TRMPAC, Part Two? Green Party Signatures Collected With Corporate Money

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“In my opinion, we have no choice but to refuse the signatures.”

— Green Party State Party Treasurer David Wagner

Breaking news in the ongoing Green Party petition drive scandal: it turns out corporate dollars were used to collect the signatures. From the Austin American-Statesman: Green Party signatures cost $532,500; were they legal?

In a June 10 e-mail to other Green Party officials, state party treasurer David Wager said, “I was promised by a representative of Take Initiative America that the organization was not a corporation and that he would comply with all disclosure requests. Today I was informed that the organization is in fact a corporation and they will not disclose their donors. They claim that their collection of signatures and in-kind contribution was not political. I don’t agree. In my opinion, we have no choice but to refuse the signatures.”

To review what's currently going on…As the Lone Star Project has reported, the Green Party of Texas allowed out of state right wing activists to funnel money through a secret donor to a nonprofit organization in order to finance a signature gathering operation and qualify for candidates to appear on the Texas ballot. The Texas Democratic Party filed suit in order to force disclosure of the secret donor and block the improper use of corporate or other illegal funds to finance a ballot petition effort.

  • It has since been discovered that Rick Perry chief consultant, Dave Carney, has ties to Tim Mooney and the Republicans who have orchestrated this plan. Carney initially denied even knowing Mooney to the Dallas Morning News, then later admitted to the Texas Tribune that he did, in fact, know and work with Mooney in the past. (DMN: Perry political chief: May I amend my remarks?)

The entire Green Party signature scandal is coming closer and closer to the TRMPAC ordeal Tom Delay orchestrated in 2002, a scandal which will soon be headed to trial. Laylan Copelin with the Austin American-Statesman sums up the past, present, and future of the TRMPAC case in a story from last April, “After 8 years, DeLay case could be headed to trial”

Co-defendants of former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay suffered a significant setback Wednesday in their quest to avoid a trial on charges that the trio conspired to launder corporate money during the 2002 elections.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals unanimously ruled that the lower state 3rd Court of Appeals erred when it accepted the co-defendants' arguments that the money laundering law did not apply to them because the funds involved were checks, not cash. The all-Republican court, in effect, said the lower court acted prematurely.

The state's highest criminal court also dismissed the defendants' constitutional challenge that Texas' law banning corporate donations was too vague or overly broad to be understood.

The decision is a crucial chapter in the eight-year saga, sweeping aside the constitutional challenges and putting the case back on a path toward a trial.

Is the green party signature scandal — wherein corporate money was used — TRMPAC part two? Time will tell…

Previously on BOR:


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.


  1. Citizen Andy on

    Cheers to the Greens!
    This was the right move by them, but really indicative of the ridiculous lengths parties have to go to get on the ballot.  That it cost them half a million dollars should say something: the votes are out there for Greens, Libertarians, etc, etc– but you need to have deep pockets to do it.

    But just glad we no longer have to refer to them as the Green Tea Party.

  2. Huh?
    Dave Carney lied?

    My world is upside down. At least I can still trust nice British executives with cool accents.


  3. Can the Greens “take back” their signatures?
    So the GPTX lawyer says petitions signatures are “bad, bad, bad” and they have to refuse them. Whatever…they are already turned in!

    Can the Greens ask the SOS to “reverse” the petition submission or does the SOS have to wait for a court order…if one ever comes before un-certifying them?

  4. But Perry had nothing to do with it…
    That will be the Republican mantra – he had nothing to do with it. He had everything to do with it. But, well, prove it.  

    I love the “could be headed for trial” headline about Tom De Lay. You know, at this point, who cares?

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