Last week the TEC’s top bureaucrat attended what some are calling a “funeral” for the Wisconsin speech regulator that abused conservatives in the Badger state.

Natalia Luna Ashley, Executive Director of the Texas Ethics Commission, was identified as a speaker at the annual meeting of the Council on Government Ethics Laws. A trade organization for the speech suppression industry, COGEL gave its top award to disgraced IRS director Lois Lerner in 2008.

The Wisconsin Bureau of is reporting that this year’s meeting, which took place over four days at the posh Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel in Boston, resembled a funeral for Wisconsin’s Government Accountability Board. Speakers heaped praise on GAB director Kevin Kennedy, who received an award from COGEL along with Lerner in 2008, and directed their scorn at Republicans in Wisconsin, including Gov. Scott Walker.

Walker recently signed legislation killing the GAB and separating its functions to two new agencies. Under the terms of the act, Kennedy is prohibited from continuing his employment with either agency.

The legislation comes after Kennedy the GAB directed a partisan campaign of terror against Wisconsin conservatives, alleging campaign finance violations the Wisconsin Supreme Court would later condemn as baseless. The attacks culminated in pre-dawn raids by police on the houses of Republicans who had supported Gov. Walker in his recall elections. One of the targets, Eric O’Keefe of the Wisconsin Club for Growth, defied an unconstitutional gag order to tell the word about the civil rights violations that were taking place against him and others.

The Wisconsin “John Doe” investigation is the single darkest episode of speech suppression in recent history, yet attendees at the COGEL conference praised its architect Kevin Kennedy and attacked the reformers who are trying to ensure the First Amendment reigns again in Wisconsin.

Last month, the Texas Ethics Commission was exposed for coordinating with a number of liberal states in strategizing on how they can go after Lone Star State conservatives. It appears TEC bureaucrats are continuing to associate with the worst speech suppressors the United States has to offer.

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.