Well, I used a different part of the Texas code in my report on it but Rep. Debbie Riddle’s opponent for in the campaign to represent House District 150 in the Texas Legislature, Tony Noun, also noticed the problem. From the Inbox:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Statement from Tony Noun, HD150 Candidate
Harris County, Texas
The Constituents of HD 150,
As many of you probably know, we are in the thick of this year’s political season, and I am running to represent our district and be your voice in the Texas House of Representatives. I have gone to every length possible to run a clean, efficient, and most importantly – legal campaign.
And we have done that.
Unfortunately, my opponent, a 12-year incumbent and veteran of SIX elections, has decided that Texas Campaign rules do not apply to her and her campaign. In an event last Thursday at The Downtown Houston Pachyderm Club, Debbie Riddle, who is participating in her SEVENTH election, violated Texas Penal Code 39.02, otherwise known as an Abuse of Official Capacity, when she knowingly handed out her Constituent Newsletter – paid for with your tax dollars – as campaign materials at a campaign event.
For those of you unfamiliar with Texas Penal Code 39.02, it reads as following:
Sec. 39.02. ABUSE OF OFFICIAL CAPACITY. (a) A public servant commits an offense if, with intent to obtain a benefit or with intent to harm or defraud another, he intentionally or knowingly:
(1) violates a law relating to the public servant’s office or employment; or
(2) misuses government property, services, personnel, or any other thing of value belonging to the government that has come into the public servant’s custody or possession by virtue of the public servant’s office or employment.
(b) An offense under Subsection (a)(1) is a Class A misdemeanor.
(c) An offense under Subsection (a)(2) is:
(1) a Class C misdemeanor if the value of the use of the thing misused is less than $20;
(2) a Class B misdemeanor if the value of the use of the thing misused is $20 or more but less than $500;
(3) a Class A misdemeanor if the value of the use of the thing misused is $500 or more but less than $1,500;
(4) a state jail felony if the value of the use of the thing misused is $1,500 or more but less than $20,000;
According to Attorney, J. Nathan Overstreet, the use of public funds to advance a political campaign violates the Texas Penal Code.
Now some of you might not think this is too egregious of a violation while others are as taken aback as I was watching her brazenly defy a standard law and practice not just in Texas, but across the country.
Alvin Walker, former Vice President and Treasurer of the Downtown Houston Pachyderm Club, and longtime Republican, was astonished that a political “veteran” such as Riddle would be so careless.
“She should have known better than to hand out her newsletter at an event like that,” said Walker.
My question for you, the voters of District 150 is this – if Debbie Riddle, who claims “NOBODY knows” District 150 like she does – then how does she not know basic Texas law as it relates to her position and campaigning? And if she can act so recklessly and defiant while in the backyard of her constituents, doesn’t that raise the question of what she’s doing in Austin when her constituents aren’t around?
We deserve better…You deserve better.
Debbie Riddle has run a lackluster campaign with no signs, no message and most importantly – without your best interest in mind. And when she has “campaigned” – she’s broken the law.
You deserve better.
Debbie Riddle doesn’t think she needs to ask for your vote. She figures you will just give it to her.
You deserve better.
I am here to work for you, the citizens of District 150. I’ve lived and worked in the Spring area for more than two decades. I understand the problems facing this district, and I know from talking to the wonderful citizens of this district that you are not satisfied with the representation you’ve had, and in many cases – most of you have no idea who your representation is. That instantly changes with me as your choice for District 150. I will listen to you and make myself available to you and your concerns.
Without you, there is no District 150, and starting with early voting on February 18 leading up to Primary Day on March 4, I am asking for your vote to be your voice in Austin.
To contact the campaign, please call 832-475-8868.
So there you go. I told you I wasn’t the only one that noticed this.