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State Rep. Rick Miller (Sugar Land) is a Republican lawmaker with a subpar voting record. He’s someone who originally ran on a conservative platform, decided to play by the rules of a corrupt system, governed as a moderate, made an idiotic statement to a reporter about the motivations of his primary opponents, and was then forced by Governor Abbott, Republican Party of Texas Chairman James Dickey and others in the GOP to pull his name from the ballot.

First off, I suspect that Miller’s likely replacement, Jacey Jetton, will have a more conservative voting record than Miller. This makes his transition a net positive for small government Republicans. However, the obscure standard of what conduct is appropriate for Republicans, or simply lawmakers in general, doesn’t seem to be a useful longterm barometer.

Texas just finished dealing with a speaker scandal in which the most powerful legislator in Texas offered an official favor in an attempt to bribe Michael Quinn Sullivan, one of the most powerful conservatives in our state. He then lied repeatedly about this, actions that eventually led to his demise. These actions have still yet to be directly criticized by our Governor, Lieutenant Governor, or James Dickey. State Rep. Dustin Burrows (R–Lubbock), the current chairman of Ways and Means, participated in this bribery attempt and is still, evidently, in the good graces of the Republican elite.

And just this week, Abbott said he was “proud” to endorse pro-abortion State Rep. Sarah Davis (R–West University Place) for re-election, despite acknowledging just two years ago that “she’s not really a Republican.”

State Rep. Matt Schaefer (R–Tyler) said it best: “The behavior we tolerate, becomes the standard we set.”

So what is the standard? And what makes Rick Miller the worst of the bunch?

I actually don’t know.

I think his statement about his primary opponents running against him was completely false, and dumb. Referring to them by their nationality was tremendously stupid as well. Rick Miller is not a racist, and I think everyone who knows him will agree with that fact.

State Rep. Poncho Nevarez (Eagle Pass), a Democrat chairman, lied about his reasons for not seeking re-election and then got busted for cocaine possession. The same Republican leaders who pushed Miller out of his race have still yet to call for Dennis Bonnen to remove Poncho as chairman of the Homeland Security & Public Safety committee, or for Poncho to step down himself. Both are viable options under the rules of the house.

So again, I ask, what makes Rick Miller so special? Why is it somehow okay for Bonnen, Burrows, and Poncho to go uncriticized by our Governor, but for Rick Miller to be proclaimed as a racist? It just seems as though we’re setting a standard where political correctness has a higher impact than integrity in regards to defining what actions are acceptable from lawmakers.

Rick Miller isn’t seeking re-election. I hope that ends up being a win for taxpayers, it almost certainly will be. But the standard being set to determine right from wrong is not guaranteed to deliver better results.

This is a commentary submitted and published with the author’s permission. If you wish to submit a commentary to Texas Scorecard, please submit your article to [email protected].