HOUSTON, Texas – The latest state senator to be defeated by Texas Right to Life, Bob Deuell, launched a last-ditch effort to save his incumbency against Texas Right to Life radio ads last month. After his cease and desist letters to radio stations proved futile, Deuell turned to the Texas Ethics Commission in hopes that the agency would fine, penalize, or silence Texas Right to Life.
Both the radio stations and the Texas Ethics Commission saw through Deuell's hectoring legal tactics and dismissed the claim. “These demands and complaints by Deuell have been ludicrous from day one,” said Texas Right to Life Legal Counsel, Trey Trainor. “24 hours had just elapsed before our ads were back on the air after the bogus demand that Texas Right to Life was not telling the truth.”
When the cease-and-desist letters to the radio stations flopped, Deuell proved that he would stop at nothing to protect his political façade. The claim filed by his legal team with the Texas Ethics Commission made even more false accusations about Texas Right to Life.
Trainor explains this disturbing trend among the political class to “use the TEC as an instrument to silence grassroots advocacy groups like Texas Right to Life.” Politicians like Deuell, he says, are afraid of their disgraceful voting records being exposed-and for good reason. “In this case,” Trainor continued, “Deuell did not stop at using the TEC to orchestrate his political scheme in order to stifle his voting record and mask his actions in Austin.”
During the 2013 Legislative Session, Deuell sponsored SB 303, a bill that would have exacerbated the unjust Texas Advance Directive Act. Deuell and the bill's proponents misrepresented the bill's effects, and Texas Right to Life stopped the bill's passage. Despite making concerns about the bill to Deuell and his staff, he pushed the legislation, which was considered an expansion of euthanasia by national legal and disability rights experts.
This bill was the subject of the Texas Right to Life radio ads that aired in the Republican Primary Run-Off Election for Senate District 2, informing the voters of SD 2 that Deuell favored hospital authority over the lives of patients. In raising voter awareness of Deuell's position on denial-of-treatment issues, the Texas Right to Life-sponsored radio ads complied with all legal procedures and disclosure requirements.
As expected, the Ethics Commission rejected the complaint.
The bullying tactics exerted by out-of-touch incumbents like Bob Deuell may not be the last legal trickery tried to squelch the voice of Texas Right to Life. But as Texas' oldest, largest, pro-life grassroots organization, we are committed to the steadfast defense of Life, regardless of those who try to intimidate us.