Image: Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller would be a serious conservative alternative to the public-opinion-poll driven wish-washy politics of Texas Governor Greg Abbott, if Miller were to challenge Abbott in the 2022 Republican Primary Election. He’s shown in his personal office at his ranch in Stephenville.
The Golden Hammer Staff Reports
Austin and Stephenville, April 5 – Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, who appeared in a frank interview on “It’s Hammer Time” on Friday, April 2, 2021, appears as the likely conservative challenger to flailing Governor Greg Abbott in the 2022 Republican Primary Election. When asked point blank whether he intends to run for Governor of Texas in 2022, Miller answered, “It may be in the cards and it may not. But I can’t announce today, because I just haven’t made that decision.”
Nevertheless, Miller also didn’t rule out a run for the Governor’s Mansion in 2022. Everything he discusses about major issues confronting Texas reveal that he has far more complete and carefully considered answers than Abbott on just about every issue.
As to the run for Governor, Miller elaborated, “I haven’t made that decision…I have been asked by several different groups…At this point I’ve got my hands full, suing Dan Patrick, the border problems, the grid, the budget. We’ve got our marketing program going on. We’re going to work hard until the end of this session. We’re doing it now, but we’re going to get real serious in prayer and see what God wants us to do.
Miller discussed the mission of the Texas Department of Agriculture. “We do everything including cows, ploughs, and sows. It’s a $6 billion agency,” Miller explained. “It’s the primary consumer protection agency in the State.”
During his 7 years in office, Miller has reduced the agriculture bureaucracy while making the organic certifications substantially faster process. “It would take 3 years to get an organic certification…It still takes about 120 days,” the Commissioner said.
Miller has also turned around the school lunch program, by law, the Texas Department of Agriculture administers for the federal government. “Instead of having healthy children, we had healthy trashcans,” Miller said of the time period when he first came into office. Under Miller, the Agriculture Department has replaced packaged lunches with farm fresh products purchased from local products “served fresh from local farmers and ranchers…It tastes good, so it’s no longer going into the trash cans…I’ve basically set up a clearinghouse…The kids win and the farmers win,” he explained.
Miller has become a real advocate and protector for many agricultural industries, especially Texas beekeepers. As an example, the federal Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has proposed introducing flea beetles and moths into Texas with the intent of eradicating Chinese Tallow, an invasive plant species. Nevertheless, Texas beekeepers are concerned, because a huge percentage of honey comes from the Chinese Tallow. In response to a question about the problem, Miller said, “Without bees, we won’t have pollenators…They’re vital. If we lose our bees, we’re in big trouble. They’re [Chinese Tallow] are an invasive species and they take over a lot of our grazing areas, but they also produce some really good honey. We weren’t consulted. I’m concerned that the beekeepers may lose a source of pollen, but I’m even more concerned about releasing an invasive, non-native insect in Texas.” Miller established the “Pollenator Protection Program” within the Agriculture Department when he became Commissioner.
Miller’s three primary issues during the 87th Texas Legislative Session are “fixing the electric grid, election integrity, and fixing the border. All three of those issues affect agriculture.” Miller has proposed a 15-point plan on how to solve the electric grid problems which arose during February winter storm. “My end goal is to get the grid fixed so it never happens again what happened in February,” Miller said. “You couldn’t have wrote a script with more problems. ERCOT didn’t send out inspectors. You have reliable energy which is oil, gas, coal, and unreliable energy which is wind and solar…They messed up and overbilled for 72 hours with a $16 billion bill and they won’t rescind…There now are over 200 people dead. Oversight is all the responsibility of the Governor’s office, who oversees and appoints the PUC commissioners. I called the Governor out but he wouldn’t do anything…We’ve got to get that replaced. We should never ever let this happen.”
As for Abbott’s latest PUC appointee, Miller bluntly said, “Will McAdams is a political insider. He’d probably tell you that. One of my ideas is to make those three PUC Commissioners elected.”
As for the border crisis, Miller has been particularly outspoken in his criticism of both Abbott and Biden. “On January 6, we knew for sure that Biden was going to take over the presidency,” Miller explained. “On January 7 , we should’ve been moving our assets down to the border, because it was going to be an open border under the new administration, and they were going to shut down the border wall. Abbott waited until March 7 and we shouldn’t have waited that long… We need to finish building the border wall, need to support border patrol and ICE…with technology, drones, radar,…need to reconstitute the Texas Navy and put gunboats on the river…”
Miller discussed his lawsuit against Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick and the Texas Senate. “A month or so ago, the Governor said Texas is open for business and no more masks. In my building in Austin, no masks are required, but you can wear them if you want to…If you go into the Senate, you have to wear a mask and you have to get a mandatory COVID test outside. This is at a time when every citizen has had the vaccine or can have it and every Senate staffer has had the vaccine or can get it. The Constitution doesn’t say you have right to petition government, if you take a COVID test. It’s an absolute right. So I sued them, including the Lieutenant Governor and everyone in the Senate. We need open government and we need to watch our legislators… It seems like everyone over there is hypocrites. It doesn’t make a lot of sense. We need to let people see the process and open government,” Miller said.
Miller is very upset that the Texas budget keeps growing and has plans to stop that spending growth. He explained, “I don’t want to increase overall spending. I want them to increase security at Texas border…You talk about something inhumane. it’s those women and children being raped at the border. If we build that wall and make them come through legal ports of entry, all that would stop. We need to offset that spending increase with reductions somewhere else. We should have built the wall.”
Miller will likely announce his plans early during the summer.