Just a quick update from the weekend on the TAB/TRM investigations: Travis County DA Ronnie Earle has released a ton of documents pursuant to Andy Taylor's nuisancy Open Records Requests. I'll say this for Taylor: He sure does put the zeal into a zealous defense. Earle is also asking AG Greg Abbott for an opinion about some other documents and whether they are covered under the Open Records request or not. One thing to note:
Part of Earle's investigation focuses on one of Abbott's 2002 campaign consultants, John Colyandro, who also was the executive director of Texans for a Republican Majority. Colyandro's activities with TRM have been the subject of numerous grand jury subpoenas.
In a civil lawsuit deposition, Colyandro also has admitted talking to executives of the Law Enforcement Alliance of America, which ran about $1.5 million in commercials attacking Abbott's Democratic opponent, Kirk Watson. The LEAA ads do not appear to be part of Earle's investigation.
In another potential conflict in handling Earle's appeal, Abbott last year hired TAB lawyer Taylor to represent the state in defending a congressional redistricting plan passed by the Republican-dominated Legislature. Taylor also at one time represented TRM in a lawsuit against it for the same activity involved in the grand jury investigation.
When reporters asked Earle if he was concerned that Abbott would share confidential documents with Taylor or Colyandro, he said he has to trust that Abbott will handle his request for confidentiality appropriately.
"Investigations such as this that go to the heart of the integrity upon which our institutions of government are based, require everybody to take a test," Earle said.