Friday, May 30, 2014

Price to change Greg Abbott's mind: $350K

And Republicans say he's a Christian.  A moral man.

In a surprise legal about-face, Attorney General Greg Abbott on Thursday ruled that state prison officials no longer have to tell the public where they obtain drugs used to execute condemned criminals.

Abbott's decision falls in line with other states that have sought to keep secret the source of their lethal drugs, to keep death-penalty opponents from pressuring suppliers to quit selling to execution chambers. His decision reversed three rulings since 2010 that had mandated the information about the suppliers be made public.

Abbott, the Republican nominee for governor in the state that operates the nation's busiest death chamber, said in his five-page decision that he was swayed to allow secrecy by a "threat assessment" from Steve McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, that disclosure of details could endanger suppliers.

In arguing for the secrecy, officials with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, which conducts the executions, insisted pharmacies supplying the drug pentobarbital used in executions could be subject to death threats if their identity was known -- an assertion an Associated Press investigation could not validate as true.

How's that old joke go?  "We already know what you are, now we're negotiating the selling price."  So I wonder if $350,000 is the MSRP, or if there's a little wiggle room.

Campaign contributions totaling $350,000 to Attorney General Greg Abbott from the owner of a Conroe compounding pharmacy drew criticism from a government-watchdog group on Friday, at a time when Abbott is involved in two issues with the lightly regulated pharmacies nationally: Tainted drugs and executions.

In a new report, Texans for Public Justice questioned the contributions by J. Richard "Richie" Ray, who heads Richie's Specialty Pharmacy. According to the report, Ray is Abbott's sixth largest campaign donor between January 2013 and January 2014 in his campaign to become Texas' next governor.

"The $350,000 that Ray gave Abbott in the past year catapults him from obscurity into the ranks of this year's Governor's Cup," the report states.

Let's review.

"For 350 large, I'll change my mind.  We ain't gonna tell no more about how we're killin' these killers, 'cause somebody mighta said they would kill us if we did.  'Cause killin' is wrong, but potential threats against us killers is wronger.  I'm pro-life, and don't you fergit it."

Last word to Mother Jones.

Given the massive conflicts between his current job and one of his biggest campaign contributors, Abbott can only hope that defense lawyers manage to drag out the legal battles over lethal injection long enough for him to get elected in November.

That's the perfect summary of the Abbott campaign's election strategy: stall.  Avoid all uncomfortable questions, duck the media, don't debate your opponent.  Stay hidden and out of sight as much as possible.

That's the only way Greg Abbott can get elected governor.  Because if enough people would ever learn the truth about him, he would have never been elected a single time.

1 comment:

firstcomment said...

Glad to come out of the hinterland and see you at after all these years.

Pinche Tejano