@ Newsdesk

The Road to Bad Law Is Paved With Good Intentions

Last week Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and Speaker Tom Craddick excluded legislative Democrats from the new Select Committee on Public School Accountability. No biggie, said the speaker's office; the civilian members add all the diversity the committee needs.

Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, sees the exclusion as bigger than a mere blatant rejection of bipartisanship, however. Dewhurst and Craddick failed to bring vital points of view and important stakeholders to the table, she says.

To illustrate her point, she told Newsdesk a story about working with a well-intentioned company that wanted to organize prescription deliveries to patients on Medicaid. The firm wanted to phone ahead, until Van de Putte pointed out that not every household has a phone. Well, asked the company, what about public phones? "Maybe," said Van de Putte, "in your part of town, public phones take incoming calls." The firm didn't realize that, in some urban areas, public phones (if you can find one) are outgoing only, to cut down on the drug trade. So, the firm suggested, what about FedEx deliveries? "What if they can't get FedEx?" Van de Putte responded. "FedEx won't go into the projects."

The Select Committee on Public School Accountability now has four Republican legislators, as well as two education commissioners, three school district superintendents, one deputy superintendent, a principal, an elementary teacher, a banker, a lawyer, the president of a futures trading company, and the CEO of Continental Airlines. How's that for diversity!

Posted Monday, Feb. 4, on austinchronicle.com/newsdesk.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More by Richard Whittaker
AFF Review: <i>Ale</i>
AFF Review: Ale
Pro-wrestling documentary with a micro-focus on personality

Oct. 26, 2020

AFF Interview: Taking the <i>Blinders</i> Off
AFF Interview: Blinders
Vincent van Horn takes the scary path to Hollywood

Oct. 23, 2020

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Select Committee on Public School Accountability, David Dewhurst, Tom Craddick, Leticia Van de Putte

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle