Wednesday, January 23, 2013

You think you know somebody.

People are constantly told in the media that the Republican party is the party of small-or sometimes "limited"-government.  One might conclude from that Republicans might like government officals who don't show up to work.  After all, government is extremely limited in what it can do if no government officals show up to work.

At least one Republican in Texas disagrees with this approach.  The Tex Parte blog has a post about a bill introduced in the Texas Legislature by James White, a Republican representing several counties in eastern Texas.  Representative White has proposed a bill that would require "elected officers" in Texas to "be physically present on a regular basis at a location at which official business of the jurisdiction served by the officer is ordinarily conducted."  Put another way, elected officials would have to show up to work. 

Representative White tells Tex Parte that he was not thinking about judges when he wrote the bill (although it would apply to them).  Instead, the bill is supposed to address a problem that occurs when an elected official loses an election and then does not show up to work much between the election and when the new official gets sworn in.  As Representative White puts it, he wants "to make sure that the people are getting what the paid for." 

One might wonder why not just introduce a bill that shortens the period of time between an election and win the winner takes office.  One might also wonder whether having a lame duck official show up to work is what voters wanted when they voted the official out of office.  After all, one might conclude that the message behind losing an election is that citizens do not want the loser doing the job.

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