The Republican "leadership" of the Texas House's Obamaesque persecution of Michael Quinn Sullivan comes to a head today:
About 15 months ago two of House Speaker Joe Straus’ committee chairs filed unfounded “ethics complaints” against me and my organization, seeking to silence us from keeping you informed about state government. This week we learned that the complaints were actually concocted by a lead lobbyist for the Texas Trial Lawyers Association on behalf of Straus’ lieutenants.Read the whole thing here.
The complaints filed against us by those committee chairs – moderate State Reps. Jim Keffer (R-Eastland) and Vicki Truitt (R-“defeated by Tarrant County voters in May 2012”) – will finally get a preliminary review hearing today in front of the Ethics Commission. That’s a commission to which Speaker Straus makes appointments and for which the legislature sets the budget. How cozy…
State Rep. Jim Keffer imposed the business tax on Texas
Depending on how this hearing goes, you can expect moderates to use the Ethics Commission to start prosecuting similarly frivolous against every Republican club president, tea party activist, blogger or social media user whose voice a legislator finds inconvenient. Unethical lawmakers will use Ethics Commission complaints like duct tape over the mouths of anyone who calls out their voting records.
When Jim and Vicki filed their complaints, they swore that these were their complaints. So when the Ethics Commission finally set the hearing – more than a year after I asked for an expedited hearing! – my legal team did the unthinkable: they subpoenaed Jim and Vicki to appear and explain themselves under oath.
Well, Vicki Truitt refused to accept the subpoena. The deposed former legislator told the process server that she wanted to have nothing to do with the complaint! (Funny how getting her hat handed to her by voters can have such an effect.) I say, good for Vicki; I guess she’s admitting her’s was a political stunt trying to mask the odor of an anti-taxpayer voting record.
Jim Keffer, meanwhile, wrote a letter to the Commission basically admitting that he knew nothing about the allegations in his own complaint and attached a statement from trial lawyer lobbyist Steve Bresnen saying it was Steve who did it. (The folks at AgendaWise.com have a great write up about Mr. Bresnan’s crusade for bloated government, besides his work shilling for trial lawyers.)
I’m sure attorneys will have other ways to say it, but it looks to me like Mr. Keffer’s admission highlights the abusiveness of his complaint and the process.
Put another way: Straus’ committee chairs were abusing the state’s Ethics process to pursue a political vendetta against us – and doing so with the assistance of (or at the direction of?) a lobbyist for the Trial Lawyers Association!