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Clarence Thomas’s Friend Basically Confirms the Harlan Crow Tuition Story

Mark Paoletta seemed to be trying to defend the Supreme Court justice.

Clarence Thomas in 2020
Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Another Clarence Thomas scandal, another terrible defense for it.

A ProPublica report released Thursday found that the Supreme Court justice sent his grandnephew, whom he was raising, to private boarding school, and Republican billionaire megadonor Harlan Crow paid the tuition. A bill showed Crow paid $6,000 for one month, and a school administrator told ProPublica that Crow paid for four years of tuition, including at another school. ProPublica estimated that the total cost could have been more than $150,000. Thomas disclosed none of it, of course.

Mark Paoletta, a lawyer who is also friends with Thomas and Crow (he was in that weird painting of Crow’s lodge), stepped in with what he probably thought was a slam-dunk of a defense: he essentially admitted the report was true, but insisted Thomas didn’t break any rules in the process.

Paoletta also represented Thomas’s wife, Ginni, before the January 6 committee last year.

Thomas is already under fire following two other ProPublica reports, the first one that revealed the extent of his relationship with Crow, and another that found Crow also bought Thomas’s childhood home, where his mother still lives, which similarly went unreported.

Democrats are demanding that Thomas resign, or at least be investigated, and that the Supreme Court implement a formal code of ethics. But so far, Republicans don’t seem all that interested in holding the court—or Thomas—accountable.

You Suspected the Clarence Thomas-Harlan Crow Story Wasn’t Over? You Were Right!

A new report reveals how the billionaire megadonor paid the tuition of the Supreme Court justice’s grandnephew.

Senator Mike Lee
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The hits keep coming on the rampantly crooked relationship between Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and megabillionaire GOP donor Harlan Crow. This time, ProPublica has revealed that the billionaire footed the bill for the private school tuition of a boy Thomas was raising “as a son.”

Spanning back to the ’90s, Thomas had been raising his grandnephew, Mark Martin; Thomas had taken legal custody of Martin when he was six years old. In 2008, Thomas sought to send him to Hidden Lake Academy, a private boarding school in northern Georgia.

ProPublica reporting revealed that Harlan Crow’s company paid for the private school’s over $6,000 per month tuition. ProPublica saw the bank statement of one month, though a school administrator said Crow paid for the entire school year.

Martin had also attended a separate boarding school, Randolph-Macon Academy in Virginia; Crow reportedly paid for tuition for that school as well. ProPublica estimates that if Crow paid for all four years Martin spent at the two schools, the cost may have been over $150,000. But not a penny of these tuition payment gifts were disclosed by Thomas.

What’s more is that Thomas had reported a $5,000 gift for Martin’s education from a non-billionaire friend—echoing Thomas’s tendency to report some gifts, but seldom ones from the likes of Crow. Thomas’s only defense of not doing so up to this point has been because he “was advised that this sort of personal hospitality from close personal friends, who did not have business before the Court, was not reportable.” The contradiction continues however, as Thomas had reported a few gifts from Crow in the past, like a $19,000 Bible.

“Harlan Crow has long been passionate about the importance of quality education and giving back to those less fortunate, especially at-risk youth,” Crow’s office said in a statement. “It’s disappointing that those with partisan political interests would try to turn helping at-risk youth with tuition assistance into something nefarious or political.”

The farce of it all is that Thomas really did not need Crow to pay for the tuition. In 1991, when Thomas first joined the court, his salary would have been some $153,600. By 2008, that number was $208,100. That doesn’t even include other income. In 2007, ProPublica notes the Thomases hauled in over $850,000 in income. Thomas had brought in over $1 million in book advances by June 2008. He readily could have paid for the private school tuition for the child he was raising “as a son.”

The latest chapter in Supreme Court Justice Corruption follows a now too-big-to-close folder of shadiness. Supreme Court Chief Justice Chief John Roberts’s wife, Jane, has allegedly been paid more than $10 million by an array of high-class law firms—at least one of which has argued before her husband in the Supreme Court.

Justice Neil Gorsuch successfully sold a 40-acre property that he had been trying to sell for two years to an undisclosed buyer; the buyer of the nearly $2 million Colorado ranch was the CEO of a law firm that has since had 22 cases with business before the court.

And, of course, the Thomas tales continue to pile up. He has received secret and lavish gifts for decades from the Nazi memorabilia–collecting billionaire and GOP donor Crow, including luxurious island-hopping excursions on superyachts and even a secret deal in which Crow bought Thomas family property and proceeded to upgrade it while Thomas’s mother still lived in it. Martin, Thomas’s “son,” had joined on much of the exotic family adventures with Crow.

Mike Lee’s Defense of Clarence Thomas Will Make You Lose Your Mind

The Republican senator is trying to support the Supreme Court justice amid mounting financial scandals. And, well, words do this post no justice.

Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc/Getty Images

Senator Mike Lee has come rushing to Clarence Thomas’s defense over the Supreme Court justice’s ignominious financial dealings, and his latest argument will blow your mind.

Thomas is under fire (again) thanks to another ProPublica report on his shady relationship with Republican billionaire megadonor Harlan Crow. This time, ProPublica found that Thomas sent his grandnephew, whom he was raising, to private boarding school, and Crow paid the tuition. A bill showed Crow paid $6,000 for one month, and a school administrator told ProPublica that Crow paid for four years of tuition, including at another school. ProPublica estimated that the total cost could have been more than $150,000. Thomas disclosed none of it, of course.

Democrats have already been demanding Thomas resign, or at the very least be investigated, following other ProPublica reports that the justice didn’t disclose two decades’ worth of luxury vacations paid for by Crow. Crow also bought Thomas’s childhood home, where his mother still lives, which similarly went unreported.

And Mike Lee is having none of it.

The Utah Republican is not alone in his full-throated but illogical defense of Thomas. The House Judiciary Committee also tweeted its support for the justice.

There’s no point in trying to analyze these weird statements. Republicans have been quick to argue that any condemnations of Thomas are either unfair judgment of a friendship or just plain racist.

In reality, it’s just a man flouting ethics and making a mockery of his workplace, the highest court in the country.

How North Carolina Republicans Rushed Through an Abortion Ban in the Dead of Night

Republicans quickly pushed through the ban after a Democrat switched parties.

Women protest about abortion. One sign reads "You can never ban abortion. You can only ban safe abortion." Another reads,"Defend womens right to choose."
Peter Zay/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

The North Carolina House of Representatives passed a bill in the dead of night banning abortion after 12 weeks, rushing through a monster list of restrictions that will destroy access to the procedure in the southern United States.

The bill passed the Republican-controlled chamber close to midnight Wednesday by a vote of 71-46, along party lines. It goes to the Senate on Thursday, where it is also expected to pass since Senator Tricia Cotham switched her party affiliation to Republican a month ago. Her party change now gives the state GOP enough votes to override an expected veto from Democratic Governor Roy Cooper.

The measure technically bans abortion after 12 weeks, but in reality, the window could be much shorter. People would also only be allowed to get a medication abortion until 10 weeks of pregnancy. In order to get a medication abortion, people would be required to go to three separate, in-person appointments. Those appointments would have to be 72 hours apart. That means people would have to sort out time off work, child care, and a host of other logistics for a nearly two-week period.

The bill mandates that the legislature would have to appoint a rules commission to overhaul abortion clinic regulations by October. New rules could potentially force clinics to undergo costly (and unnecessary) changes, temporarily or even permanently shutting them down if they are unable to comply. It would also require health care providers to care for infants “born alive”—which health experts agree rarely occurs and could negatively impact post-birth care—and could restrict access to abortion based on a patient’s reason for wanting one.

“This is a horrendous, monster abortion ban cloaked in medical misinformation, misdirection, and straight-up lies,” said Jillian Riley, director of public affairs for Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, in a statement. “Politicians are putting pregnant people at risk and stripping us of our rights to build our families and futures.”

Republicans are rushing the bill through the state legislature, with Democrats slamming them for trying to circumvent democracy. Rather than introduce a fresh bill, Republicans gutted an unrelated measure on child safety and then inserted 46 pages of abortion restrictions. They unveiled the text Wednesday night, giving lawmakers less than 11 hours to read it before it went to committee hearing. Instead of going through a traditional (lengthy) committee process, Republicans added the bill as a conference report, allowing them to go right to a vote.

“This bill should be the most deliberated of any of the bills that we do. This should have been something that went through a full committee process in both chambers instead of people scrambling to figure out what it does and does not do,” said House Minority Leader Robert Reives during the hearing earlier Wednesday.

Senate Minority Leader Dan Blue stressed “medical experts should have weighed in on” the bill. “This is a poor showing of democracy,” he charged.

North Carolina currently allows abortion up to 21 weeks, which has made it a haven for the procedure in the southern U.S. If this bill becomes law, then it will have a devastating effect on reproductive rights in the South on its own.

Just a few weeks ago, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a hugely unpopular six-week abortion ban into law. Florida was another abortion haven. Taken in conjunction, these two abortion restrictions will destroy abortion access across the entire South.

Florida Republicans Pass New Bills Guaranteed to Destroy Academic Freedom

The legislation takes “Don’t Say Gay” to the next level.

Ron DeSantis
Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images

In Florida, soon eighth graders won’t be allowed to say gay, and teachers won’t be allowed to teach their own classes without Ron DeSantis’s approval.

On Wednesday, the state Senate voted to expand Desantis’s hallmark “Don’t Say Gay” bill and ban classroom material on gender identity and sexual orientation through the eighth grade. The legislation, House Bill 1069, also strengthens the ability for people to file complaints to ban books, expanding on a status quo that has already led to Florida districts banning books like the entire Court of Thorns and Roses book series, Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner, and Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home.

