District attorney reviewing Green Party ballot fight
The Travis County district attorney’s office is looking into whether a crime was committed in getting the Green Party on the November ballot.
“The matter is under review and investigators and attorneys from the Public Integrity Unit will gather additional information as that review progresses,” District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg’s office said in a statement.
Texas Democrats have accused Republicans of paying to help the Green Party get on the ballot to pull liberal votes away from Bill White, the Democratic candidate for governor who is challenging Republican Rick Perry.
The Texas Democratic Party also alleged that corporate money illegally paid for the effort. Under Texas election law, corporations can’t contribute to political campaigns; however, the law also states that corporate money can help pay for overhead and administrative
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David Rogers, a lawyer for the Green Party, was not available for comment Thursday, but the party has maintained that the donation was legal.
Perry has said he had no knowledge of Republicans helping the Greens.
Chad Dunn, a lawyer for the Texas Democratic Party general counsel, said Thursday that he has not heard from the Travis County district attorney’s office and had no knowledge of a criminal investigation.
But he added: “The Texas Democratic Party has believed from the very beginning that the Rick Perry/Green Party ballot scandal contains serious accusations, and we’ve been committed to investigating any violations in the law and holding those responsible accountable.”
Last month, a state district judge in Travis County issued an injunction blocking the Green Party from the ballot, but the Texas Supreme Court later overturned the ruling.
Democrats originally requested in a lawsuit that the Green Party be removed from the ballot. But they later decided to focus their lawsuit on trying to determine who contributed to Take Initiative America, the out-of-state nonprofit corporation that paid a firm to collect more than 90,000 signatures to qualify the Green Party for the ballot. Take Initiative America has a number of ties to Republicans.