Senate Democrats had better things to do than attend today’s hearing on transportation. Not a single Democrat on the Senate Transportation Committee bothered to show up and hear testimony from TxDOT staff and citizens regarding TxDOT’s funding challenges and implementation of new legislation.

The empty chairs of Senators Wendy Davis (yes, that Wendy Davis), Kirk Watson, Rodney Ellis, and Carlos Uresti even led committee chairman Sen. Robert Nichols to comment on their absence. The one Democrat who did make an appearance – Sen. Sylvia Garcia of Houston – isn’t even a member of the committee.

Despite a busy statewide campaign, Republican candidate for attorney general, Senator Ken Paxton managed to make it to the meeting. Even one future legislator attended the hearing–Senator-elect Don Huffines of Dallas.

Democrats say they care about governing, but don’t show up when it matters. While claiming to be concerned about transportation, not a single Democrat senator on the committee found the time to do their job.

(One might wonder if absenteeism would be the hallmark of Wendy’s governorship, if it were even remotely likely she could get elected.)

TxDOT bureaucrats feel free to waste taxpayer dollars when members assigned to their oversight committee keep them out-of-sight and out-of-mind. If legislators on the Transportation committee don’t care to address TxDOT’s manifold blunders, why should TxDOT?

Government goes to those who show up. Clearly, Texas taxpayers deserve better: an active and engaged leadership that provides robust oversight and citizen advocacy to protect tax dollars from the profligacies of state bureaucrats.

The next time a Democrat senator on the Transportation Committee frets over the transportation crisis du jour, simply ask them, “Why didn’t you show up?”

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