Editor’s Note: Shortly after publication, State Rep. Rick Miller announced he would not seek re-election.
State Rep. Rick Miller (R–Sugar Land) is in the news this week after making some callous comments to the Houston Chronicle that have many Republicans—including Gov. Greg Abbott—withdrawing their support for his re-election campaign.
But the reason Miller should not be re-elected isn’t his clumsy rhetoric—it’s his reprehensible record. Here are three real reasons why taxpayers shouldn’t re-elect Rick Miller.
1. Rick Miller Isn’t a Leader
When political candidates campaign for public office, they often refer to themselves as the second coming of Ronald Reagan. They claim they’ll fight on the frontlines for conservative values, tax relief, and shrinking the size of government. But oftentimes, they fail to live out those acclaimed conservative convictions once they are elected.
Rick Miller was no different. Touting his record in the military and the private sector, as well as a successful stint chairing the Fort Bend County GOP, Miller campaigned as the conservative candidate to succeed outgoing State Rep. Charlie Howard and was even endorsed in that race by Texans for Fiscal Responsibility.
Conservatives had high hopes for Miller, but he let them down.
Once elected, Miller proved himself to be a mere backbencher who voted with leadership and accumulated a lackluster record on the issues he campaigned on. His only significant positive accomplishment was helping to pass the Convention of States resolution, something he gets undue credit for when the primary drivers included the governor and other legislators.
2. Rick Miller Is a Willing Pawn for Democrats
Miller’s inaction left a lot to be desired for conservatives, but on the few occasions the lawmaker did get involved, he managed to make outcomes even worse—like the time he partnered with Democrats to “improve” a bill that would have opened the door for additional welfare fraud by literally writing bonus checks to people on welfare.
At issue was HB 132, by State Rep. Ina Minjarez (D–San Antonio), which would significantly expand the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. Conservatives led by State Rep. Matt Rinaldi (R–Irving) said the bill would open the door for increased welfare fraud.
The bill passed by a narrow margin on second reading despite Rinaldi’s opposition. Aware that conservative members were opposed to welfare expansion, Minjarez and her Republican allies prepared a defense for the bill on third reading the next day. They sent up State Rep. Rick Miller (R–Sugar Land), the bill’s sole Republican joint author, with an amendment authorizing the Attorney General to pursue fraud cases resulting from the legislation.
But Miller’s amendment was a sham. Defrauding the State of Texas is, unsurprisingly, already illegal. Under Miller’s amendment, all the State could recover from a person if they were convicted of fraud was the amount they stole.
In short, Miller’s amendment was akin to a shopkeeper putting a sign on his door saying, “Warning: If Caught Shoplifting You Could Be Forced to Return the Item.”
With Miller’s fig leaf attached to HB 132, lawmakers ultimately passed the legislation over conservative complaints. It was thankfully killed in the Texas Senate.
3. Rick Miller’s Voting Record Has Deteriorated Sharply
First elected in 2012, Miller earned a score of 77 in his first session on the Fiscal Responsibility Index. His score then declined to a 67 in 2015 and a 51 in 2017.
In the most recent legislative session, Miller earned a score of 52—below the Texas House Republican average. Does anyone believe that score will improve if Miller is re-elected?
Rick Miller’s constituents can view his comments regarding his competition however they wish, but his record as a legislator alone is sufficient cause for them to choose someone else to represent them in the Texas Legislature.
Hopefully, taxpayers in Fort Bend County will elect someone who will fight for them and their interests in 2020.