Wild Appointments

There's three new members of the board of Texas Parks and Wildlife, but are they all equally qualified?

So what qualifications does it take to get put in charge of the great outdoors in Texas? On Friday, Gov. Rick Perry announced three new appointments to the board of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. First up there's Karen Hixon (already on the board of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation, the Peregrine Fund based in Boise, the advisory board for the Trust for Public Land and the Mitchell Lake Audubon Center, as well as previously serving with Environmental Defense, San Antonio Zoological Society and Texas Nature Conservancy). Then there's Margaret Martin (a rancher, chair of the Webb County Texas Cooperative Extension Leadership Advisory Board, Agricultural and Natural Resources Committee, and the Wildlife and Fisheries Committee.) And filling out the numbers is Dr. Antonio Falcon, a doctor from Rio Grande City.

So, apart from being named after a bird of prey, what exactly what are the good doctor's qualifications for running this massive, cash-strapped and over-burdened state organ? Well, until 2001 he sat on the Nursing Facility Administrators Advisory Committee. He was also on Perry's infamous pro-privatization 2005 Medicaid Reform work group, and in 2003 was co-chair of the "Yes on 12" committee, boosting Perry's pet project Proposition 12, which limited medical malpractice payments.

Hang on, there must be some connection to wildlife and park management in his resume, right? It can't just be that he's a loyal supporter of Perry, right? Right?

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