A GREAT BIG TEXAS GOOBER

The great state of Georgia is famous for its peanuts, but I still say that my state of Texas produces the most extraordinary goobers of them all.

The great state of Georgia is famous for its peanuts, but I still say that my state of Texas produces the most extraordinary goobers of them all.

As proof, I submit Joe Driver, a Republican state representative from the Dallas area. You can’t get any more gooberish than Joe.

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Until recently, most Texans had never heard of Driver, even though he’s been in the Lege for nearly two decades and is a powerful member of the appropriations committee, which doles out Texas tax dollars. His oversight of state spending is relevant to his gooberness, because he recently burst into public consciousness over a rather basic error in accounting, not to mention a gross case of financial ethicalitis.

It seems that Joe, who regularly rails against big spending liberals and demands stringent cutbacks in our miserly state budget, has for years been routinely billing taxpayers for more than $100,000 in travel expenses that his political fund had already covered – including airline tickets, fancy meals, and luxury out-of-state hotels. He would pay for these costs with campaign funds, then submit the same expenses to the state, and merrily slip the taxpayer reimbursement into his own pocket.

Now comes the amazing part. This double-dipping goober insists that he didn’t know it was wrong to collect payment from two entities for the same expense! Apparently, Driver’s mom never taught him the “play-fair” lesson as a boy.

When confronted by an AP reporter about his curious bookkeeping, Joe claimed that the state ethics commission had okayed it years ago, though he couldn’t say who or when. He added that he is apoplectic that his double-billing scheme turns out to be stupid, unethical, and illegal. “It pretty well screws my week,” he sighed.

Come on, Georgia, try to match Joe Driver for pure gooberness.

“Lawmaker billed both state, campaign for travel expenses,” Austin American Statesman, August 17, 2010.

“Lawmaker needs lesson on reimbursements,” www.statesman.com, August 17, 2010.

“Battling the bastards is about as much fun as you can have with your clothes on.”

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