A series of campaign ads for Texas Agriculture Commissioner is reportedly accusing incumbent office-holder Sid Miller of “government overreach” affecting the state’s barbecue restaurants.
The ads for Republican candidate Trey Blocker, one of which is featured below, accuse Miller of enforcing a law requiring food sellers to use expensive, certified scales to weigh food servings in front of customers.
Blocker’s commercials further claim the scales would cost Texas barbecue restaurants tens of thousands of dollars at each location.
“This is about the overreach of Sid Miller and his department,” Brent Harman of the Dallas-area restaurant Sonny Bryan’s Smokehouse says in one of the ads, “and how scary it can be for a businessman to be face-to-face with a bureaucrat with a vendetta.”
The law, which, according to the ads, is allegedly seldom enforced in the restaurant industry, calls for food sellers to use certified scales and weigh the food where customers can view the weighing process.
Texas Restaurant Association officials spoke out against Miller’s enforcement of the law, and more than 40 state lawmakers agreed Miller overstepped his office in the enforcement of the law against restaurants.
Another Blocker ad includes a voice mail message from Miller to the owner of a barbecue restaurant regarding the “licensing of your stores” and addressing “a problem before it gets away from us.”
“I think it’s a power grab,” Skeeter Miller of the Austin-based County Line BBQ restaurant says in one of the ads. “I’ve been in business for 42 years. I’m not about to cheat my customers. I think we need a new Ag Commissioner, is what I think we need.”
“The consumers that we talk to on a daily basis believe they should get a pound of barbecue when they pay for a pound of barbecue and don’t like getting ripped off,” Todd Smith, Miller’s campaign spokesman, provided in a press release. “Trey Blocker may think it’s OK to cheat Texans. Commissioner Miller disagrees.”