I am at a complete loss this week on where to get started. There are so many areas I’d like to discuss and write about, but so little time to do so.
I was all set to write a humorous column about something or another that I thought was funny and would entertain you but got sidetracked by what you are about to read.
These past couple of weeks I have been harping on the legislature of our wonderful state of Texas have a bad case of amnesia when it comes to honesty to us, the taxpayers. Here’s the story for this week.
It seems a number of our esteemed members of the legislature have been paying their wives with campaign contributions. One of the legislature members (Rob Eissler) decided that what he was doing was wrong and repaid $52,000 to his campaign. Another member (Carl Islett) had been paying a company owned jointly by both he and his wife. When confronted with the possible violation of the rules of the ethics commission, the wife formed another company and continued to be paid. The sources says that the company they owned jointly was paid $36,000 for work done over 2 ‘years. The company the wife formed by herself was paid $39,158 for last year’s work. This amount is about ‘of all of the funds the house member collected for the year. What a deal. Sounds to me like the company they both owned was a better bargain.
The state prohibits lawmakers from paying themselves, their wives or their dependent children out of campaign funds. This was intended to stop legislators from living off funds often donated by various lobbying groups.
Islett’s wife is a CPA and says that her fees are normal and are in line with other clients. I’ve hired accountants in the past but can’t think of any that charged me 50% of the revenue I received, just for keeping track of the revenue. Seems to be a tad high if you ask me, but what do I know’
The house member went on to elaborate by saying that in addition to keeping the ‘books’for his campaign, she also writes thank you notes, maintains a database of donors and files reports to the ethics commission. She also had to re-enter all of the data lost on her computer which I suppose came as a result of it crashing. If she is a CPA, was she absent the day they warned about make backups to all of your data’Let’s give her the benefit of the doubt, and say she was sick. Poor thing.
Oh, and she says a lot of her time is taken up responding to requests from the Ethics Commission. I’d bet that one might be valid.
But what I am confused about is the fact that House member Islett also paid one of his daughters for secretarial services. Now, I might be wrong but wouldn’t secretarial services include such things as writing thank you letters for donations and maintaining a database of your donors’She also got a $3,756 commission for doing some fundraising. Makes you wonder how that commission figure was arrived at, doesn’t it’
I applaud our citizens who wish to give their time to be our representatives, but come on, give us a break. All of us aren’t stupid, we can see through this kind of stuff. When you graduate from college and print those slick campaign brochures that we get daily when you are in the campaign mode, they don’t say that you are na’e and or mentally challenged. No, they tell us how many degrees you have, what a successful business you have operated or owned and a variety of other plaudits to make us think you are the smartest and brightest to ever come down the pike.
Then you get your hands caught in the cookie jar and you respond with some lame excuse such as ‘. ‘I didn’t know this is what the law actually meant”or as in the case of Islett who says”You never know you might be doing something wrong ‘until someone files a complaint.’If Al Capon had a better attorney, he could have used that one”I didn’t know you had to pay tax’no one ever actually told me”
Come on now, you can do better than that. After all you’re a true live member of the house of the representatives for this great state of ours. Give us an excuse we can believe ‘something like’. ‘I’m actually an alien from the planet Zenon and I’m not familiar with any sort of ethics rules’.we don’t have ethics where I come from’
I can believe that easier than what you have told us. Much easier.