Greg Abbott's History of Investigations: Politics First, People Last

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Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott takes action when it is politicall conveninent. His history:

Politics First…

  • Spying on Elderly Women in Bathrooms:

    Greg Abbott, in his pursuit of a discredited voter harrassment and suppression efforts, had two of his voter fraud agents spy into the bathroom window of 69-year old woman Ms. Gloria Meeks. His $1.5 million voter fraud effort found only 50 cases of any instances of irregularity, and no actual instances of voter fraud, among more than 5 million votes cast between the 1998 and 2006 elections. (Source)

People Last…

  • Actual Voter Fraud Claims in Highland Park Ignored, Because They Involve Republicans:

    Dallas Assistant Criminal District Attorney, Ben Stool, wrote to Abbott seeking his help in prosecuting Republican precinct election officials in the wealthy Republican area of Highland Park, after it was discovered that “Republican County Judge Margaret Kelleher participated in improper election activities that resulted in the mishandling of over 100 ballots in Highland Park.” (Source)

Politics First…

  • Abbott Buries TYC Scandal:

    Greg Abbott knew about the instances of physical and sexual abuse of children at TYC and failed to act for over a year. His failed to disclose the case during 2006, the same time Rick Perry was running for his current term of office. (Source)

People Last

  • Abbott Works to Strike Down ADA:

    In 2004, Greg Abbott launched an effort to strike down the Americans With Disabilities Act because it was “unconstitutional.” Abbott, himself, is in a wheel chair, following an accident when a tree landed on him. Abbott lost the use of his legs, won a $10 million lawsuit settlement — then immediately championed tort reform. In both of these fights, Abbott fought to prevent Texans from enjoying the same disability assistance — financial and regulatory — that he himself has benefit from. (Source)

It is in this context that the latest news that Abbott is choosing to inject himself into local Dallas County politics must be understood. The Texas Tribune reported on Greg Abbott offerring his help to Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins for Watkins' investigative work in Dallas. Like all prosecutors, Watkins isn't prosecuting on the ongoing investigations — a well-established practice that Abbott is entirely aware of, but that he will willfully ignore in order to score cheap political points.

Greg Abbott is only trying to inject himself into this conversation for one reason, which is clear from his history of action: politics, politics, politics. Craig Watkins, named “Texan of the Year” by the Dallas Morning News, is a rising star among Texas Democrats and could easily become a prominent statewide official in coming years. Abbott's attempts to force himself and drive a political wedge in Dallas is another cheap political stunt that will most likely backfire.

Remember — if Greg Abbott is taking action, there's a political reason for it. And nothing else.


About Author

Phillip Martin

Currently the Research and Policy Director for Progress Texas and the Texas Research Institute, Phillip Martin writes occasional long-form pieces for BOR that promote focused analysis and insight into Texas politics. Born and raised in Austin, Phillip started working in politics in 2003 and started writing on BOR in the summer of 2005. Phillip has worked for the Texas Democratic Trust, the Texas Legislative Study Group, and now the Progress Texas family. He is a lifelong Houston Astros fan, a loyal Longhorn, and loves swimming at Barton Springs Pool.

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