Calling for criminal investigations while your own questionable activity goes overlooked? All in a day's work for David Dewhurst.
Battleground Texas, who is celebrating their one-year anniversary today is responding to attacks the far-right is making to undermine the hard work BGT organizers are doing throughout our state.
As reported by the Texas Tribune, in a letter to Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst, the organization responded to accusations that they broke the law during their voter registration activities, saying the complaints were “entirely without foundation.” Attorney General Greg Abbott's office had recused themselves from any investigation of Battleground Texas earlier this week.
The Lieutenant Governor cited a secretly recorded video from deceptive conservative “investigative journalist” James O'Keefe (which includes heavy editing) of Battleground volunteers in Bexar County, and called for a criminal investigation because of allegations that privacy laws had been broken.
An attorney for Battleground Texas reaffirmed that the organization has been working well-within the law, “In short, Battleground Texas is operating in full compliance with the law as set forth in the Attorney General's legal opinions, and with attention paid as appropriate to the Secretary of State's official guidance in this area.”
You know you've made it when Republicans attempt to indict you out of existence. Happy Birthday, Battleground Texas!
Read more below the jump.You would think Lieutenant Governor Dewhurst would tread carefully in making these kind of accusations, considering his own questionable conduct regarding the altering of public documents this past summer at the Texas Capitol.
The Texas Secretary of State previously suggested Battleground Texas' voter registration activities could be in violation of Texas law. However, representatives of Battleground have cited heavily why this interpretation does not hold water, stating that the law only applies to county officials- not the volunteers who are out in the field.
Specific questioning has gone into the gathering of phone numbers as a part of the registration office. Graham Wilson, attorney to Battleground Texas, cited three opinions from the office of the attorney general, which included one in 2010 that came from a case in Dallas County. In that opinion, Attorney General Greg Abbott's office came to the conclusion “the county may not withhold the telephone numbers” from a requestor who had asked for the information.
Wilson also cited a pamphlet from the Secretary of State office stating that volunteer deputy registrars “may also copy the relevant information from the application in writing just as you would be able to do if you went to the registrar's office and pulled a copy of the original application.” He also stated that Battleground Texas does not photocopy voter registration applications and “has not used and is not retaining phone numbers taken off voter registration forms by volunteers.”
It's unfortunate to see the attacks mount against an organization whose primary purpose is to register voters in the state with one of the lowest voter turnouts in the country. However, it's not surprising due to Republican fears they will lose their stronghold with more Texans fully engaged and registered to vote. Fortunately, with obvious evidence having been cited and reiterated that Battleground Texas and their volunteers are in compliance with the law, they can continue their efforts to fully engage voter participation for all residents in our state.