Reform Groups Criticize Abbott Inquiry Into Ethics Staff
TPJ, Common Cause, Public Citizen Say Inquiry is Pure Politics
|For Immediate Release:|
For More Information Contact:
|June 11, 2004|
Craig McDonald, 512-472-9770
|Suzy Woodford, Common Cause (512-474-2374|
Tom ‘Smitty’ Smith, Public Citizen (512-477-1155)
Austin, TX: Three of the state’s major campaign reform and government watchdog groups—Common Cause, Public Citizen & Texans for Public Justice--today released a joint statement critical of Attorney General Abbott’s reported inquiry into media statements made by the General Counsel of the Texas Ethics Commission. The joint statement reads:
“Attorney General Abbott’s inquiry into the Texas Ethics Commission’s General Counsel’s reply to a media inquiry on a basic question of Texas campaign law should be immediately dropped.
Attorney General Abbott is mired in his own conflict of interests in these matters. A named defendant in the civil proceedings, and likely defendant in criminal prosecutions, John Colyandro, was employed by General Abbott in his campaign for office.
At nearly every turn throughout the investigation into apparent massive campaign finance law violations, the targets of the investigation, their representatives and political supporters have resorted to intimidation, subterfuge, bullying and public ridicule of those who legitimately challenge their actions and pursue legal accountability.
Investigating the actions of a public servant for merely carrying out the responsibilities of her position is a new low point for the office of Texas Attorney General. Abbott’s inquiry is political intimidation reminiscent of the era of Joseph McCarthy and the days of the Nixon enemies list. The pretense of Abbott’s inquiry is ridiculous. There is no public policy justification for such an inquiry.”