As Texas is dealing with another potential problem with its utility grid, Governor Gregg Abbott is putting his attention on a border wall. The governor revealed Tuesday he will be asking for donations to build the border wall that he has suddenly made a priority. He discussed the crowdfunding option during an interview on the “Ruthless” podcast, which is focused on Republican politics. Here’s exactly what he said:
“When I do make the announcement later on this week, I will also be providing a link that you can click on and go to for everybody in the United States — really everybody in the entire world — who wants to help Texas build the border wall, there will be a place on there where they can contribute.”
According to The Texas Tribune, Abbott says donations made would be put in a fund administered by the state in the governor’s office, and pledged transparency so those who donate would know where every penny is being spent.
That specific mention probably has a lot to do with the legal troubles surrounding the last group that tried to crowdfund the building of a border wall. Four people behind the “We Build The Wall” campaign, including former president Donald Trump’s ex-Chief of Staff Steve Bannon, were indicted and accused of ripping off donors of more than $25 million. The federal case against Bannon was abandoned after he received an 11th-hour pardon from then-president Trump before he left the White House, but the three other defendants
Abbott’s critics say the wall may not even stand up to legal scrutiny, even if the governor’s plans to solicit donations raises enough money, which is highly questionable. Estimates on what it costs to build a border wall run between $27-$46 million per mile. His opponents say Abbott’s sudden desire to build a wall is just political theater motivated by a 2022 reelection campaign that is fast approaching.
Politically, Abbott’s focus on the border comes as he faces an electorate worried about the border, a contested 2022 primary for reelection and the lead-up to a 2024 presidential race from which he still has not removed himself from consideration. https://t.co/Tz8GqcS9Xr— Texas Tribune (@TexasTribune) June 15, 2021
More than a few people made sure to point out to the governor that his focus should be on keeping the lights—or perhaps more importantly—the air conditioning on in Texas. The state’s utility system is under pressure from intense summer heat and customers are being asked to cut back on electricity usage. This comes just months after the catastrophic collapse of the grid left millions without heat during a devastating winter storm. That probably explains why the tone of some tweets directed at Abbott today were…not gentle.
Nobody cares. Fix the power grid— Joe Eisma (@Supajoe) June 15, 2021
There’s also the matter of “where” Abbott’s wall will be built. Trump’s much-discussed wall would have sparked countless lawsuits from private landowners. If this wall is to be built on the same track, the governor can expect similar legal challenges.
162 miles of the planned Trump wall in TX is on private property. Just 4 miles is on on federal land.— DaveMonroe (@DMonroeIII) June 15, 2021
Abbott will need to obtain private land through eminent domain land grabs which will spin off countless lawsuits.
Texans deserve more forward thinking leadership. pic.twitter.com/ZEXZyqR6az