A scandalized state legislator in Texas faces a newcomer to politics in November, David Hamilton, but media haven’t talked up the controversy.
Charges were filed against Texas House member Rep. Ron Reynolds (Dist. 27). Reynolds became engulfed in a scandal involving accusations of “ambulance chasing” and kickbacks.
KHOU-TV (Houston) said Reynolds was one of 8 Houston-area lawyers charged with barratry, the legal term for ambulance chasing. KHOU said:
“Reynolds and the other attorneys are accused of paying kickbacks to Robert Valdez, the alleged ringleader of the operation. Prosecutors said Valdez routinely scour accident reports, then approach and aggressively persuade [sic] crash victims to sign contracts for legal representation…We have information from a confidential informant, that Ron Reynolds delivered cash in envelopes to Mr. Valdez, in exchange for referring clients to him on numerous occasions,” said Phil Grant, First Assistant Montgomery County District Attorney.”
The iconic magazine Texas Monthly included Reynolds on their annual list of the worst legislators for 2013.
The Montgomery county charges aren’t the first barratry charges Reynolds has faced. He’s faced them before, but that case fell apart after a lead investigator was accused of “tainting the evidence,” according to TM.
Reynolds also got into trouble over campaign disclosures in 2011.
Brittany Pounders, blogger at Liberty Juice, asked an obvious question: Why Is Texas Media Largely Silent On Democrat Rep. Ron Reynolds’ 10 Felony Indictments?
Pounders said Reynolds’ trial is coming up in August. The blogger did a more thorough job of putting Reynolds’ problems in context than corporate media did. Pounders said Reynolds has been sanctioned by the Texas Bar more than once.
Why should media be interested in Reynolds’ story? Reynolds is still listed as the incumbent by the Texas Tribune.
Hamilton’s professional experience in the oil and gas industry would be assets because energy policy is a linchpin in any state’s economy, from manufacturing to retail. One of Hamilton’s main concerns is spending, a relevant issue on both state and national levels.
Reynolds isn’t the only state legislator embroiled in a scandal.
In California, there have been at least three senators, all Democrats, involved in various criminal suits or allegations of criminal activity.
The sheer number and depth of these scandals would normally warrant above-the-fold coverage from alphabet TV networks.
Powerful California state senator, Leland Yee, faces federal charges, including conspiracy to traffic in firearms without a license and to illegally import firearms. Like Reynolds, Yee is a Democrat. Yee has been suspended from the Senate.
Media made little of the California scandals or Reynolds’.
Pounders hammered home the frustration many Republicans feel after seeing members of their own party consistently attacked by corporate and legacy media even when there’s no scandal, while scandalized Democrats often escape such treatment. Writing about the Reynolds case, Pounders asked:
“[W]here is our local media when it comes to sharing this huge story in Texas politics? The local news quietly covered both arrests and since have shamefully seemed to put it to bed. This is an active campaign, an active indictment, and an active State Representative- but where is the story?”
In the spirit of Ayn Rand, we might also ask, Who is Leland Yee?
(Commentary by Kay B. Day/May 16, 2014)
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