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Sid Miller

Sid Miller, the infamously brash Texan, could finally make his way into a Trump office as agriculture secretary. His promotion of harmful, false online conspiracies would be welcomed in a cabinet hand-picked to enable Trump’s worst instincts.

Sid Miller and Racism

Miller Made Inflammatory Comments About Muslims And Refugees

Miller Compared Syrian Refugees To Venomous Rattlesnakes. According to the Texas Tribune, “Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller — no stranger to social media fireworks — is now comparing Syrian refugees to venomous rattlesnakes. In a post on his campaign Facebook page on Wednesday, the Republican juxtaposed two images: one showing a twisting mass of snakes, the other a crowd of refugees. ‘Can you tell me which of these rattlers won’t bite you?’ Miller’s post asked. ‘Sure some of them won’t, but tell me which ones so we can bring them into the house.’ This week, governors across the country, including Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, said they would work to keep refugees from war-torn Syria from being resettled in their states in light of the Islamic State’s deadly attacks in Paris on Friday. Many other Texas Republicans have shared similar views.” [Texas Tribune, 11/19/15]

Miller Appeared To Advocate Bombing The Muslim World, Sharing A Picture Of The Nuclear Mushroom Cloud Over Japan. According to the Dallas Morning News, “Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, who is currently traveling in China, shared a photo on Facebook Sunday night that advocated for bombing the ‘Muslim world.’ The post has since been deleted. The photo, originally posted on a Facebook page called ‘The Patriots IV Drip 2’, is an exploding mushroom cloud with text that says ‘Japan has been at peace with the US since August 9, 1945. It’s time we made peace with the Muslim world.’ The post has received almost 3,000 likes and more than 300 comments before it was removed sometime on Monday morning. On August 9, 1945, the United States dropped a second atomic bomb on Japan. The atomic bomb killed somewhere between 39,000 and 80,000 people. Japan surrendered shortly after the atomic bombing.” [Dallas Morning News, 8/17/15]

Miller Said Wondering If The United States Will Become “A Muslim Country” Keeps Him Up At Night. According to the Texas Tribune, “Shortly before Sid Miller was sworn into office, the newly elected Texas agriculture chief was asked at a conservative policy forum what keeps him up at night. ‘Bad Mexican food,’ he said. Then, after allowing a few moments for laughter: ‘Actually, I sleep pretty well, but I do have some long-range concerns as I hold those two grandbabies on my lap, and I happen to wonder: When they have grandbabies to hold in their lap, will we be a socialist country? Will we be a Muslim country?’” [Texas Tribune, 4/22/16]

Sid Miller and Corruption

Miller Improperly Used Taxpayer Funds To Travel


February 2015: Miller Spent $1,120 Of Taxpayer Money On A Trip To Oklahoma City

February 2015: As Agricultural Commission, Miller Spent $1,120 Of Taxpayer Money On A Trip To Oklahoma City. According to the Houston Chronicle, “Less than a month after taking office, Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller flew to Oklahoma City with a top aide, billing the taxpayers at least $1,120 for flights and a rental car, budget records show.” [Houston Chronicle, 3/18/16]

Miller Claimed The Trip Was Made At State Lawmakers’ Request While Lawmakers Challenged That Claim

Miller Claimed He Took The Trip After Lawmakers Invited Him To The Capitol. According to the Houston Chronicle, “At the time, Miller said he made the trip to tour the Oklahoma National Stockyards and meet with Oklahoma lawmakers as well as the state’s top agriculture official. His office posted a picture on Facebook of him with three lawmakers who his office said had invited him to the Sooner State’s Capitol.” [Houston Chronicle, 3/18/16]

Lawmakers Challenged Miller’s Purpose For The Trip, And Said No Meeting Took Place. According to the Houston Chronicle, “Recent interviews have cast doubt on that description, however. All of the lawmakers in the photograph, or their aides, said they did not invite Miller or even expect him in their state that day in February 2015. The president of the stockyards said it did not give him a tour. And Miller himself now acknowledges that he requested the meeting with the Oklahoma agriculture official – and then did not show up.” [Houston Chronicle, 3/18/16]

Miller’s Trip Was Allegedly Really To Receive A “Jesus Shot”

A Potential “Jesus Shot” Was Suggested As The Real Reason For Miller’s Trip. According to the Houston Chronicle, “The interviews suggest a possible explanation: One of the lawmakers and another person with direct knowledge of the trip both said Miller told them that he got a medical procedure while in Oklahoma. Miller, a former rodeo cowboy who suffers from chronic pain, acknowledged to the Houston Chronicle that he has received the ‘Jesus Shot,’ a controversial but legal medication administered only by a single Oklahoma City-area doctor who claims that it takes away all pain for life. Miller declined to confirm or deny whether he received the injection during the February 2015 trip.” [Houston Chronicle, 3/18/16]


February 2015: Miller Used Taxpayer Money And Campaign Funds To Fly To Mississippi To Compete In A Rodeo For Prize Money. According to the Houston Chronicle, “Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller used a combination of taxpayer money and campaign funds to fly to Mississippi last year to compete in a rodeo for prize money, according to newly obtained records. Miller spent nearly $2,000 in state and campaign cash on the three-day trip to Jackson, Miss., in February 2015, in the middle of last year’s legislative session, records show. He used an agriculture department credit card for the airplane flights and a campaign account card for a hotel room and a rental car. Weeks later, he wrote a check from his campaign account to reimburse the state for the flights, according to department records. During the trip, Miller spent two days competing in calf-roping events at the horse show at the Dixie National Rodeo, according to the Mississippi Quarter Horse Association. He won $880. Miller did not have any scheduled meetings or events other than the horse show, according to his calendar.” [Houston Chronicle, 4/8/16]

