Libertarians: Fighting Against the Fight Against Cancer

Travis County Libertarian chair takes state medical bodies to task over advertising for cancer funds

Everyone is against cancer, right? But who can say they're for spending state money on fighting cancer?

According to Wes Benedict, chair of the Travis County Libertarian Party, not the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. On Oct. 17, Bentley filed a complaint with the Texas Ethics Commission claiming that the Texas Medical Association, UTMDACC, and its president John Mendelson violated the election code by running an ad in the October edition of Texas Medicine magazine. The ad backed Prop. 15, the cancer research bond proposal (in the name of full disclosure, the Chronicle endorses the bond, the TCLP not so much.)

Now the commission has decided it has jurisdiction over two parts of his complaint: that because the ad was backing Prop. 15, it violates section 255.001 of the electoral code because it dod not disclose that it was a political ad, and also section 255.004, demanding full disclosure of who pays for an ad. (Benedict also alleged violations of section 255.003 because, as UTMDACC is part of the UT system, they violated spending rules, but the commission bounced that one.)

The specter of state agencies lobbying for or against bills has been a powerful image in the Libertarian playbook: not least because they really have the law on their side. But by the end of the last lege session, even some of the more distinctly "small government" lawmakers were getting visibly tired of agency evidence to committees being characterized as advocacy work.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More State Government
Straus' Budget Stretch
Straus' Budget Stretch
Committee member casts doubt on speaker's deficit proposals

Richard Whittaker, May 12, 2010

Keel Repeat
Keel Repeat
Former state rep to head up Texas Facilities Commission

Richard Whittaker, Dec. 17, 2009

More Elections
The <i>Chronicle</i>'s 2018 Primary Election Coverage
The Chronicle's 2018 Primary Election Coverage
Tracking the returns for the county, courthouse, and state

the News Staff, March 6, 2018

Club Endorsements
Club Endorsements
Who's backing whom in the March primary?

Feb. 15, 2018

More by Richard Whittaker
Macon Blair to Direct <i>Toxic Avenger</i> Relaunch
Macon Blair to Direct Toxic Avenger Relaunch
Austin director cleans up with return of the cult classic

March 21, 2019

Jordan Peele has met the enemy, and they is Us

March 22, 2019


State Government, Elections, TCLP, Wes Benedict, Travis County Libertarian Party, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer, Texas Ethics Commission

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle