Election Campaigns
4:31 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Texas Democrat Group Release Undercover Video Of Rockwall County Clerk

A group connected to the Wendy Davis campaign has released undercover audio and video capturing the Rockwall County clerk allegedly violating state election laws.

Democratic strategy group the Lone Star Project released undercover phone conversations and video footage of Miller and her Chief Deputy Clerk Lea Carlson selling tickets for regional GOP Regan Day Fundraiser featuring the likely Republican nominee for Governor Greg Abbott.

From a secretly-taped phone conversation:  

Carlson: "Did you need tickets for the Regan Day Dinner?"

Blair: "Yes ma’am."

Carlson: "Yeah, how many did you need."

Blair:  "I would say two." 

Carlson:  "Yeah, that would be fine just come by the county clerk’s office."

Texas criminal law prohibits political fundraising inside certain public buildings, which includes county courthouses.

This is the script of one of the Democratic activists paying Miller for the tickets inside the county clerk’s office:

Activist: "Is this all Rockwall County fundraiser, is it with the GOP?"

Miller: "Uh huh, it’s Rockwall GOP."

Activist: "And the proceeds are going there?"

Miller:  "Probably, I don’t know the GOP is doing, I’m the county clerk, I’m doing this fundraiser, but it’s under the GOP, we’re in charge of tickets."

A week ago, the conservative-leaning Project Veritas released a edited video that was made to show alleged Battleground Texas organizers making fun Abbott’s disability and ignoring potential voter fraud. There are now serious doubts that Battleground Texas volunteers ever actually appeared in the video.

Professor Jim Henson, who heads up the University of Texas at Austin’s Texas Politics Project, said what Democrats have accomplished is sending a message that they can do this same type of thing and they can do it better.

"The video released that the Lone Star Project released does seem to be aimed to not looking like the video release that was made to discredit or harm Wendy Davis," Henson said. "The video is less edited, seems to use real names."

Henson saids the video serves as a misdemeanor "gotcha" that will be pretty hard to defend if Attorney General Greg Abbott looks into the matter, which will also determine the lifespan of the infraction. He said it will be interesting to see how Abbott handles the matter going forward.