CLC takes racetrack group to task

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The Baptist General Convention of Texas Christian Life Commission filed a complaint today with the Texas Ethics Commission against Texans for Economic Development, a political action committee of racetrack owners and supporters of video slot machines, alleging the group could be using corporate funds inappropriately to try to influence legislative races.

In its last regular sworn report filed with the Texas Ethics Commission, Texans for Economic Development reported receiving political contributions from two corporations – Retama Development Corp., a Texas group, and Call Now, Inc. a Nevada corporation. Reports filed with the commission show, on their face, that the corporate contributions were accepted by the PAC for political purposes.

In Texas elections, use of corporate money for political purposes, to advocate the election or defeat of a candidate, is a third degree felony under state law. Had Texans for Economic Development intended to use the corporate funds for non-political purposes, such as administration of the political action committee, they would have reported the corporate contributions on Schedule C-2 of its sworn report. TED reported the contributions under Schedule A, which is for political contributions intended to be used for political expenditures.

“We have watched this PAC over the years, and been dismayed at the handful of individuals and entities that continue to push the slots or nothing agenda at racetracks in our state,” said Suzii Paynter, CLC director who filed the complaint. “This filing brings to light the gravity of the misuse of corporate funds in our political process.” Read more …

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