As we have discussed in our previous endorsement, the Railroad Commission is a three-person board with a powerful responsibility to regulate and look over the ever-growing oil & gas sector in this State. The name is a misnomer, as the commission has very little to do with railroads, and instead exists as a sort of Energy Czar. When we look to the current commission’s members, however, we do not think of energy; nor do we think of competent and trustworthy mediators. Between Chrsti Craddick –the daughter of a former House Speaker– and Barry Smitherman, the religious zealot running for Attorney General, this board thoroughly laments the loss of skill and sensibility from the commission. While a background in the sector is, in fact, encouraged, for candidates, we would hope candidates would be able to present an open mind and use fair judgment, not being beholden to any special interests.
Accordingly, we recommend strongly against a vote for Wayne Christian, Ray Keller or Ryan Sitton. Specifically in the case of the former individual, we see no reason to continue in a tradition of business-as-usual, supporting politicians with no credentials in the field to speak of, merely a conservative record in the Legislature. Such a record does not suffice, in our opinion.
This board, however, has been unable to reach a majority decision with any one candidate. Accordingly, as we have done in previous similarly-situated races, we have presented the minority selections of individual Editorial Board members.
We spoke earlier of a need to move away from the “business-as-usual” of the Republican’s continued domination of the State Government. Predominantly, a need to focus on the issues that actually matter for the office contested, rather than broad pontifications on alleged right-wing principles. Therefore, I have looked for the most pragmatic, reasonable Republican in this race. It is my belief that I have found her in Becky Berger.
A geologist by trade and profession, Berger has made a career in the oil & gas industry. She has worked in the field and in the office, and truly understands much of the science behind the profession. Additionally, much like I have admired in other Republican candidates thus far in the campaign, she has focused on the actual issues facing the campaigning. You will not find grandstanding on abortion or guns from the Berger campaign, and she is all the better for it.
Of course, I would be remiss if I did not note that none of the Republican candidates for the Railroad Commission align with many of my personal political convictions on the role the Government should play in regulating land and the environment for future generations. With that said, I believe that Berger is the best suited of the bunch to respond to changing information and have all of Texas at heart. Additionally, I have been particularly impressed by her dedication to private property rights.
—Noah M. Horwitz
The phrase “Not Ready for Prime Time” has been uttered many times throughout this primary election season, though I have found a place where it applies no better than in the Republican primary for Railroad Commissioner. Among the five candidates, I have only found one running what –it appears to me– is a credible campaign. And that man is Malachi Boyuls.
Indeed, as my friend Noah has pointed out, this State should repudiate the extremism and extraneous posturing that has unfortunately penetrated Statewide Republican politics. But I see no reason to not believe Boyuls is the perfect anecdote for such an ill.
A lawyer and a small business owners, not a stooge to big, bad oil, Boyuls has brought a surprisingly pragmatic point of the view to the race, campaigning much closer to the center than the other candidates–including Berger. Noah may say that Berger supports private property rights; I say that Boyuls not only supports them, he has a proven track record of such defenses and zealous convictions on the matter.
The top three issues of Boyuls are to restore energy independence, maintain safe pipelines and protect the environment. Conspicuously absent from his rolodex of policy prescriptions are unrelated matters such as abortion. Noah offered his endorsement with a qualification; I don’t. Boyuls is a well-qualified candidate with a great platform. Republican primary voters should proudly vote for him this March, and definitely consider supporting him this November as well.–Andrew Scott Romo
The Texpatriate Editorial Board is comprised of Noah M. Horwitz & Olivia Arena of Austin, Sophia Arena of Houston, George Bailey of Boston and Andrew Scott Romo of New Orleans. Editorials represent a majority of the voting board.