Monday, August 1, 2016


Recently it has been reported that Trump University was investigated by our then attorney general and current governor, Greg Abbott.  The result of the investigation was that, in view of findings that Texans had been “duped” out of several thousands of dollars, Trump University agreed to leave the state and not return. 

In fact, the assistant attorney general at the time (Abbott) recommended a penalty against Trump University of $5.4 million. Attorney General Abbott apparently passed on the option of a $5.4 million dollar fine or any reimbursement for victimized Texans and let Trump and his fake university leave the state.  Later, it seems, Abbott chose to accept a $35,000 contribution from Trump.  On top of that, our attorney general, Mr. Paxton, has now sent a cease and desist letter to the whistleblower and is attempting to cover up the whole thing. 

News sources do not attach a quid pro quo between allowing Trump University to escape a serious lawsuit and penalties and the contribution to Abbott. However, my question remains: Does it not tell us something about the ethics of our governor who is willing to accept a fairly substantial contribution from a man whose conduct led to him being exiled from Texas because of his con-artist-type behavior?

It seems the Republican Party which once prided itself on dedication to strict law and order and high morals now seems to find ways to embrace Donald Trump, who without a doubt is a serial liar, philanderer, con artist and bully.  Not only that, it seems the Grand Old Party in Texas has decided to turn a blind eye to illegal conduct and even do away, or make powerless, state agencies which attempt to corral unlawful conduct and unethical practices in government.

Our past governor, Rick Perry, who claims to be a Godly man, managed to “shop around” for a friendly Republican court to dismiss his indictment for trying to blackmail an elected official to bend to Mr. Perry’s will.  Little, if anything, has been said by leading Republicans about Rick Perry’s slush fund that we now know was nothing more than a slush fund for his cronies and a source of political contributions for Mr. Perry’s war chest.  There has even been little mention, if any, outside of a newspaper or two about Perry shelling out several thousand dollars to ex-staffers as they left his employment to get on his campaign payroll.

Perry must have set the standard of using state dollars for political purposes because we now know our Republican Ag Commissioner and Bush legatee have spent several thousand dollars paying employees who no longer were coming to work or doing any beneficial work for the taxpayers of this state.

I suppose we shouldn't expect more attention on ethics from a party which chose a man indicted for cheating citizens to be our state attorney general.  Mr. Paxton seems more inclined to sue the U.S. than con-artists in Texas.

Apparently, too many of us (voters) missed the message conveyed by the Republican Legislature abolishing the integrity unit of the Travis County District Attorney’s Office and adopting instead a “shop for your prosecutor” system for elected officials charged with criminal wrongdoing.  Our state Ethics Commission is virtually a toothless tiger and there appears to be little appetite among our elected officials from the governor on down to arm that body and make it capable of being a true watchdog for bad conduct among our elected officials.  

I guess it is alright to allow the Ethics Commission to remain so weak—particularly, in view of the fact it seems a majority of Texas’ voters do not seem to care.

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