Tuesday, July 25, 2006

To the ramparts! The much and compost industry is under attack, my fellow Americans.

Who'll defend the compost & mulch industry?

Our Man in Austin, that's who.

State Rep. Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, has fired off an urgent request for an attorney general's opinion over the shocking foray into the private compost & mulch industry by local governments.

Towns are making mulch and compost and selling it.


“By selling the compost/mulch in a competitive market outside their own city limits, these cities pose a significant threat to the free markets in Texas," Bonnen wrote to the AG.

He calls out Brenham, Denton and Plano as "the most aggressive."

“Many of the jobs involve hundreds of thousands of dollars, and the cities are easily able to underbid private businesses in this industry,” Bonnen wrote.

The Brenham city manager said the city's "just trying to take care of its brush pile" and made only $31,000 in the endeavor last year.

Why is Bonnen carrying water for the compost & mulch industry?

The old Shakespeare quote -- "Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look,
He thinks too much; such men are dangerous." -- comes to mind when Mr. Bonnen goes off on these type of forays.

Anyhow, not to get too literary on you, we checked his latest campaign contributions and could detect no large donations from the the compost & mulch lobby. Not that we'd recognize the names of any compost & mulch lobbyists, and not that we're even sure the threatened compost & mulch industry even employs a lobbyist or funds a political action committee. But we tried.

Be that as it may, somebody put a bee in Bonnen's bonnet.

It's reminiscent of his efforts last year on behalf of the rock quarry/rock crushing industry, which he valiantly defended from more vigilant environmental rules.

Back then, we smelled a rat, since we're trained newshounds, and discovered that the rock quarry/rock crushing lobby had made a number of the campaign contributions to the ambitious state rep. (See B'port News,Feb. 5, 2005).

Lean and hungry indeed!

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