Friday, February 06, 2009

A Modest Proposal: Ebay the Speaker’s Apartment

Today we receive the news that former Texas House Speaker Tom Craddick, and his spendthrift wife, Nadine, went on a $169,400 spending spree during the last week he was in office - after announcing he would not stand for re-election - liberating these funds from the State Preservation Fund to put the finishing touches on their $1.3 million remodeling project. A project to remodel the 1804 square foot Speaker’s apartment that lies beyond the Speaker’s private door to the House chamber.

By my reckoning, that comes to about $720 per square foot.

During the last week of his term, the Speaker placed orders for 2 paintings totaling $45,400, a crystal chandelier for $75,000, $26,500 for a piece of furniture, and another chandelier for $22,500.

Leaving a grand total of $18.50 in the remodeling fund.

To what end Craddick did this, I can only guess, but I imagine that since it was Tom Craddick who got his wealthy contributors and lobbyists to pony up the 1.3 million in the first place, the last thing he was going to do was let that horse racing promoter Straus use it.

Well I have a modest proposal.

Let’s send a message to these two people, who will forever be remembered as symbols of gratuitous excess and opulence. Let’s put all of this stuff on Ebay.

Then let’s use the proceeds to buy office supplies for the Texas Legislature for the next 10 years.

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