Tag Archives: Sid Miller

Then we have this race for Texas ag commissioner

Sid Miller wants to be re-elected as Texas agriculture commissioner.

If the Republican wins, he will do so without my vote. I intend to cast my ballot for Kim Olson, a Mineral Wells farmer. Indeed, she is a third-generation farmer.

Miller has embarrassed the state since being elected agriculture commissioner. He pops off without thinking. He likes making an ass of himself — and has shown himself to be quite good at it.

My favorite bit of ass-making occurred when he decided to bitch about a steak he was served at a trendy downtown Amarillo restaurant. He raised all kinds of public hell about it.

The guy is a buffoon. I want him to lose his contest against Olson in early November.

But … what about the Democratic challenger? She has some baggage of her own. The Texas Tribune reports that her trailblazing career in the U.S. Air Force came to an inglorious end when questions arose about her relationship with a contractor who did business with the Air Force.

Here’s the Tribune story

Is this a dealbreaker for me? No. It isn’t. She and her husband have been farming since they moved to Texas after her USAF days were over. She has sought to build a new life and from what I understand she has done well in that regard.

What’s more, she has campaigned with dignity, unlike the manner that her opponent did when he ran four years ago.

And here’s the final point: Olson is campaigning much like another Democrat, U.S. Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke, by visiting all 254 Texas counties. I like that campaign strategy, given that Olson is meeting and chatting with voters in heavily Republican voting precincts.

Texas needs a serious commissioner of agriculture, not one whose goal appears to be to make waves just because he likes rough water.

‘Socialistic fear mongers’? C’mon, Commissioner Miller

Sid Miller thinks badly of Six Flag of Texas’s decision to remove the Confederate flag from its entrance in Arlington.

The state agriculture commissioner is entitled to his opinion. I wonder, though, why someone with responsibility of Texas farm and ranch policy would weigh in on a matter over which he has zero influence.

He is an elected public official. Miller, thus, is entitled to speak out.

Since he is an elected official and since he has taken his anger out on Six Flags, I intend to respond briefly here.

First, pipe down. Second, the Confederate flag represents something quite different to millions of Miller’s fellow Texans. As the Texas Tribune reported: “The monuments honoring our southern soldiers are but a first step in a trend that very well could eventually bring down the American flag at some point if this trend is allowed to continue,” Miller said. “I was extremely disappointed to hear that Six Flags over Texas in Arlington had succumb to this scourge of race baiting, liberal activism and that the company had decided to bring down the six historic flags that flew over Texas.”

Good grief, dude! No one is going to “bring down the American flag.” Settle down, commissioner.

There’s also this from the Tribune: In his statement, Miller suggested the park was “implying that one should look upon [the removed flags] with shame and dismay,” and appeasing a  “band of socialistic fear mongers.”

Sheesh.

The monuments honoring “our southern soldiers” also remind many of us that the Confederacy was formed out of an act of treason. It took form when states — such as Texas — seceded from the Union and then went to war with the United States of America.

Why did they do that? They went to war to fight for the right of states to continue hold human beings in bondage, to keep them enslaved.

All Six Flags did was take down the Confederate flag — one of the flags under which Texas has existed — because the Confederacy represents division, bloodshed and, yes, slavery. It chose instead to fly just Old Glory at its front gate.

What’s so wrong with flying the Red, White and Blue?

Hunters seek to blame ‘illegals’ for their own blunder

I can hear the chants now: only in Texas would this happen.

Maybe, maybe not. Anyhow, here’s the crux of it.

Two hunters — Michael Bryant and Walker Daughetry — have been charged with discharging deadly weapons illegally. They accidentally shot each other while on a hunting excursion in Presidio County along the Rio Grande River.

But wait! The shooting took place in early January. When they called for help, they then blamed the incident on “illegal aliens” they said were crossing the border.

It turns out they lied to investigators. There were no “illegal aliens.” They had discharged their weapons “in the direction of others,” meaning each other, which is a third-degree felony.

It gets even better than that.

