POLI­TIFACT

Austin American-Statesman - - FRONT PAGE - By W. Gard­ner Selby wgselby@states­man.com

Mostly true:

Poli­tiFact checks Sherry Sylvester state­ment that per­sonal in­jury trial lawyers “have pro­vided over 80 per­cent of the fund­ing for the Texas Demo­cratic Party for over a decade.”

It’s a Texas ax­iom that trial lawyers fuel Demo­cratic pol­i­tics.

Still, we were struck by a claim by the spokes­woman for Tex­ans for Law­suit Re­form, which ad­vo­cates lit­i­ga­tion lim­its.

In a Dec. 2 opin­ion col­umn in the San An­to­nio Ex­press­News, Sherry Sylvester said Democrats will not re­gain ground in statewide elec­tions un­til the party changes its fi­nan­cial back­ers and re­jects poli­cies rou­tinely pushed in sup­port of per­son­al­in­jury trial lawyers, whom she called “the pri­mary fun­ders of Texas Democrats.”

The “per­sonal in­jury” de­scrip­tion ap­plies to cases in which a plain­tiff says in­juries oc­curred be­cause of the ac­tions or neg­li­gence of an­other per­son or en­tity.

Sylvester fur­ther wrote: “Per­sonal-in­jury trial lawyers not only have pro­vided over 80 per­cent of the fund­ing for the Texas Demo­cratic Party for over a decade, trial lawyers pro­vided vir­tu­ally all the fund­ing for the Bexar County Demo­cratic Party in this elec­tion.”

We fo­cused on the first part of that state­ment — that more than 80 per­cent of the state Demo­cratic Party’s fund­ing has come from per­sonal-in­jury trial lawyers for more than a decade, pre­sum­ing this was not a claim about do­na­tions to in­di­vid­ual can­di­dates.

In­deed, Sylvester told us she based her anal­y­sis on the Texas Demo­cratic Party’s con­tri­bu­tion and ex­pen­di­ture re­ports for 2006 through 2010.

‘The 12 Days of Christ­mas’ is one of the many themes along the route of the $300,000 Rock’N Lights tour at Old Set­tlers Park.

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