Sunday, May 01, 2005

Bonnen's shrubbery fetish explored

State Rep. Dennis Bonnen gets the purple sage shrubbery lobby on the phone to tell them their master plan appears to be working beautfully.
It's all about Texas pride, state Rep. Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, tells the Houston Chronicle regarding the many, many state endorsed symbols that are approved by the Legislature.

Bonnen's bill to designate the purple sage the state's official native shrub started with a constutent, Thomas Adams, who became "very upset" upon learning the state shrub wasn't native to Texas but to Red Communist China!

Adams, an Angleton botanist, took the matter to the Native Plant Society of Texas.

Adams said the society debated the pros and cons of many shrubs but decided on the purple sage because of its aesthetic qualities.

"I originally wanted them to dump the crape myrtle," Adams said. "It's from China, and that doesn't represent Texas very well. But I'll take the native shrub designation."

Though Adams may have wanted the myrtle cut from the list, Bonnen said most lawmakers try to avoid fights since these are simply honorary measures. He said he could have lobbied for the purple sage to displace the crape myrtle, but he didn't want to take the myrtle away.

If Bonnen is anything, he's responsive to constituent pressure (especially the Texas Chemical Council), so that's how the Legislature wound up wasting its time on making the purple sage the official native shrub of Texas.
The Brazosport News, March 23, 2005, "Bring him a SHRUBBERY!"

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