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.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

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

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