Wednesday, July 26, 2006

"Texas parks are in dire shape, close to disaster"

Following the Texas Progress Council's press conference yesterday calling attention to the problem, the Chronic reports that Rick Perry has suddenly realized he's got a big mess on his hands. Let's turn the newspaper's attention away from the Republican governor's spin, though, and put the focus back where it belongs, on the state of our state parks:

"Texas state parks are in dire shape, close to disaster," Rep. Harvey Hilderbran, R-Kerrville, said.

Some of the state's 114 parks "are embarrassing," he said. Declining budgets from $253 million in 2004 to $197 million this fiscal year have resulted in staff cuts, reduced operating hours, deferred maintenance, old equipment and a vehicle fleet averaging 10 years old. To raise money, Parks and Wildlife officials nearly sold 46,000 acres of Big Bend Ranch State Park last year until public outrage forced them to back down.

This is the real story.

Governor Adios MoFo -- together with enablers like Tom Craddick and Jerry Patterson and Greg Abbott, and the influence of bagmen like Tom DeLay, James Leininger, and "Swift Boat" Bob Perry -- has created a legislative environment where there will be no money for anything. Not for schools, not for health care, not even for state parks.

Oh wait, there will be money for toll roads.

Do Texans really want to continue being the laboratory for Grover Norquist's experiment of drowning government in the bathtub?

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