Rep. “No Show Joe” Driver Skips House Appropriations Hearing on Budget

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Republican State Representative Joe Driver never wanted to sit on the House Appropriations Committee, but he was named to the powerful position anyway. With a projected $15-$18 billion budget shortfall facing the state of Texas, one would expect Rep. Driver to commit to serving fully on the Appropriations Committee throughout the interim.

But at last week's budget hearing, Rep. “No-Show-Joe” Driver was nowhere to be found. He should be sitting just to the right of Speaker Straus, in the middle of the back row. Only you can't see him, because he's not there:

Rep. “No-Show-Joe” never wanted to be on the House Appropriations Committee. From the Dallas Morning News Trailblazers blog, Straus to House: Get to work!:

Driver, placed by Straus on the budget writing Appropriations Committee, has said he's not interested. Driver didn't attend some of the panel's first meetings. But he hinted he might be forced to start going.

“It's time to put up or show up,” Driver quipped.

Since “No-Show-Joe” couldn't show up, the people in House District 113 shouldn't have to put up with him any longer. Democrat Jamie Dorris is going to make sure of that.

Democrat Jamie Dorris is running against “No-Show-Joe” and called him out for his failed attendance in an e-mail to supporters last week:

Dear Neighbor,

Texas is facing an $18 billion budget shortfall. This week in Austin, the Texas House Appropriations Committee met to discuss the state's declining revenue and to determine the best way to confront this serious situation. Our incumbent State Rep. Joe Driver (R), a member of the Committee, did not attend the hearing.

This was one of the most important House Committee hearings this year. And there his chair sat – empty. As other members of the committee learned about revenue projections, Joe's empty chair didn't have any questions. As other state Representatives talked about what can be done in the coming legislative session – no Joe.

It's time to get rid of the same old Austin politicians. The next time Rep. Driver brags about being on the House Appropriations Committee, ask, 'Why the no-show, Joe?' Leadership starts with showing up.

Sincerely,

Jamie

P.S. If you think we can do better than absentee politicians, please consider supporting my campaign with a contribution. Whatever you can do is appreciated.

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About Author

Phillip Martin

Currently the Research and Policy Director for Progress Texas and the Texas Research Institute, Phillip Martin writes occasional long-form pieces for BOR that promote focused analysis and insight into Texas politics. Born and raised in Austin, Phillip started working in politics in 2003 and started writing on BOR in the summer of 2005. Phillip has worked for the Texas Democratic Trust, the Texas Legislative Study Group, and now the Progress Texas family. He is a lifelong Houston Astros fan, a loyal Longhorn, and loves swimming at Barton Springs Pool.

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