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, the loudmouth advocate for building a wall along our state’s border with Mexico, posted the bogus story on his Facebook page. Miller — who had been considered for a spot in Donald J. Trump’s Cabinet — said the incident proves the need to build the wall, per the president’s persistent mantra.

Well, the truth has come out. The hunters made it up. They were too embarrassed to tell authorities what really happened.

Miller’s Facebook post has since disappeared. The two men face some jail time if they’re convicted.

Is this what one would call “fake news”?

Take our ag commissioner, please

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I don’t know if this will happen, but there’s some chatter out there about Donald J. Trump’s potential final Cabinet choice.

It would be a doozy if it comes to pass.

There’s some talk that Texas Agriculture Commissioner (and loudmouth) Sid Miller is under consideration to become the next secretary of agriculture.

Holy smokes, man! I don’t know quite how to react if such a thing happens.

http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2016/12/heres-why-usda-remains-trumps-last-unmade-cabinet-pick

Miller has not distinguished himself — in a positive way, by my reckoning — since becoming head of the Texas Department of Agriculture in 2015. Instead, he’s managed merely to call attention to himself through his reckless use of Facebook and his tasteless remarks about the Democratic Party’s 2016 presidential nominee.

Miller has been spreading “fake news” stories on the social medium and he infamously referred to Clinton in a tweet, using a hideously profane epithet that I won’t repeat here. He recently came to Amarillo and had a dinner at a downtown restaurant — and then made a big splash as he expressed his displeasure over the meal he consumed; suffice to say he didn’t make many new friends here in the heart of Trump Country with his ridiculous display of public petulance … over a steak!

Now it might be that Miller would depart Austin to serve in the president-elect’s Cabinet at secretary of agriculture.

He would be the third Texan selected by Trump: Rex Tillerson has been nominated as secretary of state, despite (or because of) his close friendship with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin; Rick Perry has been chosen to be energy secretary, despite his lack of any real experience in the energy sector.

What would Miller bring to USDA? He once was a champion rodeo cowboy. There. That’s all I know about him … other than his big mouth and penchant for making a spectacle of himself.

We’ll just have to wait for Trump’s final Cabinet call.

Texas GOP fed up with agriculture commissioner?

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Sid Miller blew into Amarillo the other day, ate dinner at a downtown restaurant and then proceeded to make an ass of himself by making a big show of his displeasure with the meal he received.

That’s not even close to describing the misdeeds of this loudmouth politician.

The Texas Tribune is reporting that Miller, the Republican commissioner of agriculture, has become the king of fake news. He puts out bogus items as if they are true. He makes defamatory statements on his social media feeds about Muslims, Democrats … anyone who opposes what passes as his world view of politics and public policy. He collects these gems from ultraconservative websites and then posts them on his Facebook page, which he boasts as having tens of thousands of followers.

https://www.texastribune.org/2016/12/03/texas-ag-chiefs-facebook-account-fake-news-flows/

The Tribune’s analysis of Miller playing fast and loose with the facts is in the link. It’s so very interesting, and damning!

Get this: Texas Republicans just might be embarrassed and ashamed enough of this guy to run a serious primary challenger against him in 2018. How do I know that? Well, I don’t know it to be a fact, as it hasn’t happened yet.

However, I got a snootful today from a member of the Texas legislative delegation — a Republican, no less — who said damn near anyone would be better in the job as agriculture commissioner than Miller.

I happen to agree with that assessment. The guy is a loon.

My hope now is that if Texas Republicans are truly angry at the manner in which this statewide elected official has conducted himself that they’ll do something to get this individual out of office.

Control yourself, Agriculture Commissioner Miller

Sid Miller is fond of making a spectacle of himself. He has done so again in a most interesting and unexpected — for him, apparently — manner.

The Texas agriculture commissioner came to Amarillo and had a meal at a well-known downtown restaurant, OHMS, between Sixth and Seventh Avenue on Tyler Street.

Someone else brought all this to my attention … also via social media. So, I took a look.

It seems that Miller didn’t like his meal. He said so. In no uncertain terms. He wrote a nasty note to the owner of OHMS, a fellow named Josh Fuller, who then put the note on Facebook. He’s sharing Miller’s boorishness with, well, the entire world.

