Rep. Senfronia Thompson Opposed Milton Riser Confirmation

Representative Senfronia Thompson’s office has sent out a letter, cc’ed to many political bloggers across the state. Destined for the Texas Legislative Council, Tom Craddick, and David Dewhurst, the letter explains her feelings on the pending conformation of Milton Riser to the Lege Council. A move that has some saying Texas is in its very own Alito confirmation situation.

With calls of cronyism and partisanship in a traditionally ‘non-partisan’ council, Senfronia’s comments are, once again, a wake up call:

Milton Riser is a political operative. He has long and well known ties to the Craddick and Dewhurst political way of doing business. His appointment to the Lege council is the shot heard round Texas today. Why? Because the Lege Council is a traditionally ‘non-partisan’ position. It handles volumes of things from setting up the Legislators’ computers to drafting the legislation on behalf of representatives. The fact that a partisan person is being put into this position is a foot on the neck of bi-partisanship in the state of Texas.

The question before us, however, is, “What can we do?” Simple. Act quickly. The confirmation is slated for later, today. It’s not too late. Call Craddick and David Dewhurst in their offices to voice your outrage that cronyism is still alive in Texas, when Washington is falling apart over the same issue.

Call Tom Craddick at the Capitol:
(512) 463-1000
(512) 463-7722 (fax)

Or, at his District Office:
(432) 682-3000
(432) 684-4864 (fax)

Unfortunately, I have been unable to obtain David Dewhurst’s number.

In the permalink to this entry (if you click through), you’ll find the entire letter from Rep. Thompson. Remember, it’s never too late.

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31 January, 2006

The Honorable Tom Craddick
The Honorable David Dewhurst

To the Honorable Members of the Legislative Council:

It has come to my attention that the Council is scheduled to approve a new Council director Wednesday morning, Milton Rister, a political operative, who has worked against sitting members of both Houses. Mr. Rister will more than likely work with some of these members in his capacity as the Executive Director of the Legislative Council. Mr. Rister’s devisive presence may create a perceived erosion of the confidentiality, independence, discretion, and credibility of the non-partisan Legislative Council.

As one of the most senior legislators and a former member of the Legislative Council, I urge your reconsideration of this ill-considered and ill-timed appointment. Texas Legislators must be able to depend on the Legislative Council to draft potential legislation according to the members request and for those requests to remain confidential. This has always been the policy of the Legislative Council. Having an Executive Director, with such a well-documented political agenda could stifle many legislators’ willingness to make use of the such a valuable legislative asset.

The bipartisan traditions of the Texas Legislature have been honored by such diverse persons as George W. Bush and Ann Richards. At the core of this tradition, is an independent and dependable Legislative Council. I pray a more suitable candidate can be found to fill the shoes of true non-partisan Texas heroes like Bob Johnson and Bob Kelly.
Yours for a better Texas,

Senfronia ThompsonState Representative
cc: Members of the Legislative Council

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