Texas Lt. Governor-elect Dan Patrick was attacked by a left-of-center organization for being transparent about his coming senate administration. In a press conference on Thursday, Patrick announced the formation of the first-ever “Lt. Governor Advisory Boards.” Within hours of the announcement, Patrick was attacked by Texans for Public Justice (TPJ) for creating a “Shadow Government.”
“During my 15-month campaign for lieutenant governor, I met with literally hundreds of successful businessmen and women from every kind of business one can imagine,” said Patrick during a press conference attended by Breitbart Texas. “It quickly occurred to me that these entrepreneurs could be a valuable asset to the Texas Senate in helping craft policy initiatives.”
“I began asking many of these business leaders that if I was fortunate enough to win this election, would they consider volunteering their time and expertise to address the major issues of today and tomorrow, that face Texas,” Patrick explained.
TPJ apparently sees things differently. In a press release obtained by Breitbart Texas, TPJ Director Craig McDonald called the advisory boards a “shadow government.” He said, “The vast majority of Patrick’s appointees to his ‘citizen’ boards bought shares in his administration before his recent election as a top state official.”
“Endowing a handful of corporate titans with the power to write laws behind closed doors is the ultimate form of government privatization,” McDonald said.
TPJ was called a “liberal-leaning group” in an August, 2014 article by Aman Batheja that was published on the Texas Tribune. Batheja called them the group “that sparked the Perry indictment.” Eleven years ago the group also was behind the indictment of former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay. The conviction of DeLay was later overturned by the Third Court of Appeals in Austin. That judgment was affirmed by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, the highest court in Texas for criminal cases.
The group claims to be non-partisan, but a review of their website appears to only show complaints against Republicans or people who support lawsuit reform. In the Texas Tribune article, Texans for Lawsuit Reform communications director Sherry Sylvester called the group a “political attack machine masquerading as a public interest group.”
Despite TPJ’s claim of “corporate titans being able to write laws behind closed doors,” the advisory boards being set up by Patrick will have no such power. “This move by Patrick puts the world on notice that these business leaders will be consulted on matters where they have expertise,” said Kingwood Tea Party co-founder James Lennon. “This appears to be a step forward in a more transparent government.”
Patrick also announced he will be creating “grassroots advisory boards” in the coming days. No mention of that announcement was made by the TPJ.
At the conclusion of his press conference, Patrick stated, “Today, I am proud to announce the Lieutenant Governor Advisory Boards for the following policy areas; Economic and Workforce Development, Economic Forecasting, Energy/Oil and Gas, Tax Policy, Transportation, and Water.” Patrick made the following board chair appointments:
Roy Bailey: Lieutenant Governor Advisory Board Chairman
Gene Powell: Economic and Workforce Development Chair
Kent Hance: Economic Forecasting Chair
Boone Pickens: Energy/Oil and Gas Chair
Brint Ryan: Tax Policy Chair
Ned Holmes: Transportation Chair
Jack Wood: Water Chair
Bob Price is a senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas and a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.