What's the Fourth of July without the red, white, and bandaged blend of alcohol and hand-held pyrotechnics? It's a tacit endorsement of ISIS, that's what it is. Which is why we're glad that the Texas Observer hipped us to the awesome press release from state Representative Jason Isaac of Dripping Springs, encouraging Texans to prove their patriotism by buying a bunch of fireworks.
"July 4th fireworks are a reflection of patriotism — that is, love for our country," implores Isaac's unsolicited think-piece, after noting that "the fireworks industry generates over $1 billion in sales annually."
But The Observer pointed out what the Republican lawmaker's note didn't say:
It may be relevant at this point to note the $60,000 in in-kind donations that Isaac’s campaign received in 2014 and 2015 from Chester Davis, CEO of American Fireworks in Bastrop. Specifically, Davis, a former lobbyist for the Texas Pyrotechnic Association, supplied the firepower for Isaac’s Fourth of July spectaculars in Dripping Springs and campaign events in September.
The Observer also noted, "Isaac's voting record has been as friendly to the fireworks industry as his latest editorial."
In its own way, though, such bald-faced lobby-loving is as American as baseball and Cayman Island tax shelters. If anything, Isaac deserves a pat on the back for his meta-patriotism, urging Texans to show love of country by buying colorful combustibles while simultaneously kissing corporate ass.
Isaac's shilling even steeps itself in history, opening with "240 years ago, men from all walks of life came together in search of freedom. They won a hard-fought war not with mightier forces or superior weapons, but with the spirit of liberty — a spirit that is not easily broken." (We understand the rough draft included an additional sentence: "And then they killed a bunch of people from a different walk of life with broken treaties and smallpox.")
The lawmaker is also quick to point out that Texans shouldn't give much weight to the "cherry-picked horror stories about flagrant misuse" of fireworks. So what are you waiting for? Hoist a cold one, light that Roman candle and put some money in Isaac's pocket already!
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.