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“Terrible steak,” he wrote. He griped that it wasn’t a ribeye.

Why mention this? It just seems that the age of social media has this ability to embarrass public officials who ought to know better than to write their feelings down — enabling others to blast it around the planet on media platforms.

I’m unaware of anyone ever accusing Miller of being a man who adheres to proper decorum. Why not, for instance, just tell the server or perhaps the business owner that the meal didn’t his expectation? Oh, no! He had to write it down! This also is the guy who used a hideous profanity — on Twitter, no less — to describe Hillary Rodham Clinton. Allegedly.

I guess Miller has his fans.

Suffice to say, the owner of a prominent downtown Amarillo restaurant/bistro isn’t one of them.

Obscene tweet a ‘breaking point’? If only …

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Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller’s obscene tweet about Hillary Rodham Clinton is the “breaking point” for at least one Texas voter.

Is it for others who have been entrenched in the Donald J. Trump camp since the zillionaire business mogul announced his Republican presidential candidacy?

Do not take it to the bank.

http://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/commentary/2016/11/02/agriculture-commissioner-sid-millers-c-word-tweet-hillary-clinton-breaking-point

A tweet that went out under Miller’s name referred to Clinton as the “c-word.” It’s too vulgar to repeat. As Jacquielyne Floyd of the Dallas Morning News writes in her blog, Miller came up with a package of lame excuses: a staffer did it; someone hacked his account.

Miller said he didn’t do such a thing. The tweet was pulled down right away, which I guess is saying something about the commissioner.

Then again, this guy has been making a spectacle of himself ever since he took over the TDA office from fellow Republican Todd Staples in 2015. I wish Staples was still on the job, frankly.

Miller has emerged as Trump’s chief Texas cheerleader.

Floyd writes: “My weary, overworked outrage meter is idling in low gear, like persistent background static on the radio. I can only summon a tired wonder that Miller, whose newest contretemps is perhaps the most egregious but far from being the first rodeo of disgrace and embarrassment he has attended, is the kind of damage Texas keeps inflicting on itself.”

Texas, though, seems bent on inflicting these wounds. We have sent a number of folks to Congress who keep spouting off without engaging what passes for their brains.

Now we have an agriculture commissioner — who ought to be focused primarily on promoting Texas farm and ranch products and helping them improve their harvest yields and getting the most money they can from the livestock they send to market.

The voter — Kathleen Lyle of Rowlett — who was offended beyond measure by the tweet, wrote a letter to Miller. According to Floyd: “Lyle demanded an apology for every woman and every schoolchild in the state of Texas: “‘You are obligated to behave decently in public once elected,’ she told him.”

Floyd continued: “It was a letter that summed up not only one woman’s frustration over one elected official’s outrageous violation, but spoke for countless Americans who are appalled by the ugliness, the unhinged vulgarity, the puerile bullying shoutdown to which the political conversation has devolved.”

The tweet that went out under Sid Miller’s name is just the latest example of all the above.

If only more of us would feel as outraged as Kathleen Lyle.

Ag commissioner roiled in controversy once more

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Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller is mighty careless with his social media outlets.

Someone — maybe it was Miller, maybe it wasn’t — sent out a tweet this week that refers to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in a highly offensive term. It’s a term used to describe women — and I won’t repeat it here.

The tweet was taken down shortly after it was posted.

The accusation went immediately to the agriculture commissioner, who has emerged as one of Republican nominee Donald Trump’s strongest boosters in Texas.

Miller said he didn’t do it. He blamed it on a staffer.

https://www.texastribune.org/2016/11/02/the-brief/

OK, then. So what if it wasn’t Miller? Then the staffer needs to lose his job; I’ll assume it was a male, given the nature of the hideous reference made to Clinton.

How do we know with absolute certainty that a TDA staffer did the deed? I haven’t a clue, other than for the boss — that would be Miller, the elected official — to tell the public the name of the culprit.

