By Jon Schroeder
Killeen Daily Herald
District 59 Rep. Sid Miller held a town hall meeting Thursday in the community room of the Copperas Cove Public Library.
At the meeting, the four-term Republican member of the Texas House of Representatives spent most of the time answering questions from residents, many of which were specific and posed by local Republican elected officials.
Miller did not campaign negatively – at no point in the meeting was his Democratic opponent, Oglesby resident Ernie Casbeer, mentioned, by name or otherwise.
Most of the campaign talk at the town hall focused on the presidential election and on getting younger voters involved on the Republican side.
"I won't belabor the point," said Ed Thompson, Coryell County Republican Party chairman, saying that every election is said to be the "most important we've ever had."
Thompson added, "Folks, this one really is."
As he began his speech, Miller ran through a list of 20 House bills and joint resolutions, all of which he authored, co-authored or jointly authored, the vast majority of which set up financial benefits for military members and their families.
As he answered questions, Miller laid out a few of his positions. On energy, he called himself an "all-of-the-above guy," saying that he favors using many different sources of electricity to make it affordable. He supports the diversification away from natural gas in Texas.
Answering a question about the Trans-Texas Corridor, Miller explained that the Texas Department of Transportation put the entire highway system out for bid.
"We have a problem there," he said, referring to TxDOT itself and the increasing needs for roads.
Saying that to call for an increase in gas taxes is "political suicide," (the rate has remained level at 25 cents per gallon despite huge rises in fuel costs), Miller said Texans can look forward to more toll roads.
On illegal immigration, Miller referred to $100 million the Legislature had approved for border control, adding that in the recent past drug traffic is down by 65 percent and illegal immigration is down by 40 percent. Miller said more work remains – because of Texas' relative success in dealing with the problem, federal aid is being removed.