Law­maker blasts blog crit­i­cism

Austin American-Statesman - - COMMUNITY NEWS - Bytim Ea­ton teaton@states­ State Rep. David Simp­son seeks to be House speaker. Con­tact Tim Ea­ton at 4453631.

State Rep. David Simp­son, a con­ser­va­tive can­di­date for House speaker, blasted anony­mous blog­gers for sting­ing per­sonal and po­lit­i­cal crit­i­cism of him in a state­ment re­leased late Thurs­day.

Simp­son, R-Longview, pointed to a blog, which his staff later iden­ti­fied as Con­ser­va­tive Pol­i­tics - Texas Style, as con­tain­ing “fab­ri­ca­tions with­out even the pre­tense of proof.”

The blog in­cludes ref­er­ences to Simp­son’s fam­ily life and re­li­gious stances. It also con­tains an in­ac­cu­rate list of sup­posed Simp­son sup­port­ers.

Simp­son didn’t re­spond to phone calls, but in a state­ment he said: “Th­ese tac­tics ex­em­plify what’s wrong with ‘pol­i­tics as usual’ in Texas right now. … We must leave be­hind the pol­i­tics of whis­pered in­sin­u­a­tions, in­tim­i­da­tion, and retri­bu­tion.”

When asked to re­spond, Erin Daly, spokes­woman for House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San An­to­nio, didn’t ad­dress Simp­son.

“Speaker Straus wishes ev­ery­one a Merry Christ­mas and looks for­ward to a pro­duc­tive ses­sion,” Daly said.

The leg­is­la­ture con­venes Jan. 8 and the House will elect its speaker for the ses­sion that day.

State Rep. Dawnna Dukes, who was on the list of mem­bers sup­pos­edly sup­port­ing Simp­son, said in a state­ment that she has never backed the tea party fa­vorite.

“To the source re­spon­si­ble for this anony­mous post, shame on you. Texas de­serves bet­ter,” said Dukes, who did not de­clare her pref­er­ence.

Even state Rep. Sen­fro­nia Thompson, DHous­ton, was on the list. Thompson and Simp­son had a very pub­lic fight last ses­sion over a bill to reg­u­late large dog breed­ing op­er­a­tions called puppy mills.

“I can’t be­lieve it my­self,” said Thompson, a Straus sup­porter.

Simp­son didn’t specif­i­cally blame Straus for not stop­ping the blog post­ings. But he men­tioned in his state­ment that state Rep. Trey Martinez Fis­cher, D-San An­to­nio, had sent a let­ter to Straus, with copies to all mem­bers, that ad­mon­ished the speaker for al­low­ing such ac­tiv­ity.

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