In a recent interview with Texas Scorecard as a part of the Uncut Conversations series, incumbent Agricultural Commissioner Sid Miller sat down to discuss a wide range of issues, including his relationship with Gov. Greg Abbott.
Miller is up for re-election this year after first taking office in 2015. Currently, he is facing two fellow Republican challengers in the fast-approaching primary elections.
In his interview with Texas Scorecard, Miller described his experience working with Abbott, who was first inaugurated as governor in the same year Miller became agriculture commissioner.
“I’ve tried numerous times to get a meeting with the governor,” said Miller. “In the seven years that we’ve both been in our offices, I’ve never got a meeting with the governor, never got a phone call returned, never got an email or letter returned.”
Miller continued to express his frustration in Abbott’s lack of communication and explained just how difficult it is to get in contact with the governor.
“Well, it’s kind of like working with sasquatch,” said Miller. “Everybody knows he’s real and some people have seen him, but I’ve never seen him. I can’t get a meeting with him”
When asked about what type of assistance he would like to see Gov. Abbott’s office provide, Miller explained that more cooperation and communication would benefit both the Department of Agriculture and the state of Texas.
“It would make life a lot easier if we were all working together instead of separately and independently,” said Miller. “I mean, I’m not a hard guy to get along with, but if you won’t talk to me, it makes it hard to work with you.”
Miller was also asked about his thoughts on Republican lawmakers’ failure to make headway on important GOP priorities. In response, he called out the legislators for their “lack of leadership.” As an example of actions lawmakers could take, Miller pointed to several press conferences he called on topics not typically considered part of the agriculture commissioner’s responsibilities.
“We’ve got some very weak legislators,” said Miller “They say, ‘Why don’t you stay in your lane and do cows, sows, and plows?’ Well, no. … I was the one holding a press conference on gender modification when the Legislature would not prevent the gender mutilation of minors. They just wouldn’t do it. Toward the end of the third special session, I was there at the press conference demanding the governor call a fourth special session to end vaccine mandates. So you know, I’m all over the place.”
To close out the interview, Miller explained why he believes Republican lawmakers are not creating and passing legislation to advance the Texas GOP’s official priorities.
“They just don’t have the appetite to do it,” said Miller. “I think a lot of it is that certain lobby groups have a hold on them. They don’t want stuff like that to pass, obviously. They’re beholden to the people that have the purse strings. That’s usually the biggest cause.”