Ethics Explorer A Guide to the Financial Interests of Elected Officials

Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller (R)

Industry
Ranching/Agriculture
Education
B.S. in Vocational Agriculture Education, Tarleton State University
Spouse
Debra
Financial Statements

Sources of Income

  • Miller, a farmer and rancher, is the owner of Miller Nursery and Tree Co. in Stephenville and Dublin.

  • Miller represented HD-59 in the Texas House from 2001 to 2013. 

  • He owns at least 1,000 shares of stock in Pacific Sun, Snap Trends and KLD, and he holds more than 10,000 shares in E-Communications.

     

  • His wife, Debra, was the founder of Erath Excels Academy — now called Huston Academy — a charter school in Stephenville. She is a superintendent and board member of the school. 

Property

  • Residential property in Stephenville valued at $351,100

  • An office and warehouse valued at $727,940

  • Houses and a barn assessed at $234,660

Analysis

  • In December 2013, a Republican activist complained to the Texas Ethics Commission that Miller had collected thousands of dollars of interest on a loan he made to his own campaign fund. He lent his political campaign $10,000 in 2000 at a rate of 10 percent annually. In 2012, he repaid himself more than $31,000. He made the loan before – but repaid it after – legislation passed that banned the practice. The commission has yet to rule. Miller said the complaint was simply a political attack from supporters of his primary opponent, Tommy Merritt, and that he did not break any rules.

  • In 2007, Miller drew criticism for working to defeat a charter school bill that would have shut down his wife’s school – Erath Excels – which had low academic ratings. The Dallas Morning News reported that he had said he authored several amendments to kill the bill. "I have no intent to abstain" from the debate, the paper quoted Miller as saying. "This is a broad topic, a statewide issue. Education is our No. 1 priority." Asked about the incident in December 2014, Miller told The Texas Tribune that he had not worked to defeat the bill, and said he had simply attended a hearing where his wife testified against it. Had the bill come to a vote, he said, he would have abstained. "I didn't go around trying to get votes, kill votes or whatever," he said. “I was just there for my wife.” 

  • In 2007, the Texas Ethics Commission fined Miller $800 for failing to report the details of credit card purchases. He was one of several legislators penalized. “I don’t remember what that was,” Miller told the Tribune, “but I was guilty.” He and other lawmakers were confused about the reporting protocol, Miller said.

  • The Texas Tribune reported in April 2016 that the Texas Rangers were investigating Miller for allegedly using two state-funded trips outside the state for personal benefit. The first was a trip to Oklahoma, where he received a controversial medical treatment called a "Jesus Shot." The second trip was to Mississippi, where Miller participated in a cattle roping competition of the National Dixie Rodeo. Miller said he would reimburse the state for both trips.

  • Miller has come under fire for a series of social media posts in 2015, one seemingly comparing Syrian refugees to rattlesnakes, another that seemed to call for the atomic bombing of "the Muslim world."