Texas House Republicans have successfully passed a bill to protect themselves from an ethics investigation group, reported Addicting Info.
Texas Republicans passed HB 1690 early this week. The bill weakens the Travis County Public Integrity Unit’s power to investigate political corruption committed by elected officials. If the bill becomes law, the Public Integrity Unit cannot investigate Texas state House and Senate members suspected of corruption.
The Public Integrity Unit was the same group that accused former Texas Gov. Rick Perry of abuse of power and coercion. The evidence was strong enough for a grand jury to indict Perry on felony abuse of power charges.
According to Addicting Info:
The charges stem from Perry’s attempt to force the resignation of Rosemary Lehmberg, the democrat who was elected District Attorney in Travis County, and therefore heads up the Public Integrity Unit. After Lehmberg was arrested for drunk driving, Perry demanded her resignation, and promised to veto funding for the unit if she refused to resign – a threat he later followed through with. Had Lehmberg resigned, Perry would have had the opportunity to appoint her replacement. While details of the case against Perry have yet to be fully disclosed to the public, a Grand Jury which heard all of the evidence in the case chose to indict the now-former governor on both the abuse and coercion charges.
With this kind of history, it’s obvious why Texas Republicans would want to target the Public Integrity Unit. The group keeps their eye on elected officials, making sure they don’t abuse the law and let power go to their heads.
Considering that Texas is almost a completely red state, HB 1690 passed the House along party lines in a 94-51 vote. It’s also likely to pass the Republican-controlled Texas state Senate and be signed new Republican Gov. Greg Abbott.
Republicans sure do love their freedom, especially if that means freedom to break the law.