Political turmoil and natural disasters threatened Texas this week. Heavy storms hit cities and counties across the state on Monday – flooding streets, homes and cars – that left hundreds of families stranded and resulted in several drowning-related deaths. Fiesta San Antonio officials cancelled several events in Bexar County due to heavy rains, but most of the week’s festivities continued without interruption.
In response, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a state of emergency in nine counties: Austin, Bastrop, Colorado, Fort Bend, Harris, Grimes, Montgomery, Waller and Wharton.
Meanwhile, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who faces federal and state charges of fraud, announced that he plans to run for re-election in 2018. Paxton has been embroiled in court cases since he took office in 2014, and was indicted by a grand jury last year. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed fraud charges against him earlier this month.
Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, who won over voters with a fiscally conservative platform, has garnered negative attention for his approval of major budget expansions for the agency, as well as his odd speeches, which named cupcakes and fries as some of the most important food groups.
Miller has dealt with several recent blows, including the public resignation of his communications rep, who alleged that Miller knowingly used state funds to pay for personal travels throughout the country, including a recent trip to the Rodeo.
Image ©John Branch for the Rivard Report, 2016.