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The Best and Worst Legislators 2009

Dishonorable Mention

Carl Isett, Republican, Lubbock
Sometimes legislators can find themselves in water that’s over their heads. Isett fell into the Marianas Trench. He totally botched his job as chairman of the sunset process that scrutinizes state agencies, allowing time to expire with a safety-net bill awaiting action as he dithered over whether to answer questions about it or move for passage; as a result, the session ended in chaos, with the existence of the Texas Department of Transportation, the Texas Department of Insurance, and several other agencies in doubt. He embarrassed not only himself but the entire Legislature.

Betty Brown, Republican, Terrell
For remarking that voters of Asian descent should adopt names that are “easier for Americans to deal with.”

Norma Chávez, Democrat, El Paso
For her petty session-long text-messaging feud with fellow El Pasoan Marisa Marquez over an ethics bill. (“U R on the Dishonorable Mention List!!!”)

David Leibowitz, Democrat, San Antonio
For undermining TxDOT reform efforts with a silly proposal for elected highway commissioners.

Tommy Merritt, Republican, Longview
For having the DPS station a helicopter in his hometown at a cost of $600,000.

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