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Elected officials visit with Wise delegation

By Bob Buckel | Published Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Doc Anderson walked through the door, looked around, and hung his Stetson on the phone.

No one could have heard it anyway.

Rep. Phil King and Sen. Craig Estes both had a hard time reaching the door. They were too busy shaking hands, hugging and greeting old friends – working the room like the veteran politicians they are.

MEET AND GREET - Rep. Phil King and Decatur City Manager Brett Shannon find time to catch up and discuss local issues at a reception Monday night during Wise County Legislative Days in Austin. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

MEET AND GREET – Rep. Phil King and Decatur City Manager Brett Shannon find time to catch up and discuss local issues at a reception Monday night during Wise County Legislative Days in Austin. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Wise County Legislative Days in Austin started strong Monday evening at the Doubletree Hotel in Austin, as several legislators dropped by to meet and greet a delegation that numbered more than 40.

After a hectic day of sessions on the House floor and committee meetings, Anderson, a five-term state representative from Waco, and King, who represents Wise and Parker counties, enjoyed the buffet and the visiting.

“These next two days are going to be long ones,” King said on his way out the door. “We’ll see y’all tomorrow.”

Estes, who left the Senate floor just in time to chair a two-hour-plus session of the Agriculture, Rural Affairs and Homeland Security Committee, also made the rounds and moved on.

The conventional wisdom is that people would be better off the less they knew about how both sausages and laws are made. Anderson, who serves on the Investment and Financial Services Committee, said lawmaking actually works well when it’s done right.

“It really needs to be a bipartisan process,” he said. “When you write a bill, you think it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread, but somebody else looks at it and they see things you don’t see.

“They say, ‘But if we do this, this will happen,’ and sure enough, you didn’t see that. Then the group makes a few changes and makes it better.”

The reception at the DoubleTree lasted about two hours. Wise County Oncor spokesperson Sabrina Easley, Wise County Legislative Days are sponsored by Bridgeport, Chico, Decatur, Paradise and Runaway Bay chambers, said just visiting and getting to know each other is what it’s all about.

Easley recalled times when she and others were in Austin to do some serious lobbying for specific legislation that affected the county or a particular industry.

This is not one of those times.

“Just putting a face with the name is important,” she said.

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