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Under Dan Patrick, Cronyism is the new Conservatism

Though he claims to be in favor of small government, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick has announced the creation of six advisory boards to aid his decision making process. In what he explained as an effort to help ease his transition into the role of Lieutenant Governor, he describes these as “citizen advisory boards” when in reality the names of those appointed to are Republican donors and big business interests.

The Texas Observer reports:

“...among big-picture items like education reform and transportation funding, he included a curious provision. The state should strengthen and support the market for natural gas, Patrick said. Twenty percent of new vehicles purchased by state agencies should run on compressed natural gas, or CNG. Patrick said, his new love of natural gas had come from conversations with business leaders, like his new friends on the energy/oil & gas advisory board. The leader of the board is Dallas billionaire T. Boone Pickens, who for years has heavily invested in natural gas and has attempted, with limited success, to expand the market share of CNG vehicles.”

While natural gas may not be such a bad idea, serving the financial interests of particular individuals is a very bad idea. Unfortunately, in Texas state government it’s just business as usual.

The Austin American Statesman reports that Patrick says many of these people were not supporters of his, but campaign finance reports tell a much different story, with 77% contributing to his campaign. Of the 55 people named, this list from the Texas Tribune shows that only seven appear to be women.

This is just the short list. You can see a more detailed list of the newly appointed 55 members and which have contributed to Patrick’s campaign directly here.