Last month Texas Scorecard reported that Austin attorney Anne Wynne was telling Democratic state representatives that she was going to be replacing Paul Hobby on the Texas Ethics Commission. Wynne is a radical left-wing activist who has pledged to “dismantle” the NRA and compared the pro-2nd Amendment organization to the terrorist group ISIS. When the story broke, Hobby’s resignation had not yet been made public.

Texas House Speaker Joe Straus and his lackeys in the media and the House GOP Caucus immediately went into spin mode, declaring that no appointment had been made (of course, no one was claiming the appointment had actually been turned in, only that it appeared to have been promised) and that Straus had not yet formally asked members for recommendations. Through an unattributed statement, the GOP caucus declared that Straus would pick the “best possible Democrat” for the post.

Now it appears Straus is looking at former Democratic candidate for governor Chris Bell. He may be even worse than Wynne, having used the courts over the past decade to attack conservatives.

Straus is not the only official with appointments to make to the TEC. Two positions are currently open for Gov. Abbott’s appointment and one seat eligible to be appointed by the Lt. Gov. Patrick is past due as well.

However, open records requests to Abbott and Patrick’s offices have shown that no recommendations have been received by either office.

Straus’s media surrogates would suggest that it is merely a coincidence that the Democrats formally recommended Wynne to Straus’s office, but not to the Governor or Lt. Governor, two months before Hobby’s resignation was even submitted. They claim Wynne didn’t really mean it when she said she was going to be replacing Hobby on the commission.

Their denial is not credible.

Indeed, their emphasis that Straus had not formally asked members for recommendations seems a tacit admission that informal discussions about Wynne’s appointment were, in fact, taking place.

It is increasingly clear that the fix was in to put the extremist Wynne on the TEC, and that Texas Scorecard’s discovery and reporting of her extremist statements caused her appointment to be scuttled. Texans appear to have dodged that bullet, but now Straus is scrambling to find another Democrat he can appoint to carry forward his war against conservatives.

Tony McDonald

Tony McDonald serves as General Counsel to Texas Scorecard. A licensed and practicing attorney, Tony specializes in the areas of civil litigation, legislative lawyering, and non-profit regulatory compliance. Tony resides in Austin with his wife and daughter and attends St. Paul Lutheran Church.


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