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Texas lawmaker billed taxpayers for trip to Oklahoma to get pain-relieving ‘Jesus shot’

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A Republican lawmaker has come under fire for billing taxpayers for a trip to Oklahoma to supposedly conduct state business when the actual purpose of the trip was to get a so-called “Jesus shot” from an Oklahoma City man who calls himself “Dr. Mike.”

According to the Houston Chronicle, Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller took the trip in 2015 to see John Michael Lonergan to receive the  controversial but legal medication which Lonergan claims takes away all pain for life.

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In an earlier interview, Miller admitted that he had received the shot and refused to divulge details, but conceded, “It’s worked out good.”

The Chronicle reports that Lonergan moved to Oklahoma over a decade ago after losing his Ohio medical license due to felony tax evasion, and that he occasionally  works out of the Priceless Beauty Spa in Kingfisher, Oklahoma.

Miller also stated that he paid for the trip and the $300 shot himself.

However a review of travel records show taxpayers picked up the $1,120 tab for flights and a rental car for Miller and an aide to travel to Oklahoma where Miller claims he toured the Oklahoma National Stockyards and met with Oklahoma lawmakers as well as the state’s top agriculture official.

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Those officials state that never happened, and they only briefly met with Miller for a handshake and a photo-op which Miller’s office posted to Facebook.

Pressed about the meeting and tour, Miller now admits that he requested the meeting with the Oklahoma agriculture official – and then did not show up.

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Other Texas lawmakers are disturbed by Miller’s actions.

“He’s saying that was the business purpose of his trip?” Rep. Jerry Shoemake (D) said. “Really?”

Experts point out that billing taxpayers for expenses associated with a private medical issue would be illegal.

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“Oh, no question about it,” explained Buck Wood, a lobbyist who specializes in ethics. “Using it for a medical procedure? I can’t even imagine anybody doing that. But I guess I haven’t seen everything.”

This is not the first time that Miller — described as a small government conservative — has been accused of playing fast and loose with taxpayer dollars.

Upon taking office in 2015, Miller hired four friends and campaign aides to new $180,000-a-year jobs without opening the application process to the public. Additionally, Miller has billed taxpayers for first class air fare, charged the state for cocktails and billed the state for a trip to Fort Worth for a TV interview that he claims was canceled after he arrived.

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Asked about billing the trip to the State, a spokesperson in Miller’s office denied any wrongdoing and said the lawmaker is paying the state back, saying, “Out of an abundance of caution the commissioner is reimbursing the state for the cost of this trip.”

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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Why was Jeffrey Epstein buying size 5 women’s panties — while in jail?

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The Miami Herald has another bombshell report on Jeffrey Epstein, who died in a Manhattan jail while waiting to stand trial on federal sex crimes charges.

"A decade ago, during a brief stint in Palm Beach County Jail, convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein made an odd purchase at the facility’s store: two pairs of small women’s panties, size 5," the Herald reported Saturday night.

The newspaper noted, "the panties raise questions about why a childless male inmate, accused of sexually abusing girls as young as 14, would be allowed to buy female undergarments so small that they wouldn’t fit an average-sized adult woman."

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White nationalist Republican ridiculed after only 2 people show up for his town hall meeting

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Embattled Rep. Steve King (R-IA) suffered further humiliation on Saturday when only two people showed up for his town hall meeting with Iowa constituents.

King, who was stripped of all committee assignments for his white nationalism, was been an embarrassment for Republicans with his constant racism and misogyny.

A photo of the town hall meeting was posted on Twitter by Reuters photo editor Corinne Perkins.

https://twitter.com/corinne_perkins/status/1162806565109473280

Rep. King was quickly mocked in the comments.

Here's some of what people were saying:

https://twitter.com/sedespres/status/1162811223186006018

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2020 Election

Democrats could flip the Texas state house in 2020 — and reshape the national map

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Blue Texas? Democrats have long dreamt of winning Texas’s 38 electoral votes in the presidential election. That may still be a long shot, but a recent “Texodus” from Congress has given new talk to a political transformation across the Lone Star State that could have massive ramifications down the ballot and for decades to come.

This article was originally posted at Salon.

Four of the state’s GOP members of Congress have announced their retirements in recent weeks, an unusual torrent of departures signaling that a storm is coming. And evidence shows that it’s not just hitting Texas’s federal delegation. It’s coming to Austin, too.

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