Texas Gov. Candidate Davis Backed Bills Aiding Her Law Firm

Image: Texas Gov. Candidate Davis Backed Bills Aiding Her Law Firm

Monday, 14 Apr 2014 01:20 PM

By Aaron Stern

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Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis, who is running for governor, has voted on bills that have affected clients represented by her law firm, despite making pledges that she would not do so, according to a report by the Dallas Morning News.

Since joining the state Legislature in 2009, the Democratic nominee for governor supported at least four bills related to highway toll collection and toll road construction projects in which her Fort Worth-based law firm was directly involved in toll collection or construction funding, according to the Dallas Morning News report.

Davis also formed a new law firm while remaining at her original firm, which is officially registered as being minority-owned with Bryan Newby. Newby is black, and a former general counsel for Republican Gov. Rick Perry. The News report suggests the legal registration process for that firm may have been expedited by Davis' stature as a state legislator.

Being a state legislator is a part-time job, and the report notes that there is no evidence Davis broke any laws.

In an interview with the News for its story, she said no conflicts of interest occurred.

"I have never done anything in a way that represents a conflict in my voting and something that would benefit me personally," she said. "If you look at my legislative work and see what I've done in terms of transparency and ethics to make sure that government officials, elected officials, are held to a standard they should be, I think it shows where I come from."

Ethics have been a recurring theme in the race for governor of Texas, and Republican nominee Greg Abbott, the Texas attorney general, proposed a plan to stop legislators from profiting from their legislative duties, according to Breitbart.

"Elected officials shouldn't profit off of their positions and line their own pockets at the taxpayers' expense," Breitbart reported Abbott saying in announcing his proposal. "It is particularly reprehensible for lawmakers to profit from taxpayers as bond counsel for public entities that add more to the public debt of taxpayers."

The allegations aren't the first to cast a shadow on Davis' character. In January, she acknowledged inconsistencies in her biography to the Dallas Morning News when it was revealed that she embellished some details about challenges she faced as a child and young adult.

Davis rose to national prominence in June of last year when she staged an 11-hour filibuster against an abortion bill in the state Senate.

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