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Will Senate GOP Betray Police and Firefighters to Back Abbott?
Last year, Greg Abbott took a below the radar shot at Texas police and firefighters when he appointed Josh McGee to head the Texas Pension Review Board. McGee is the proverbial fox in the henhouse. He earned his spurs working to gut public employee pension funds, even working to dismantle retired police officer pensions.
Abbott acted behind their backs
Abbott made the appointment without checking with police, firefighters or other first responders. He knew better. They would have objected loudly and publicly. So, Abbott appointed McGee and let the police and firefighters he was betraying find out after the fact. Of course, they did find out and called on Abbott to pull his nomination.
Charley Wilkison with the Combined Law Enforcement Association of Texas (CLEAT) said the “appointment is a serious threat to the livelihood of officers who sacrifice so much for the people of Texas."
Here are just some of the public safety organizations whose members were betrayed by Greg Abbott and who are calling on Senate Republicans to vote against Josh McGee’s confirmation:
- Combined Law Enforcement of Texas (CLEAT)
- Texas Municipal Police Association (TMPA)
- Fraternal Order of Police Texas State Lodge
- Harris County Deputies’ Organization
- Dallas Police Association
- Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association Local 341
- Dallas Fire Fighters Association
- Texas State Association of Fire Fighters
- Houston Police Retired Officers’ Association
- Houston Police Officers’ Union
- Laredo Firefighters Association
Senate Republicans will choose between Abbott and Police/Firefighters
Not many people outside the police and firefighter community noticed when Abbott appointed Josh McGee, but they’re watching closely now. The Texas Senate Nominations Committee will vote on Thursday whether to send the nomination of McGee as pension board chair to the full Senate for a vote. This vote could lock into place a person clearly hostile to Texas men and women who spent a career putting their lives at risk to keep other Texans safe.
Abbott’s public safety lip service
While running for Governor in 2014, Greg Abbott traveled the state saying he would to “keep Texans safe”. CLEAT and many of the other law enforcement organizations endorsed and supported Abbott.
Now, as Governor, Abbott still spouts public safety rhetoric, but his record exposes him as both uncaring and inept. His appointment of McGee is an arrogant betrayal of police, firefighters and other public safety professionals who trusted him. Abbott’s betrayal of public safety professionals builds on his record of bungling the Texas foster children crisis, making it worse instead of better.
Greg Abbott owns his sorry record on public safety. Now, Senate Republicans must decide whether they will join him in betraying police and firefighters by confirming Josh McGee.