Abbott’s Abuse of Authority

September 1, 2014 § 2 Comments

The Dallas News has published a description of how Gregg Abbott used the authority of the Texas Attorney General’s office in 2010 to shut down a Harris County voter registration drive called “Houston Votes”.  Here is a link to the story:  Houston Votes  .

I urge all to read it carefully.

The only honest and truthful statement made by any representative of the Attorney General’s office is this one, made in response to the story:  ““In this investigation . . .  evidence uncovered dictates direction,”   Now I have omitted the phrase “. . .and all other investigations conducted by the office of the Attorney General . . .” because, while I have some suspicions about those other investigations, I don’t have any information about them.

So far as concerns the Houston Votes investigation, the facts uncovered by the Dallas News are:  The accusation that apparently triggered it came from Catherine Engelbrecht, leader of the King Street Patriots, a right-wing outfit based in Harris County.  Her public statements about the Houston Votes effort to enfranchise people in low income neighborhoods were laced with multiple easily identifiable lies.  She quoted an inflammatory statement attributed to a Black Panther.  The statement was made four years before the Houston Votes effort was launched.  Then, she claimed that the building housing the Houston Votes project was associated with Black Panthers, a lie.  The Houston Votes office was nine miles away from the Panther headquarters.  There was no connection between the two .

The evidence acquired by Abbott’s investigation was submitted to the Harris County District Attorney Pat Lykos, a Republican, who refused to file any criminal charges.  A spokesman for the DA’s office explained that criminal charges were filed only if there was “probable cause to believe that a crime had been committed.”

So, as stated, I agree that the “evidence uncovered” dictated the “direction”.  And the “direction” was, in fact, a gross assault on democracy’s most basic principle:  That government should be based on the consent of the governed, expressed through their votes.

I urge you to read the Dallas News story carefully and reflect on the likely consequences of elevating this man Abbott to the governorship.  How would you like to have a governor who slavishly responds to the reckless lies of Catherine Engelbrecht?

By the way, I have written about these King Street Patriots before.  See “King Street  Patriots”, a post in September 2010.



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