The late comic George Carlin made famous a number of oxymorons. “Jumbo shrimp” and “military intelligence” come to mind.
State Sen. Eliot Shapleigh, D- El Paso, has given new meaning to a yet another mutually exclusive term: government efficiency.
My colleague Karen Welch posted a blog on this topic already this week, but it’s too good to pass up yet another shot at Sen. Shapleigh.
Shapleigh felt compelled to send out 15 heavy packets to reporters and editors at the Globe-News, including eight folks who no longer work here. I was not among the recipients, by the way — durn it!
They contained a report titled “Texas Borderlands: Frontier of the Future.” They comprised 486 pages. They cost the state, meaning taxpayers, a lot of money to mail out.
In 25 years of observing Texas government — from the Gulf Coast to the High Plains — I’ve never before seen such a saturation bombing of material from a lawmaker to a media outlet so far from his home district — although I’m sure someone has done it somewhere. Shapleigh said he wanted to provide “good information” across the state. Fair enough.
But here’s how Shapleigh can save the rest of us some money: Update his mailing list. A simple phone call, or e-mail, could have helped Shapleigh’s staff determine who still works here and who’s moved on. He could have sent, oh, maybe two of those packets instead of 15.
Government efficiency? It was missing in action at Sen. Shapleigh’s office.
George Carlin would have had a field day.