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TAB lawsuit begins tomorrow

The Chron gives an overview of the lawsuit against the Texas Association of Business and its treasurer Bill Ceverha by five defeated Democratic candidates for state legislature which begins tomorrow. Most of this is review material, but I do want to highlight something:

“This trial is about whether clandestine corporations can buy elections in Texas and corrupt the political process,” said Cris Feldman, a lawyer representing the Democrats. “Do we want a legislature beholden to out-of-state corporate board rooms or Texas living rooms?”

TRMPAC lawyer Terry Scarborough said the lawsuit turns only on whether the committee’s spending of corporate money to pay for polling or phone banks was a legitimate administrative expense under Texas law.

I believe that if the defense argument that polling and phone banking constitutes “administrative expenses” is accepted, then the existing law against corporate and union donations to candidates is meaningless. The Smith-Eiland bill would supersede the old law anyway (assuming it ever gets passed), but this is in my mind a test of whether there ever really was a law in the first place. We’ll soon see.

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2 Comments

  1. Craig says:

    Comment: They should get a bunch of campaign managers up to testify to the importanc eof phone banking.

    Question: Fogive my ignorance, but is this before a ajudge or jury?

  2. I think it’s before a judge, but I’m not 100% sure.