Individuals, other politicians can spend money in Texas House speaker races, court agrees

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A staunchly conservative North Texas lawmaker and tea party-style activists have successfully sued to wipe out restrictions on who can spend money to...

on speaker last month, Tinderholt has said he’ll have his name put forward on Tuesday, the opening day of this year’s legislative session.

Tony McDonald, a conservative Austin civil rights and campaign finance lawyer, said he brought it as “a cleanup” of questions unresolved from a similar suit 14 years earlier. Both McDonald and Steve Bresnen, an Austin lawyer who has sued Sullivan and pushed for stronger enforcement of Texas ethics laws, said there’s no practical way for hard-right Republicans to exploit the ruling before Tuesday’s speaker’s election.

“With respect to the connection to Washington, I just don’t sense the atmosphere here. The outcome of this lawsuit does equate to some people using money in politics, but I don’t think that necessarily makes Austin Washington.” All three plaintiffs said they wanted to spend in support of Tinderholt but state law unconstitutionally infringed on their free-speech rights to do so.

 

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