We are non-commercial, all volunteer and supported by our readers. Please help sustain the Dew by making a donation.
Not All There
While Perry Wages Doomed Campaign, “Obscure” State Senator Runs Texas
- This article was created by the Center for American Progress Action Fund.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) has diverted his attention from his state to run for president, even as Texas suffers a debilitating drought, historic wildfires, and slumping economy. “Perry—alone among the Republican candidates—has a moral obligation to govern,” Richard Parker wrote in the New Republic in October. “And whether America loves or hates Rick Perry the presidential candidate, the fact is we Texans need our governor back home. Now.”
But today, despite his disappointing showing in the Iowa caucuses last night and diminishing prospects of capturing the GOP nomination, Perry announced that he would continue his campaign.
So who has been running the nation’s second largest state in Perry’s absence?
For the past two weeks, it’s been “a little-known politician from the Houston area,” the Dallas Morning News reports. The lieutenant governor, who typically fills in, left the state on December 26 for a five-day vacation, then went to Iowa this week to campaign for Perry. That left state Sen. Mike Jackson (R), who holds the state Senate’s generally honorary position of president pro tem, in charge.
So what’s Jackson been up to as acting governor? “It’s really everyday life,” he told the Morning News. “Big, important state business today? No, I’m at work at my construction company,” Jackson added:
Jackson said he’d spoken to staff members in Austin but otherwise tended to Senate district business, such as chasing down a constituent’s question about whether utility terrain vehicles — oversize golf carts — can be driven on the beach in Galveston.
“That’s about it,” he said.
Under the state constitution, the governor cedes control of Texas when he leaves its borders, though lawmakers have tried several times to enact an amendment that would allow the executive to use modern telecommunications to remain in charge. Perry “stays apprised” of what’s going on in Texas, aides said.
The state pays acting governors $410.96 per day for filling in, so to date, Perry’s absence due to his presidential bid has cost Texas taxpayers at least $25,000 in pay for his substitutes. Meanwhile, Perry’s security detail — which he takes with him on the campaign trail — costs taxpayers as much as $400,000 a month, up from before he announced his bid.
- Editor's Note: This article was originally published January 4, 2012, at ThinkProgress.org. Photo by DonkeyHotey via Flickr photostream, used with Creative Commons 2.0 License.
Worthy of Comment
Also on the Dew
We couldn’t put it off any longer. Last night Dede and I told Ruthie we were getting a divorce. Since we’ve enjoyed what can only be termed a highly successful marriage for 37 years, the news was unexpected. “You’re what?” “We’re getting out,” I offered, not very helpfully. “It’s time. We really don’t have any choice.” “What are you talking about? You all are perfect together.” “That’s not the point,” Dede tried to explain. “What is the point?” Ruthie cried. I put it as succinctly as I could. “Gay marriage.” “What?” “They’ve been warning us for years, darling, but we never listened. Gay marriage threatens traditional marriage. We were so doggone happy we weren’t paying attention Read on →
It’s a dance I know by heart, this shifting and swaying from the outward world of human entanglements to an inner place of calm reflection. I’m not sure I could stop this movement if I tried, caught between voices calling cause to action and others from far hillsides beckoning me to run away -- to fly away and be freed. All around are people caught in conflict, their caring inching closer daily to anger, with words unheard, meanings misunderstood, and passions unrequited. On issues local, global, and universal, we have shouting like never before. Yet larger still are the legions who’ve checked out, Read on →
Our Georgia Legislature is piddling with a piece of legislation (SB 101) they're promoting as an effort to protect the coastal marshes from pollution and predatory humans. But, what this passel of pee words means to suggest is "Don't pee on my leg and tell me it's raining." Oh, one could be charitable and accept the promoters just don't know what the word "buffer" means. Why else would they announce up front their purpose "to provide for a buffer against coastal marshlands in which certain land-disturbing activities are prohibited"? It makes sense, if it's just another example of man ranting against Read on →
Now that the Board of Regents have decided to merge Georgia State University with Georgia Perimeter College, GSU will soon total more than 50,000 students, and will be the largest unit of the University System of Georgia. Not only that, but it is an urban university, as well as a research university, bringing in $58 million in 2011 in grants for study. It has conferred 192,785 degrees since its founding. TIMELINE Ga. State University formation1913: Began as Evening School of Georgia Tech Commerce School, with 44 enrollees.1917: Women admitted because of decline in male students in WWI.1920: Enrollment up to 364. 1932: Director George Read on →