Another day, another story that leaves me absolutely dumbfounded that millions of people continue to vote for Republicans. I really just don’t get it. It’s as if conservatives don’t mind supporting a political party that openly treats them like they’re bumbling idiots.
Here in Texas there’s an office called the Public Integrity Unit (PIU) that’s centrally based at the Travis County DA’s office in Austin. The office is tasked with investigating any possible signs of corruption stemming from the behavior of state officials and lawmakers. Needless to say, they have a very important job. Republicans like to act as if the federal government is corrupt and evil while state and local governments are nothing but “servants for the people,” but I’ve found state and local governments to sometimes be just as corrupt as the federal government can possibly be.
And if Republicans in the state get their way (which they will) it’s about to become a whole lot easier for politicians in Texas to be as corrupt as they want to be.
The bill that Republicans have introduced, titled HB 1690, would essentially do away with the PIU, instead shifting the responsibility for investigating such matters to Texas Rangers and the alleged offenders’ local jurisdictions.
In other words, a local state official would be “investigated” by his home district.
Because what could go wrong with giving someone being investigated for possible ethics violations or corruption a home court advantage to influence those investigations? I’m sure that there would never be a single instance where a politician would try to use his or her influence over local district attorneys to get away with unscrupulous behavior.
Perhaps some of you remember the Public Integrity Unit from last summer when their investigation into the behavior of former governor Rick Perry eventually led to him being indicted on two felonies. I’m sure that also has absolutely nothing to do with Republicans trying desperately to change the rules so that similar matters going forward would be taken out of the PIU’s hands.
This is essentially a bill meant to make corruption even easier. The problem is, Republicans in this state know that conservative voters here will never vote for Democrats, so there’s absolutely no reason for them to even attempt to hide the fact that they’re basically trying to make it easier for politicians to accept bribes and kickbacks.
If there’s one thing both Democrats and Republicans should agree on, it’s that no group of lawmakers should be trying to make it easier for themselves or their colleagues to abuse their power or get away with corruption – but that’s exactly what many Republican lawmakers here in Texas are trying to do.
It’s just embarrassing to think that I live in a state full of so many people who don’t seem to mind at all that the political party for which they vote openly treats them like mindless sheep.
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