How else to characterize Susan Combs’ statement today detailing senior staff changes in the comptroller’s office? She so doesn’t get it. The problem in the comptroller’s is lack of competence. So what does she do to fix it? She hires a political operative. His name is David White. Here are his credentials for dealing with the fallout from the release of the personal information of 3.5 million Texans and other serious technology issues at the comptrollers’ office. 1. Served as political director for Rick Perry’s reelection. 2. Worked on various local and statewide campaigns and policy issues. 3. Chief of Staff for State Rep. Wayne Christian. 4. Served as Christian’s lead public policy advisor on several key committees (Regulated Industries, State Affairs, Business and Commerce). I’ll say this for Mr. White. If ever the comptroller should need a revenue estimate for the cost of gender studies at state universities, or for the study of developing a curriculum for a course in the contributions of western civilization, she’s got her man. 5. Served three years as State Chairman of Young Conservatives of Texas concurrent with working for the Legislature. 6. Consultant for the Republican party of Texas. These aren’t qualifications. These are connections. And you can’t fix a real problem with someone whose only qualification is his political connections. There is a one-word description for Combs, and it is CLUELESS. Here she is, with her agency and her reputation in ruins and facing gazillion-dollar lawsuits, and she hires … a political consultant. And not just any consultant, but Wayne Christian’s chief of staff. This is classic Combs. She thinks that substantive problems require political solutions. There is no bottom to this pit of incompetence. We can all breathe a sigh of relief that the problems at the comptrollers’ office will soon be but a memory. No doubt Mr. White will bring to his job the same analytical powers demonstrated by his previous boss. Combs doomed herself shortly after taking office, the day that she fired deputy comptroller Billy Hamilton, one of the most competent and respected public servants in the history of the comptrollers’ office. If Combs had a lick of sense, she would have hired Hamilton instead of White and given him total authority to investigate and fix the problems in the office. But she could never do that, because she would have to admit that she should never have fired him. She’d rather be wrong than own up to a mistake. David White couldn’t hold Hamilton’s number two lead pencil.
Politics & Policy