Allen Blakemore has launched an effort to recruit about 30 fellow Republican political consultants and their clients to push the governor to veto the omnibus ethics bill.
Blakemore, who lobbies for the Conservative Republicans of Texas and Houston conservative crusader Steven Hotze, said his concern is a requirement to disclose who paid for the message on political ads.
By his reckoning, the disclosure announcement at the end of a recording amounts to about six seconds of a 30-second ad. Most ads already require some disclaimer, but the proposed new law would also apply to Internet ads, automated phone calls and ads from political action committees.
“It’s unnecessary and is nothing more than a ‘government taking’ from political campaigns,” Blakemore wrote in his email.
Bill author Rep. Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, said Blakemore is mistaken and that there are no new audio requirements for candidates to say they authorized the ad. That language was stripped from the proposal in the last days of the Legislature.
Bonnen said having lobbyists oppose his bill doesn’t bother him.
“It’s only aggravating when it’s not based on fact,” he said.
Campaign watchdog Texans for Public Justice said there is nothing partisan or ideological about the bill. “Disclosure is good for everyone,” said director Craig McDonald. “All voters deserve to know who is paying for the political message appearing before them.”
I believe the bill in question is SB219, for which Bonnen is the House sponsor, not the author. As we know, Perry has already vetoed the so-called “dark money” bill, which was also about disclosure. This bill was a lot less controversial, however. The friction appears to be over the resign-to-run provision that it includes for members of the Railroad Commission; as an update to the story notes, Blakemore represents RR Commish Barry Smitherman, who is eying the Attorney General job in the event Greg Abbott heads for greener pastures. Nothing says “in the public interest” like a campaign consultant lobbying on behalf of a client, am I right? Perry has till June 16 to make his decision on what to sign and what to veto.