This week's news digest features a series of insightful articles on political ethics written by our general counsel, Tony McDonald.
He explores the criminalization of politics, the national trends in silencing citizen-activists, and the lengths to which Texas lawmakers and bureaucrats are going to muzzle their critics.
This matters. Without freedom of speech, every issue you care about is doomed. Economic freedom will be an illusion when your political speech is squelched. The right to advocate for family values and promote religious freedom will vanish.
In one article, Tony points out how the state's anti-political speech agency (the laughingly misnamed "Ethics Commission") issued a steep fine against the Texas Home School Coalition after the group discovered their own filing error. At the same meeting, commissioners gently slapped the wrist of a Democratic lawmaker for a similar action involving a far bigger error.
Oh, it just so happens the home school group recently filed a lawsuit against the agency. Who is unethical, again?
A large number of "conservative" House members voted to give this rogue agency even more power during the recently-concluded legislative session. House leaders, like GOP caucus chairman State Rep. Tan Parker (R-Flower Mound) and Public Safety Committee Chairman Larry Phillips (R-Sherman), voted to do in Texas what Barack Obama's IRS tried to do nationally... and what Hillary Clinton promises to do if elected to the White House.
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz described the legislation supported by Phillips and Parker and the House leadership as "pernicious laws" that "unconstitutionally chill free speech."
Meanwhile, our capitol correspondent Cary Cheshire writes this week about how measures pushed by legislative leadership would have protected themselves, and even Planned Parenthood, from journalistic scrutiny.
As George Washington wrote, "If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter."
Enemies of liberty always begin by muzzling the citizens. Let's make our voices louder than ever.
Michael Quinn Sullivan
& the EmpowerTexans.com Team
P.S. - who's behind the attacks on Attorney General Ken Paxton? You probably won't be surprised...