News that Gets My Goat:
In an editorial titled “Gravy train: Reject salary supplements” the Chronicle calls for an end to private foundations boosting the salaries of public officials. They cite the CPRIT Foundation, which supplements salaries at the state-funded Cancer Prevention and Research Institute, and TexasOne which funds Rick Perry’s corporate recruiting trips. Donors to both orgs seem to be rewarded for their philanthropy with grant money or tax breaks. If these are such worthy programs we ought to fully fund them instead of falling back on private slush funds. This should be a no-brainer when you consider that government corruption is generally bought at a rate of around ten cents on the dollar.The city section of today’s Chronicle had a bit of holiday glurge about the County courts being set-up to make it easy for folks called for jury duty to donate their jury pay to several charities that work to aid the justice community, such as CPS, Crime Stoppers and the Victims of Crime Fund. I’m grateful to these outfits for the good work that they do, but would like to take the opportunity to suggest that $6 for showing up or $28 a day for serving on a jury is hardly adequate compensation for people to take off work to travel downtown just to observe the local clusterfug. Maybe the charities would get more contributions from better-paid jurors.
At least now the courts draw from a bigger pool than just the voter lists; it used to exasperate me to hear that people didn’t register to vote because they didn’t want to be called for jury duty. This reminds me that Texas state legislators are still paid $7,200 a year. Remember ‘you get what you pay for?’