Trial And Error

For at least a decade, Texas trial lawyers have underwritten the activities of the liberal, grow-government crowd. With the influence of the Democratic Party waning even further, the trial lawyers are moving their dollars into key GOP contests around the state.

No race is that more clearly seen than in the open-seat Senate District 11, where the Democratic Party’s trial lawyer sugar daddy Steve Mostyn has single-handedly funded the opposition to conservative leader Larry Taylor of Friendswood. As a member of the Texas House, Larry Taylor was a consistent advocate for taxpayers and a watchdog for good government.

Which, of course, put Mr. Taylor at odds with the liberal trial lawyers and the heavy-handed politics of Steve Mostyn.

Same goes in the open Metroplex SD9 race, pitting conservative taxpayer champ Kelly Hancock against tax-raising moderate Todd Smith. As a trial lawyer, Smith is getting lots of Mostyn trial-bar money, and most of his support from grow-government lobbyists.

In Senate District 25, long-time incumbent Jeff Wentworth of San Antonio is being propped up by the trial lawyers as he fights for his political life. Former railroad commissioner Elizabeth Ames Jones and emergency room doc Donna Campbell are trying to unseat Wentworth, who is widely recognized as one of the most liberal state senators in the Republican caucus.

Same holds in House races, where Speaker Joe Straus’ allies and recruits are getting large contributions from trial-lawyer (and Steve Mostyn) controlled or funded entities.

For example, the trial lawyers have given generously to unopposed Straus confidant Charlie Geren, who in turn has been handing out donations to prop up the Straus regime.

Letting the liberal trial lawyers get a new hold on the state legislature through the Republican Primary would prove disastrous for Texans. They would return the state to its former “judicial hellhole” status, while giving moderates like Joe Straus license to raise taxes, seek new revenues for cronies, and vastly increase the size of government. We simply cannot afford the imposition of their errors on Texas.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Michael is president and CEO of Empower Texans, and its premier project, Texans for Fiscal Responsibility. A graduate of Texas A&M, former newspaper reporter, one-time Capital Hill staffer, think tank vice president and an Eagle Scout, Sullivan is married with three children. He divides his time between the Metroplex, the rest of Texas, and Austin.

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