With his re-election bid facing a serious challenge, a Travis County Republican lawmaker has taken to telling all-out falsehoods about his challenger’s family. This is a new pattern launched by establishment politicians, but State Rep. Paul Workman has taken it to a new low.

Workman is a graduate of Texas A&M, a university that prides itself on a stringent code of honor: “Aggies do not lie, cheat, or steal, nor tolerate those that do.” Yet Workman clearly believes that code doesn’t apply to him.

Photo: Texas Tribune

Workman… choosing dishonor

Earlier in the campaign, Workman attacked the marriage of his challenger, Jay Wiley. Workman claimed in a district-wide mailer that Wiley had been using the infidelity website “Ashley Madison.” However, Workman and his team were fully aware that Wiley’s credit card information was on the website only after the credit card had been reported stolen. It was a case of identify-theft that had been reported to police and duly investigated.

While the trashy attack was breathlessly covered by an Austin-based gossip blog devoted to propping up liberal incumbents, the responsible news media refused to give Workman’s falsehood any cover.

Now Workman is doing it again. He penned an email attacking Wiley for leaving a staff job at the Capitol before the end of the 2011 session. His vile letter insinuated that Wiley left due to laziness.

In reality, Wiley left his position because his newborn son was needing open-heart surgery. Rather than be absent or distracted, he and his boss – former Republican State Rep. Erwin Cain – agreed that Wiley would leave state employment.

Either Workman cannot imagine any husband putting his family before his career, or he knowingly lied about the reasons. After all, the Wileys have been very frank about the special needs of their (now very healthy) son.

Rather than defend his poor record, Paul Workman’s campaign has engaged in a series of vicious attacks on Jay Wiley’s marriage and family.

Tony McDonald reports that these same sort of viciously personal attacks are being leveled in the Metroplex, but have been compounded by death threats and a full-on police investigation.

The establishment is getting desperate, and leading them to highly dishonorable ends.

Michael Quinn Sullivan

Michael Quinn Sullivan is the publisher of Texas Scorecard. He is a native Texan, a graduate of Texas A&M, and an Eagle Scout. Previously, he has worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine contributor, Capitol Hill staffer, and think tank vice president. Michael and his wife have three adult children, a son-in-law, and a dog. Michael is the author of two books, including "Reflections on Life and Liberty."


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