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Congressional Dems request federal investigation of Abbott’s persecution of Houston Votes


Still not Greg Abbott

Democratic congressmen from Texas have asked the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate a raid by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s office that targeted a nonprofit voter registration group.

The Dallas Morning News reported Aug. 31 on the attorney general’s criminal investigation of Houston Votes, which was accused of election fraud. The probe was closed one year later, with no charges filed.

Following the armed raid in 2010, the funding for Houston Votes dried up. Its efforts to register more low-income voters in the state’s most populous county, Harris, ended. The group’s records and office equipment were destroyed under a court order obtained by Abbott’s office last year.

In a Sept. 10 letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, the 12 Democratic House members from Texas asked the Justice Department to open an investigation into the matter.

“This raid raises serious concerns about the biased use of state resources to prevent Texans from legally registering to vote,” the letter said.

Texas has 36 House districts, with Republicans holding 24 seats.

A Justice Department spokeswoman said the investigation request is being reviewed.

Reached for comment, Jerry Strickland, an Abbott spokesman, said in an email: “If the Texas Democratic Congressional delegation is interested in more than political grandstanding and is genuinely concerned with following and enforcing the law, they should demand the Department of Justice investigate Houston Votes’ illegal activity.

“Houston Votes’ own executive director admitted to attorney general investigators that they fraudulently signed voter registrations and illegally collected information to sell to ACORN-linked Project Vote – that’s precisely the kind of illegal activity the Justice Department needs to investigate,” Strickland added.

No one was charged in the Houston Votes investigation.


Lewis questioned why Abbott through his spokesman on Thursday was accusing Houston Votes of “illegal activity” even though no charges were filed.

“They came in with guns and took our equipment and destroyed it, and they never interviewed me. And now there were a lot of things wrong? It sounds like a gross rationalization,” Lewis said. “They tried to criminalize a voter registration drive where everyone knows people make mistakes and there are errors, because they wanted to stop it. They succeeded.”

Indeed they did. See here for the background. Conducting an armed raid for information that would have been handed over with a subpoena, and justifying it today with boogeyman fearmongering tells us what we need to know. Abbott may have had grounds to open an investigation, but he way overdid it and is trying to distract from the fact that there was nothing there. Let’s turn the spotlight on this and see what else is lurking in the shadows.

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