Allen RuckerIt is a sad irony that the most powerful person in a wheelchair in America, Greg Abbott, current governor of Texas, has seemingly no interest in advancing the rights or opportunities for people with disabilities. He is by all accounts a straight shooter, but in the words of Jonathon Tilove, chief political correspondent for the Austin Statesman, “he is a conservative, free-market, Texas Republican with all that entails.” If you are of like mind, this is good news for you. If you are of any other political persuasion to the left of Ted Cruz, or Ted Nugent, this whole Abbott thing is a head-scratcher.

Abbott became a T12 para when, as a young law school graduate, he was out jogging one day and part of a giant oak tree fell on him and crushed his spine. He sped through rehab and kept going, sidestepping the usual depression and despair. After making a name for himself as the attorney general who stood up for “Texas values,” he ran for governor as one tough hombre with literally a spine of steel. He won in a landslide.

At first, leaders in the Texas disability community cut him considerable slack. Hey, he’s a guy in a wheelchair in the front office. His