The Texas Ethics Commission Fined Miller $500 Over The Trip. According to the Texas Tribune, “Nearly four years after traveling to a Jackson, Mississippi, rodeo using state funds, Sid Miller — Texas’ colorful agriculture commissioner — has been slapped with a $500 fine from the Texas Ethics Commission.” [Texas Tribune, 12/21/18]

Miller Helped His Friends Land Lucrative Appointments


Miller Handed Out Jobs To Close Friends Without Posting Them, With An Average Salary Of About $150,000. According to the Houston Chronicle, “Miller has given his unposted hires the highest salaries, with an average of about $150,000, largely due to his creation of four new ‘appointed’ assistant agriculture commissioner positions, each paying $180,000 per year. The commissioner filled those jobs with two former colleagues from the state House, a campaign aide and the wife of a campaign consultant.” [Houston Chronicle, 4/8/16]

Miller Gave Huge Bonuses While He Raised Fees On Farmers


During His First Nine Months In Office, Miller Doled Out $413,700 In Bonuses To 144 Employees, While Raising Fees On Farmers. According to the Houston Chronicle, “Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, a first-term Republican who campaigned as an uncompromising conservative, gave out more bonuses to agency employees in his first nine months in office than his predecessor awarded in his first two and a half years on the job, according to an analysis of personnel data. Miller doled out $413,700 in one-time cash rewards to 144 employees between January and September – the most of any statewide elected official in that time, and more than the total given by Gov. Greg Abbott, Attorney General Ken Paxton and Comptroller Glenn Hegar combined, according to the Houston Chronicle data analysis. Miller’s predecessor, Todd Staples, gave $161,800 in bonuses during his first nine months and $369,300 overall in his first 2½ years. Most of Miller’s bonuses were handed out in September – the same month he announced he was sharply raising fees on farmers, grocery stores and others, sparking surprise and anger among some state lawmakers. The fees are set to take effect Jan. 1.” [Houston Chronicle, 12/17/15]

One Of Miller’s Aides Was Indicted For Theft And Bribery


Miller Aide Todd Smith Indicted On Felony Charges Of Theft And Bribery. According to the Texas Tribune, “Todd Smith, a top political consultant to Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, was indicted Tuesday on felony charges of theft and commercial bribery related to taking money in exchange for state hemp licenses that are doled out through Miller’s office, according to Travis County district attorney José Garza. Smith was arrested in May, accused of taking $55,000 as part of the scheme, according to an arrest warrant affidavit. Smith and others were accused of soliciting up to $150,000 to get an ‘exclusive’ hemp license from the Texas Department of Agriculture. Smith allegedly said $25,000 would be used for a public poll on hemp. A hemp license from the state costs $100, according to the arrest warrant. ‘We are holding accountable powerful actors who abuse the system and break the law,’ Garza said. ‘Our community needs to know that no one is above the law and will face justice.’” [Texas Tribune, 1/18/22]

Todd Smith’s Trial Was Set For August 2024. According to the San Antonio Express-News, “A former top aide to Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges of soliciting bribes from farmers in exchange for state licenses to grow hemp. At a court hearing, the state said it had offered Todd Smith, a longtime political adviser to Miller, a plea deal that included a four-year deferred sentence, $50,000 in restitution payments and 200 hours of community service. Smith, who has maintained his innocence for years, did not accept. State prosecutors said Tuesday that Smith has until the end of March to change his mind, but Travis County district Judge Dayna Blazey set an initial trial date for Aug. 5.” [San Antonio Express-News, 1/30/24]

Sid Miller and Climate Change

Miller Opposed Clean Energy And Climate-Friendly Investments 


Miller Critiqued Wind Turbines And Climate-Friendly Policies.  According to Politico, “Regardless of who fills the top political posts at USDA in another Trump administration, former Trump officials say the department would almost certainly move away from Biden’s intense focus on efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the agriculture sector and incentivize rural communities to adopt greener energy sources — despite the current administration’s efforts to build lasting bipartisan support for those programs. Both Miller and Tom have publicly critiqued climate-friendly policies. During 2021’s deadly winter storm in Texas, Miller, like many Republicans, was quick to blame Texas’ wind power systems for the widespread outages, posting on Facebook that Texas ‘should never build another wind turbine.’ He called for Abbott’s Public Utility Commission appointees ‘to be fired and more gas, coal and oil infrastructure built.’ ‘To heck with green energy or climate change,’ Miller added. ‘They are overhyped and scientificly challenged,’ he said, while misspelling scientifically.” [Politico, 4/11/24]

  • 2021: Miller Said, “To Heck With Green Energy Or Climate Change.” According to a Facebook post from Miller’s campaign account, “We should never build another wind turbine in Texas. The experiment failed big time. Governor Abbott’s Public Utility Commission appointees need to be fired and more gas, coal and oil infrastructure built. To heck with green energy or climate change. They are overhyped and scientificly challenged. This tragic failure to prepare is killing people. How dare this happen in our great state with all the resources we should ever need to keep our fellow Texans safe? Heads better roll and plants and infrastructure better be built. This must never, ever happen again!” [Facebook – @MillerforTexas, 2/16/21]
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