act, or believe differently so fervently that our politics and political discourse become too paralyzed to tackle any problems. If we cannot sit down and talk to those from the other party or who disagree with us, we cannot begin to solve the complex problems facing out state.

And, the destructive corruption of not caring what your policies do to people, their health and safety, and their ability to make a living. Such as Sid Miller trying to cut funding to rural hospitals and Meals on Wheels—during the pandemic.

Ethical government starts at the top. Leaders can set an ethical tone, demonstrate the value of always working toward what is good for the people and putting aside self-interest, and quickly shutting down any efforts to do otherwise. As Agriculture Commissioner, I will be that leader.

With me, you won’t have to worry if I’m off seeking pseudo medical treatment in another state, or directing a staffer to commit unsavory acts for a quick buck. My focus is with you, the people of Texas, alone. I’ve been a leader in ethics in campaign finance and government, and I will clean up TDA and get us back to work, facing the challenges and realities that matter today—like turning the table on the rural healthcare crisis, adapting to new sustainable agriculture practices, and getting us back to work together to solve the hard problems of drought, water access, and making Texas work again.