If you thought that the five GOP challengers whose campaigns James Leininger is funding would be his only wholly owned subsidiaries in the Texas House, you'd be wrong. Meet Dallas State Rep. Linda Harper-Brown, who's is endorsing Leininger-backed Nathan Macias against State Rep. Carter Casteel. From the Quorum Report:
Today, a direct mail piece hit in the Carter Casteel-Nathan Macias race in which Linda Harper-Brown endorsed the challenger. Parroting the rhetoric now standard in all of the Leininger 5 races, Harper-Brown accuses Casteel of being the most liberal member of the Republican Caucus and says that she worked to block good conservative legislation.
Of course, others would argue that what Harper-Brown considers conservative legislation would have severely limited local control and imposed unfunded mandates on local government, forcing city councils, school boards and commissioners courts to either cut services or raise local taxes. But we will leave that argument for another time.
The reverberations are already being felt around the Capitol.
Harper-Brown is certainly free to exercise her First Amendment rights to engage in political campaigns, but she will have a price to pay. As more than one lobbyist and member has already noted, Reagan's 11th Commandment is now history. In addition, Harper-Brown has marked herself among her colleagues as a member who operates in bad faith. Disagree with her about legislation and she might get involved in your primary.
Oh, and by the way. Harper-Brown has received $20,000 from James Leininger, the financer of the Leininger 5. One contribution was $5,000 from the San Antonio millionaire. The other $15,000 was from yet another one of the PACs all but exclusively funded by Leininger. This one is named All Children Matter PAC.
That represents 18% of the $118,000 or so she has raised on her January 2005-January 2006 reports. With that $20,000, Leininger is Harper-Brown's single largest contributor.
Harper-Brown isn't confining herself to just this race, either. Along with Jodie Laubenberg, Bill Keffer, Bill Zedler, and the outgoing Mary Denny, she's endorsing Charlie Geren's opponent, Chris Hatley. Geren's response, also at QR, is sharp:
"I'd much rather have the endorsement of Speaker Craddick, Lt. Governor Dewhurst, former Lt. Governor Bill Ratliff along with Senators Brimer and Harris than any of that sophomore class and especially Zedler who said he had nothing to do with the Hatley Campaign so he's just a liar. As a liar, he fits right in to the Hatley Campaign. Mary Denny was just going to get beat so she quit."
"I will say it again. I will never whore for Dr. Leininger."