Congress Wants to Look at David Whitley's Books

Investigation to look into Texas' voter list fiasco

Secretary of State David Whitley
Secretary of State David Whitley (Photo by John Anderson)

The U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform has launched an investigation into Texas' voter list fiasco, asking Secretary of State David Whitley for documents about his claim that nearly 100,000 registered voters may not be citizens, an assertion that's been debunked by counties who've checked their voter rolls and blasted by civil rights groups as an effort to instill fear among immigrants. In February, a federal judge halted the SoS voter review, writing that the attempted purge showed how the state had the power to "intimidate" voters.

In their March 28 letter to Whitley, Rep. Elijah Cummings, who chairs Oversight, and Rep. Jamie Raskin, who leads its Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, wrote they were "disturbed" by the state's efforts to remove voters from the rolls. The two Maryland Democrats have given Whitley until April 11 to turn over documents and communications between those involved in the review, including SoS, the Department of Public Safety, Gov. Greg Abbott, Attorney General Ken Paxton, any third-party advocacy groups, and the Trump administration.

Meanwhile, the Statesman recently reported that upon naming Whitley to his current post (for which he still awaits Senate confirmation), Abbott boosted the secretary of state's salary by nearly 50% – $197,415 for Whitley, compared to $132,924 for his predecessor Rolando Pablos. That's still a pay cut, though, for the former Abbott aide, who after 15 years with the governor was making more than $200,000.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

86th Texas Legislature, David Whitley, Texas Secretary of State, voter fraud, voter suppression, non-citizen, U.S. House Oversight and Reform Committee, Elijah Cummings, Jamie Raskin, Greg Abbott, Rolando Pablos

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