The Bushes clearly know how to reward friends and punish anyone not swearing fealty to all things Bush. George P. is clearing if not cleaning house at the Land Office and installing friends and Bush family cohorts. Former Commissioner Jerry Patterson laments the loss of institutional knowledge while others question where this important agency is headed under the latest Bush name.
At least 111 state workers have been fired, retired or have quit the Texas General Land Office — about 17 percent of the agency’s workforce — under the leadership of George P. Bush, whose so-called reboot has drawn criticism from his predecessor, who says the agency is suffering under “a purge.”
Bush’s house-cleaning invokes the conservative belt-tightening mantra that pervades Texas politics, but the size of the exodus and the tenor with which it was announced has raised questions.
This whole idea is all about looking good,” former Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, also a Republican, told the Statesman.
Despite recent audits that were critical of “significant weaknesses” in the way the agency managed contracts under Patterson, the former commissioner called Bush’s shake-up “a purge of the best agency in Texas government and a purge of people who have done wonderful things.”
“It’s all about ‘I’m going to show that I can cut the size of government,’” he said. “I think it’s some serious ignorance. You’ve been hired to do a job. They’re all on the street now, and they haven’t got new jobs.”
When he announced the reboot in June, Bush and his No. 2, Anne Idsal, suggested the agency was hampered by entitled workers and other “threats.”
Threats? What threats? Please tell us.