They all work for you and for me. I’d like to know who sent out that terrible message and if he thought he was doing it in my name — as a member of the Texas public that pays this clown’s salary.

If Commissioner Miller cannot — or will not — tell us who did this … well, what are we supposed to believe regarding the actual culprit?

What’s with this agriculture commissioner?

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There must be something about serving as Texas commissioner of agriculture that brings out the weirdness in some of those who hold the office.

Sid Miller is the guy in the office at the moment. He’s a Republican who seems to look for ways to make himself look silly. He makes goofy pronouncements, goes off on state-paid junkets and then spends public money on matters that should be financed out of his own pocket.

In a strange way he reminds me of another agriculture commissioner. Do you remember Jim Hightower? He served a single term as head of the agriculture department in the late 1980s. Rick Perry got elected to the office in 1990 and he was succeeded by Susan Combs, who then was succeeded by Todd Staples. Those three individuals managed to serve with a degree of decorum and dignity.

Hightower, though, was a jokester. The Democrat was quick with the quip and managed to say things just to get a laugh out of those who heard him say them.

Miller, though, is presenting some unusual problems.

https://www.texastribune.org/2016/04/22/sid-millers-tenure/

As the Texas Tribune reports, Miller is making a spectacle of himself:

“Miller’s conduct in office has ranged from the cartoonish — revamping inspection stickers for the state’s more than 170,000 fuel pumps to more prominently feature his name — to the potentially criminal — allegedly bankrolling two out-of-state trips with public funds to receive what’s known as a ‘Jesus Shot’ and to compete in a rodeo.”

Miller won the office partly by campaigning as a fiscal conservative. So what does he do? He boosts the pay of top staff jobs.

He seems to look for ways to make headlines, to get his name out there. Remember how he lifted the state ban on deep fryers and soda machines? Why does an elected agriculture do something like that?

I much prefer that these folks simply do their job quietly. There’s no need to create spectacles.

The agriculture commissioner has a big job. The state has a gigantic farm and ranch community — and much of it exists out here on the High Plains.

Can’t this guy just promote the value of Texas’s myriad agricultural produces without being such a buffoon?

 

Communications director quits at TDA … here’s why

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They go by any number of terms.

Public information officer; spokesperson; communications director; press secretary; media representative.

A less-flattering term is flack.

Whatever they’re called, these individuals — particularly when they work for a government agency — fulfill an important task. It is to communicate accurately what’s being said to the public. After all, it’s the public’s business, given that these agencies spend the public’s money.

Are we clear … so far?

Lucy Nashed has just quit her job as communications director for the Texas Department of Agriculture. Here’s the kicker: She left without having another job.

Seems that her boss, Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, kept sending out mixed signals to the public. He couldn’t keep his story straight, it appears, about a trip he took to take part in a rodeo.

Did he spend public money to rope and rassle cattle … or did he reimburse the public?

Here’s part of the Texas Tribune’s account of what happened:

The Houston Chronicle reported over the weekend that Miller took a state-paid trip to Mississippi to participate in the National Dixie Rodeo but later repaid the state with campaign and personal funds. He told the Chronicle that the intent of the trip was to meet with agriculture officials there, making it a legitimate state-covered business trip. Miller said after those meetings fell through, he repaid the state for the trip.

“More than a week before the Chronicle story, Nashed told the Tribune that the Mississippi trip — which was always designed to be a personal trip — was mistakenly booked by a staffer as a business trip. Once the staffer realized the trip was personal, Nashed said, Miller repaid the state for the trip. Nashed said Monday that was the information she was originally given.”

Miller has become something of a loose cannon since taking over as head of the state agriculture department. He’s a bit of a showman, bragging about his good ol’ boy appeal and his ability and willingness to toss aside policies just because he can.

Nashed had a tough job working for the Republican officeholder. Her task was to make sure his thoughts and statements were communicated accurately. However, she complained about a “tremendous lack of communication” within the TDA, a condition she acknowledged made it difficult for her to do her job.

The fact that Nashed quit without having a place to land speaks loudly and clearly as well.

There’s no misunderstanding — or miscommunication — there. She wanted out. Now!