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From the It Takes A Thief Department

Who better to comment on campaign finance reform than a true insider?

A Republican political consultant under indictment on charges of taking illegal corporate contributions in the 2002 House races is urging lawmakers to defeat a bill to tighten the state’s ban on corporate and labor union spending in Texas political campaigns.

John Colyandro was indicted by a Travis County grand jury last year on charges of illegally accepting corporate contributions for Texans for a Republican Majority, or TRMPAC.

Colyandro, as executive director of the Texas Conservative Coalition, a bipartisan group of 83 House and Senate members, recently wrote an analysis for the group urging legislators to vote against a bill that would completely ban corporate and union money from Texas elections.

“The Texas Conservative Coalition cannot support any attempt to curtail or limit the freedom of speech as secured under the First Amendment,” the analysis says.

Fred Lewis, executive director of Campaigns for People, said Colyandro should have stayed away from commenting on the bill as long as he is under indictment on campaign finance law violations.

“It seems to me that someone who has been indicted for allegedly violating a statute should not be allowed to analyze bills to clarify the law,” Lewis said. “It seems to me that they are too emotionally involved and have too many conflicts of interests.”

Sometimes you just have to laugh. What more can I say?

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  1. kevin whited says:

    Fred Lewis really said someone under indictment (not found guilty, but under indictment!) “should not be allowed” to exercise free speech?! I only ask because it IS a Chronicle quote and it is from R.G. Ratcliffe (who occasionally gets things wrong).

    Not allowed? By whom? The government?

    Wow. There’s a true champion of the First Amendment at work if that quote’s accurate.

  2. PDiddie says:

    Wow Kev, you really missed the point.


  3. Red Dog says:

    On a related note, O.J. Simpson wanted to analyze the California Penal System, right after Ken Lay wanted to comment national energy legislation, just as soon as Martha Stewart lays out her take on ethics in business.

    To answer to your questions “Not allowed? By whom? The government?;” no Kevin, not allowed by common sense. Republicans used to use that as a banner against big government bureaucracy, but now it is best applied to their own abuse of power. If you like the plot line of having the most counterproductive, unlikely person spearhead an honest, determined effort for change, I can suggest a number of 80’s “nerdy boy gets hot girl” movies.

    But for those of us in the reality-based community, we will continue fighting against “Hot Tub” Tom legislating national morality, ending judicial independence, and mid-decade re-districting. And those under indictment for breaking the law probably should keep their opinions about those laws to themselves. . .sorry, that’s just me and common sense talking out loud.