Texas Democrats successfully thwart democracy

Houston Chronicle:

Gov. Rick Perry’s close friend and former chief of staff is being linked to an effort to help Green Party candidates get on the general election ballot with signatures a state district judge on Thursday said were improperly obtained.

District Judge John Dietz, declaring the money used to collect signatures "an unauthorized, illegal contribution," granted the Democratic Party a temporary restraining order to block Green Party candidates from being certified for the November ballot.

Democrats contended that a petition drive to put Green candidates on the ballot was actually an effort to help Perry, a Republican, by diverting votes from his Democratic challenger Bill White.

The Green Party, represented by former Republican state Supreme Court Justice Stephen Smith, plans to appeal on Monday.

It had struggled earlier to get the required 43,991 petition signatures for its candidates to make the ballot. At a hearing Thursday, Green Party member Garrett Mize testified that Perry's former chief of staff, Mike Toomey, paid him about $12,000 to persuade his party to use out-of-state contributions to help the petition drive.

The Dallas Morning News reported this month that an out-of-state corporation with GOP ties paid $532,000 for the petition drive.

...

The source of the funding of the petition drive should be irrelevant. I am pretty sure that the real issue is whether the signatures on the petition are valid. If they are, then the candidates are entitled to a place on the ballot, regardless of the source of their support. It appears Democrats are trying to limit voter choice in Texas.

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