Progress Texas gets the ball rolling.
The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) was supposed to provide funding for cancer research. But soon after its implementation, the multi-billion dollar entity was awarding grants to donors of Rick Perry and Greg Abbott without the proper review. Scientists resigned in protest, and an investigation into the activities of the fund has since resulted in a felony indictment.
Greg Abbott, as the state’s Attorney General, was tasked with serving as a watchdog for this cancer research fund. But he never attended a board meeting – and took no action when cancer research dollars were funneled to his donors.
In a video released by the Progress Texas PAC, cancer survivors share their thoughts of betrayal on this matter. Take a moment and watch the video and then share it with your networks.
It’s unclear if Abbott was ok with cancer research fund activities, but it is clear that he never showed up to see for himself.
Trail Blazers neatly sums up the state of play.
After The Dallas Morning News first broke stories raising questions about funding problems, Abbott’s office announced it would investigate what went wrong at the Cancer Prevention and Research Fund. That announcement put Abbott in the position of investigating an agency over which his office already had oversight. That means the attorney general potentially is looking into the behavior of board members who are his campaign donors. Abbott says he sees no problems with these arrangements.
Shortly after CPRIT unraveled in 2012, Abbott announced his intention to open a civil investigation into the agency, even though Abbott would be investigating his own donors. That was a year and a half ago—since then, a criminal investigation by the Travis County DA’s office resulted in a felony indictment for one senior CPRIT official.
As for Abbott’s investigation? It’s unclear where that stands—if it’s still ongoing, or if it was quietly dropped sometime in the last 19 months. The Observer asked the AG’s office for an update Monday afternoon—we’ll update when we hear back.
But don’t worry, I’m sure ethics ninja Ken Paxton will get right on it after he’s elected.