Bipartisan Support for HB 2139

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Due to the magnitude of the fraud Direct Action Texas has uncovered over the last 2 years, we have been calling for sensible reforms to come out of Austin. One of these is a bill authored by Representative Mike Schofield (R-Katy). House Bill 2139 would allow prosecutors to treat organized election fraud activity the same way it would treat other forms of organized crime, raising each penalty level one degree. Testimonies given in the House Committee on Elections revealed overwhelming bipartisan support.

“This is about graft, not about ‘D’ or ‘R’.”

Aaron Harris said it well. Organized vote fraud is not about Democrats versus Republicans. Most these cases involve May municipal elections. Why do these operations typically target municipal races? Follow the money*.

City Council Members, School Board Trustees, Water Board Members, and other municipal elected officials have the power to choose the recipients of very lucrative contracts. Billions of dollars are spent by cities each year to various contractors and some of them will win those contracts by any means necessary. From schools to police stations and parks, bond amounts are often in the hundreds of millions. The companies that would receive those contracts have huge incentives to keep elected officials in their pockets.

These harvested elections are not choices between conservatives and liberals, they are between those inside and outside of the graft game. It is all about who gets control of your tax dollars.

“Something has got to be done to stop this vote harvesting.”

The above words were spoken by Lon Burnam, former State Representative (D-Fort Worth), but the sentiment was echoed throughout the testimony for House Bill 2139. Organized voter fraud steals votes and breeds apathy.

The passage of HB 2139 is crucial. Without this bill,Texas will continue to prosecute the low level harvester, or “politiquera,” and not those responsible for funding and executing these vote harvesting operations. We need to empower the OAG to be able to cut off the funding and execution of these operations.

Jonathan White, Assistant Attorney General, testified that one of the most difficult conversations he ever had with a victim or citizen was when he had to explain to Mary Helen Flores, Founder of Citizens Against Voter Fraud (CAVA), that he would not able to provide her with justice. He simply did not have the tools in the election code to do so.

The Texas Legislature MUST give prosecutors the tools they need. Organized voter fraud doesn’t just steal votes, it steals voices. It steals our rights as citizens. Organized voter fraud must be stopped. We urge the committee to move HB 2139 thru and for the full body of the Texas House to adopt this measure.

*Stay tuned for our next piece in which we follow the money and for the first time publish an internal document DAT has uncovered.

 

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