Thursday, May 22, 2014

Greg Abbott's Bad News of the Week

He makes headlines twice; this one is for dirty money.

A report released by Texans for Public Justice today revealed that Attorney General Greg Abbott took in $85,000 in campaign cash from two brothers who were convicted this month of massive civil securities fraud.  The Wyly brothers could be on the hook for $550 million for what SEC called "an elaborate sham system."

From the report:

Fruits of this investment fraud appear to have trickled down to Texas politicians. The two Wyly brothers contributed $1,247,543 to state PACs and politicians from 2000 through 2009, money that overwhelmingly benefited the GOP.

Unfortunately—considering Greg Abbott’s own record of corruption and insider dealing—it comes as no surprise that Abbott would count the Wyly brothers among his cronies.

(If you haven't been following the trial of Charles and the late Sam Wyly, then catch up here.  It's just run-of-the-mill Lone Star 1%-er corruption, but every time some of these white collar crooks get busted, more strings get pulled and their politicians fall out.)

And this one is for vote suppression.

As the Waco Tribune reports, 92-year old Ruby Barber has tried, but has so far failed, to obtain one of those so-called “free” photo IDs from the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), now that one is required for her to cast her legal vote this year, as she has for decades, until now, without a problem.

Barber’s story is heartbreaking and maddening but, unfortunately, probably not entirely rare. The DOJ estimated, based on the state’s supplied data when the federal agency blocked the law in 2012, “the total number of registered voters [in Texas] who lack a driver’s license or personal identification card issued by DPS could range from 603,892 to 795,955.”

Barber’s driver’s license expired in 2010 and she’s now having difficulty locating “her nearly century-old birth certificate that she’d need to obtain a voter ID under a new state law.” As the New York Daily News reports, the details of Barber’s story and her fight to try and cast her vote are simply absurd.

It's shaping up to be a long hot summer for the man on wheels.  Is it really a surprise that Greg Abbott only wants to debate Wendy Davis twice?  There's no way he could get elected if Texans understood how truly terrible a human being he is.

Even just the small number of Texans who have ID and only an occasional voting habit.  Even the Texans that vote at all -- those who are smart enough to comprehend the depth of Greg Abbott's corruption -- are still enough Texans to keep him out of the governor's office.  Republicans are blind to it, but no one else.  And they're the minority... but only if enough of the casual-political-interest Texans see the light and take hold of the reins.

To be continued, from now until early November.

Update: And it just got worse for him.


Gadfly said...

The Wyly bros? Familiar with them from Dallas days and their self-greenwashing with Green Mountain Energy. There's a group called Downwinders at Risk, fighting the air pollution of the big Midlothian cement plants. Green Mountain would make a nominal donation to them for every new account they could get to transfer from TXU. I told them they were playing with greenwashing devils and they didn't listen.

Plus their graphics booklet Sam and son Andrew brought out last year, "Texas Got It Right," made me want to barf.


I had seen the Waco story already, of course, being in this area. SOL and nobody in Abbott's office cares. Ridiculous.


That said, on the debates? You've prolly read me already; I'd like more than 2, but asking for the first one in July sounds like desperation.

Arlo Clyde said...

I read the following today:
* * *
UPDATE: After receiving lots of media coverage and yet another ride to the Dept. of Public Safety, the state of Texas has finally found a way to allow Barber a Photo ID for voting this year. As reported by the Waco Trib...

Despite the lack of a birth certificate, the state was able to verify Barber’s citizenship by finding her birthday in a U.S. census taken in the 1940s, [Barber's son, Jimmy] Denton said. She also showed her Social Security card, two utility bills and her Medicare card.

Now, if we can just get national media coverage for each and every one of the hundreds of thousands of registered voters who still don't have the requisite Photo ID now needed to vote under the TX Republicans' law. Or, as in the case with the Republican nominee for Governor in Arkansas during Tuesday's primary, perhaps we can just hire each one of those otherwise legal voters a staffer to take care of the problem...