Saturday, February 22, 2014

Joe Straus, Bill Powers, and the Texas Supreme Court: Meet Rusty Hardin

Occasionally, one detail reveals everything.

Over the past few days, Cahnman's Musings has taken an increasingly firm position against shenanigans in Texas Supreme Court races.  Late this morning, we discovered a connection between those shenanigans and the ongoing fiasco called the Wallace Hall impeachment "process."  Meet Rusty Hardin.

Rusty Hardin is a criminal defense attorney from Houston who has previously represented upstanding citizens like Roger Clemens and Joel Osteen's wife.   He's Joe Straus' handpicked choice to cover Bill Powers' backside in various UT corruption scandals.  As the Texas Tribune reported last August:
For help with its ongoing investigation of Regent Wallace Hall, the House Select Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations has turned to prominent Houston attorney Rusty Hardin, who'll serve as its special counsel.

At the end of the summer's first special session, Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, expanded the committee's authority to allow it consider articles of impeachment against gubernatorial appointees.


If the committee determines that impeachment is warranted in Hall's case, Hardin will be called upon to help the lawmakers put the articles together and present them to the House. If a majority of that body is convinced and votes in favor of proceeding with the process, the Senate will convene as a court of impeachment.
Which brings us to the Texas Supreme court races.

The fault line in the Texas Supreme court races is trial lawyers vs. Rick Perry.  One of the trial lawyer backed candidates is Sharon McCally.  Earlier today, Cahnman's Musings received a copy of this advertisement on behalf of McCally that appeared in the LINK letter, a pay-to-play endorsement sheet in Houston:

It's difficult to see on the full page, but if you click on the magnifying glass icon with the plus sign, you can see that Rusty Hardin is also Sharon McCally's campaign treasurer.

According to records filed with the Texas Ethics commission Hardin got the Campaign Treasurer gig on October 15:
00054943 JCOH McCally, Sharon S. Supreme Court Justice Pl 08 10/15/2013 Court of Appeals Justice Dist 014 Pl 02
In other words, the people promoting 'challenger' candidates in the Texas Supreme court races are also driving the Wallace Hall impeachment.

There's nothing illegal or unethical about this.  Lawyers can represent any client they choose.  But there are clearly overlapping social circles within the business as usual crowd.

Joe Straus and Bill Powers' designated dirt digger on the Wallace Hall smear campaign is also helping trial lawyers unseat Rick Perry's Texas Supreme court appointees.  While investigating Wallace Hall, Rusty Hardin also got the gig with Sharon McNally.  The fact that Joe Straus, Bill Powers, and the people promoting the Texas Supreme court challenger candidates use the same lawyers is VERY revealing.

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