Readers sound off on Wendy Davis legal work, votes

Posted Sunday, Apr. 27, 2014  comments  Print Reprints
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All Points each Monday features reader responses to a question posed by the Editorial Board. With each week’s responses comes the next week’s question. All Points responses are not counted toward the monthly limit of one letter to the editor from each writer. Readers are welcome to send their own ideas for All Points topics to Editorial Director Mike Norman, mnorman@star-telegram.com.

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Fort Worth state Sen. Wendy Davis’ run for governor has refocused attention on her work as an attorney for public entities, including the North Texas Tollway Authority. Davis cast Senate votes affecting NTTA, including for a policy that her law firm later was hired to help carry out. Most Texas legislators must have other jobs to earn a living, but has Davis crossed the ethical line between public life and private benefit? Or has she toed that line, only to be victimized by political foes?

The Texas Constitution says, “A member who has a personal or private interest in any bill, proposed or pending before the Legislature, shall disclose the fact to the House, of which they are a member, and shall not vote thereon…”

House Rule 5 Sec 42 says: Any member who has a personal or private interest in any measure shall disclose the fact and not vote thereon.

If Davis voted and her law firm stood to benefit or get work from her stance in any way, it appears that it was also contrary to the Texas Constitution.

My grandfather told me two things regarding decisions like this: “When it comes to things that affect people’s lives or their money, do not ever get in the gray.”

And then he said, “lawyers are always debating ‘the law,’ but the key is simply to always do ‘what’s right.’”

— Mike Holt, Fort Worth

I question your “questioning” skills!

Here’s a much better query.

“How long will the Republican Party continue to attack the democratic process?”

Vague? Emotionally charged? Not an objective question, you say?

Is Wendy Davis really a crooked lawyer, or just being picked on by those mean old Republicans?

A recent investigation found that accusations of unethical, even criminal behavior on her part, were unfounded.

— David T. Johnson,

North Richland Hills

Poor Wendy Davis: always a victim of political foes.

If she is going to throw stones, she had better learn how to duck.

Politics is a dog-eat-dog game and If you play dirty, wear coveralls instead of pink shoes.

— Del Gabaldon, Grapevine

Wendy Davis has proven to be creative in accomplishing her personal agenda.

She married a man who paid for her education and later divorced him, often leaving the children in his care while she pursued her career unencumbered with debt or parental duties.

She pontificated for hours, supported by her raucous minions, to deny enhanced protections for mothers and their unborn children, gaining national notoriety for her political aspirations and fundraising.

It challenges credulity to believe her votes on issues where her law firm represents clients and/or contributors would be unbiased.

She says her association with those clients doesn’t impact her representation of taxpayers, but I don’t believe her.

— Joseph Ansley, Fort Worth

Of course it is unethical for Davis to do the legal work she is doing and be involved in legislation concerning the very entities who are paying for her services.

But that is not the real question. The real question is the double standard involved in media reporting.

Let’s put the shoe on the other foot.

If the same issue involved her Republican opponent, a district attorney would probably be investigating a possible felony and the media would keep the issue before the public.

— Ed Palm, Fort Worth

I can’t believe that you would even question that there might be ethical lapses on the part of “Windy” Davis.

Democratic politicians have a special gene that precludes them from ethical violations and wrongdoing.

They can take millions from special-interest groups, vote on bills that directly impact their law practice clients and never be swayed by the money or the client’s interests.

Alas, Republican politicians lack this gene.

If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, there is a pretty good chance it is a duck.

— Troy Worthy, Hurst

Recent revelations about Sen. Wendy Davis’ ethical issues raise serious questions about whether Texans can trust her as an elected official — much less our next governor.

When she was voting on the Senate floor on issues that benefitted the financial interests of her law firm was she voting on behalf of herself, or her constituents?

When she changed her position on legislation affecting a toll road entity only after her law firm acquired its business, was she looking out for her new client, or for Texans? Is it appropriate for a lawmaker to vote on bills that directly affect their bank accounts?

And, finally, why do we have to ask these questions of a candidate who wants to become our next governor?

— Matthew Mayer, Dallas

Wendy Davis may not have broken any Texas laws, but ethically if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck …

— Michael Sexton,

Fort Worth

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