[On Wednesday], the Texas Democratic Party called on Rockwall County Clerk, Republican Shelli Miller, to close down the illegal campaign fundraising operation she is running within her official office to benefit a February 1st event featuring keynote speaker, Attorney General Greg Abbott.
Conducting campaign activities out of an official office is a direct violation of state law, punishable by a fine of up to $4,000 and up to a year in jail.
The Texas Democratic Party also called for an independent investigator to be named to conduct a formal criminal investigation.
Here’s What Happened
Republican Shelli Miller has been using her office and office employees to arrange for the purchase and pickup of tickets to a GOP fundraising event. Greg Abbott is the keynote speaker at the event, which will benefit him and other Republican candidates.
The Lone Star Project has confirmed the illegal activity by obtaining audio recordings of Shelli Miller and at least one other county employee arranging for the purchase and pickup of tickets to the GOP/Abbott event.
The use of official resources for political purposes is a violation of a number of state laws. For instance, it is illegal to accept political donations in certain government buildings under TEX. ELEC. CODE. § 253.039.
It is likely–if not certain–that Greg Abbott and/or someone on his staff was aware of the illegal activity. An independent investigation is required to assure proper enforcement of the laws broken by Rockwall County Republicans and perhaps by the Abbott Campaign itself.
Click over to hear the audio. As I drafted this last night, the only news coverage I saw of this was on the Rockwall Herald Banner and NPR station KETR, both of whom add a bit to the LSP report. We’ll see where it goes from here. BOR has more.
UPDATE: The DMN has a small story that doesn’t add anything new.