Dan Flynn

Governor’s critics strike again

Apr 21, 2009 By Paul Burka

This time it was on Dan Flynn's Sunset bill to abolish the Office of State-Federal Relations, which is subject to legislative oversight, and transfer the functions to the governor's office. A similar bill died last session. You cannot mention the word "governor" in the House without stirring certain members--Tommy Merritt, Lon Burnam--to action. This was no exception. Merritt: "We're taking $1.5 million that the Legislature controls and give it to the governor so he can go play around in Washington D.C." Flynn: "We streamlined operations by putting everything together and moving it to one area." Veronica Gonzalez went to the back mike to support Flynn: "These issues were vetted in committee." Heflin noted that the bill calls for the executive director to be appointed by the governor but strikes the Senate's role to advise and consent to the appointment. "Why are we opening an office of the governor in Washington? We're giving away all of our authority." Merritt again: "We transfer the power to hire lobbyists and they can work against you in your districts." Homer noted that the bill requires the governor to notify the speaker and lieutenant governor but doesn't specify where or when. Merritt: "They don't have the ability to override him." Poor Flynn was overwhelmed. Corte tried to come to the rescue: "This is about whether we are going to have representation in Washington. Regardless of who the governor is, we need someone working on our behalf." Merritt questioned Corte: "When you abolish this agency, we lose legislative oversight. Who will have this oversight?" Corte: "The governor." Oops. Not the best answer. In fact, the Legislature has oversight over the governor's office. Flynn tried to make the point that we had 34 congressmen to consult, which did not impress Democrats, many of whom have Republican congressmen who were elected following the Tom DeLay-inspired mid-census redistricting. Coleman supported Merritt's argument that the Legislature was ceding its authority: "My objection is we're moving this agency to the executive branch, and the legislative branch should not give its authority to the executive branch."

Secret Disservice

Dec 8, 2008 By Eileen Smith

Your daily space queen video! It’s worth clicking on just to see what I look like when I forget to sit on a telephone book. Paul Burka on the secret speaker’s ballot, and why he was for it before he he was against it. (Flip flopper.) Honorably mentioned: Speaker Craddick,…

More on Saturday’s SREC meeting

Dec 7, 2008 By Paul Burka

I was in touch yesterday with two people who were watching the SREC meeting–in particular, the discussion of the resolution concerning the speaker’s race. The advocates of the resolution were careful to present it as a neutral action that did not take sides in the speaker’s race. However, two pro-Craddick…