Thursday, December 18, 2008

Sylvester Turner, Your ethics are showing! (Updated)

Representative Sylvester Turner has been a busy little beaver. He has managed to amass enough campaign finance violations in the last two years to fill a 37 page ethics complaint, along with167 pages of campaign finance reports to back up the complaint. Since the complaint runs 37 pages I obviously cannot do all of his violations justice but I will hit some highlights for you.
  • $220,905.33 (cumulative errors) is missing and unaccounted for out of his campaign funds, and also did not report any interest accrual on the account as well. This is fraud and perjury.
  • Accepted $13,500 in direct contributions from corporate entities which is illegal. $500 of which was from Zachry Construction, the prime contractor for the Trans-Texas Corridor construction and a major contractor to TXDoT. Knowingly accepting Corporate donations is a third degree felony. He did this a total of 16 times in the last two years, listed the corporations on the forms, and then signed them, so he will have a hard time claiming he did not know. Maybe he didn't read them, but he SHOULD have read them. He signed the form which means he is accepting responsibility for what is in them.
  • Made six payments to Ford Motor Credit in the amount of $736.46 for what appears to be his personal vehicle. Amounting to $4418.76. This is personal enrichment from campaign funds and he would be civilly liable for the amount, even if it's a lease with residual value to the lessor.
  • Made a total of 141 payments to himself and others from the fund without disclosing the names of payees, dates, amounts, or purposes of the payments.
Now mind you, this covers just TWO YEARS worth of violations.

This is the man that has thrown his hat in the ring for Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives. Instead of elevating him to the Speaker's position, the DA needs to prosecute him, the courts need to convict him, and the house needs to impeach him. The law should apply equally.

UPDATE:
It would appear that this is getting murkier and murkier. In this page of Turner's campaign reports, you'll note a $25,000 payment on 8-17-2007 to Jack Terence (Ted Hirtz Atty. of record). Under the purpose of the payments you will see listed "cause number 2004-06369" And another entry on 1-9-2008, and two more entries to Jack Terrence for the same amount on 10-1-2007 with the purpose marked as "Fees", same on 12-06-2006 for the same amount. Now, you may ask yourself who Jack Terrence is, I know I did. Well here is what I learned. It would seem that Jack Terrence ran for Mayor of Houston against Sylvester Turner. Both lost, but Terrence filed a lawsuit (cause number 2004-06369) against Turner for a number of infractions of campaign finance laws in 2004. The lawsuit was eventually settled out of court for an undisclosed sum. Now we see two payments of $25,000 each to Terrence and two more to the Terrence's Attorney. It would appear that Turner is using his campaign funds to pay off lawsuits and this $100,000 is nothing more than hush money. As I understand election law, it is illegal to pay lawsuit settlements out of campaign funds.

8 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As I read the Complaint and look at the documents that Turner personally signed under the penalty of perjury, I am troubled that it only covers two (2) years worth of activity. WHAT happened in the other 20 years he has been in the Legislature?
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Why has no prosecution ever taken place? Why is he still in office? Does his race "exempt" him from following the laws that he passes and votes for the rest of us "commoners" to follow? Perhaps this might explain the reason things are so screwed up in Austin and we are getting such malarkey in legislation.....
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PERHAPS it also time to call for his resignation... where's Quanell X on this one? Will he stand on principle or skin color?

December 19, 2008 10:57 AM  
Anonymous anon2 said...

Come on ABC, lawyer up, and sic Wayne on him again. Sure it cost you last time, but look at how many viewers stayed glued to ABC during that time, instead of channel surfing.

@Anonymous: "PERHAPS it also time to call for his resignation... where's Quanell X on this one? Will he stand on principle or skin color?"

Ha ha ha - Vizzini-style laughing!

December 19, 2008 7:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Why has no prosecution ever taken place? Why is he still in office?"
posted by: anonymous

I think we all really know why. The question is when will this ignorance stop and at what cost in the future?

December 19, 2008 9:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am having trouble how Sylvestrie will wiggle out of the felonies committed in this one. It is against Texas Law to accept Corporate Campaign Contributions. But under his own sworn statement and admission he clearly puts a dozen or more (16) "Corporations" down as contributors. It seems that in Texas and the other 49 states, you can't commit a felony and then reverse it.
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Correct me if I am wrong, but he has clearly listed "Corporations" as contributors..., and the Texas Comptroller's office confirms it in the supporting documentation(s). He has clearly listed payments to himself, not loan payments, not other... but direct payments to himself. Will he claim ignorance or that it was a mistake? I can understand once or twice, but it continues on, over and over again for like 141 times; then one must conclude only one thing. When you specifically list FMC (Ford Motor Credit) payments 6 times; then I must ask what Sylvestrie was smokin?
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If you just add up what is on the campaign reports as expenses and what he lists as totals, they don't jive..... no way. If you look further into his prior reports, the pattern is pretty much the same.
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How arrogant and self serving that this person feels that no one would dare question him? How does he really feel that he can live above and outside of the very laws he purports to be writing? It is about time that "we the people" start demanding prosecution and upholding the laws on the books instead of running a plantation in a third world country, where the juntas rule and the Illegals get away with murder.
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This just makes Chicago style corruption look like a cake walk.

December 20, 2008 11:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

UPDATE:
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It just gets deeper and deeper and deeper.... What is puzzling is why this guy is not behind bars? Why is he allowed to roam the streets, when we spend thousands and thousands to prosecute felons that take a pittance compared to this guy....WHY?

December 22, 2008 2:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Incredible, but not surprising from what I read and see in the news everyday from crooked Governors and bankers and big wigs on Wall Street. There is no credibility from our leaders, no shame...nothing. It seems like they just don't care and are almost proud of it...like so what? I don't trust ANY politician on either side. I feel like getting a loan from a bank and just saying, "whoops, I can't pay it back, sorry". It's pitiful. No accountability. Look at the 21 banks getting tens of billions of taxpayer money, and they say "it's none of your business what we did with your money, and we're not going to tell you and we don't have to. Take a hike. You can't touch us and nobody cares. America is being ripped off every day, and nothing will be done about it until we are completely looted and there is no more money or jobs left. I have lost faith in my own country and it's leaders; I would have never imagined it would come to this...in your face "tough shit" attitude from those in power. We just shrug it off at night and go to bed and do it again the next day. Where is the outrage? Doesn't anybody care anymore? Is there any integrity or honesty left in government at all? There used to be. Or maybe I'm just fooling myself. Maybe it's been going on all along, but now since they are being exposed on a daily basis they just say..."so what?" Let's all go to the bank and borrow alot of money, and when they ask you what you are going to do with it, just say it's none of their business, or "when are you going to pay it back?" Just say, I don't know...maybe I won't. Just give me the money. I guess I was taught wrong and I'm just a sucker. All this talk I heard my whole life about character and honesty and integrity and working hard and being fair and helping others in need was just a great big fat lie to keep the sheeple in their place. What a joke.

December 22, 2008 7:37 PM  
Anonymous raiderdav said...

Great post rorschach - thanks for the update. It's a shame this isn't getting local press.

December 23, 2008 10:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Merry Xmas

December 24, 2008 6:32 PM  

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