The bill also holds “that it is false to ascribe to a person a pronoun that does not correspond” to one’s sex at birth. Consequently, staff and students are not required to refer to someone using that person’s preferred pronoun, while school staff themselves are banned from providing their preferred pronouns to students if they differ from their “immutable” sex at birth.

Meanwhile, the state House gave final approval to Senate Bill 266, which will require the state Board of Education and state university system’s Board of Governors to create faculty committees that review general education courses. The committees are empowered to consider the “removal, alignment, realignment, or addition” of courses based on standards laid out in the bill.

“General education core courses may not distort significant historical events or include a curriculum that teaches identity politics … or is based on theories that systemic racism, sexism, oppression, and privilege are inherent in the institutions of the United States and were created to maintain social, political, and economic inequities,” the bill reads.

Slavery, for instance, was foundational to the institutions of the United States; some might make the bold claim that that system of power was based in “systemic racism, sexism, oppression, and privilege.” And if you are to make such a claim, well, you better hope you’re not teaching a university class in Florida.

The bill more broadly prevents colleges and universities from dedicating any financial resources toward diversity, equity, and inclusion.

The bill also opens up allowing Florida institutions and organizations to discriminate on the basis of gender, which was previously banned.

It also removes language related to Florida State University’s Institute for Governance and Civics. It scrubs language describing the institute’s mission to “provide the southeastern region of the United States with a world class, bipartisan, nationally renowned institute of politics.” It eliminates objectives of the institute, such as motivating students to become “aware of the significance of government and civic engagement at all levels and politics in general,” providing “students with an opportunity to be politically active and civically engaged,” and empowering students to “interact with experts from government, politics, policy, and journalism on a frequent basis.”

In other words, the bill explicitly calls to avoid encouraging young people to be civically engaged or to interact with experts and reporters who may have some news for them about the kind of state they are living in.

Both bills now head to Desantis’s desk, where he will complete his legislative session that has amounted to attacking and antagonizing millions of LGBTQ people, students, teachers, women, immigrants, people fearful of gun violence, Disney lovers, and fans of Dwyane Wade. If this all is what’s meant to be the runway toward his presidential launch, DeSantis might be taking the challenge of getting “tired of winning” too seriously.

Raphael Warnock Warns It’s Only a “Matter of Time” Before a Mass Shooting Affects You

The Georgia senator revealed that his own children were on lockdown amid the Atlanta shooting.

Nathan Posner/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Senator Raphael Warnock on Wednesday decried the apparent complacency of the U.S. government when responding to mass shootings, warning it was “only a matter of time” before such an attack affects them personally.

There have been 190 mass shootings in the United States since the start of 2023, according to the Gun Violence Archive. For comparison, there have been only 123 days in the year.

“We behave as if this is normal. It is not normal. It is not right for us to live in a nation where nobody’s safe no matter where they are,” Warnock said on the Senate floor. “I think there’s an unspoken assumption … that ‘this can’t happen to me.’”

“I shudder to say it, but the truth is, in a real sense, it’s only a matter of time that this kind of tragedy comes knocking on your door.”

Warnock also revealed that this tragedy nearly landed on his doorstep. His children’s schools in Atlanta were put on lockdown during the attack on a hospital Wednesday. He said he was praying that they were safe, but he was quick to add that prayer alone is not enough.

“As a pastor, I’m praying for those who are affected by this tragedy, but I hasten to say that thoughts and prayers are not enough,” he said. “In fact, it is a contradiction to say that you are thinking and praying and then do nothing. It is to make a mockery of prayer. It is to trivialize faith.”

Vivek Ramaswamy Paid Wikipedia Editors to Erase His Soros Fellowship and Covid Work

He announced his 2024 bid after making sure his Wikipedia page was edited.

Vivek Ramaswamy
Win McNamee/Getty Images

Vivek Ramaswamy is, like much of the Republican Party, so pathetically desperate.

The 2024 candidate, who joins other elite-educated Republicans in cosplaying as a truth-telling populist while offering no actual solutions to improve people’s material conditions, has reportedly used some of his millions of dollars to pay a Wikipedia editor to scrub his past.

Mediaite reports that Ramaswamy seems to have paid Wikipedia editor “Jhofferman,” to remove information from his page that he presumably thought would damage his candidacy in the Republican primary. A few days later, he announced his 2024 bid.

The editor scrubbed off information related to Ramaswamy receiving the Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans in 2011, during his time as a Yale law student. Paul Soros is the older brother of billionaire democratic donor George Soros, who has been the subject of perennial antisemitic conspiracy theories peddled by the right. (The fellowship Ramaswamy received is dedicated to helping immigrants and children of immigrants pursue graduate school.)

Prominent right-wing figures like Jack Posobiec have directed attention toward Ramaswamy’s past fellowship, presumably in line with the aforementioned use of Soros as a catch-all for anything “suspicious.”

Also removed from Ramaswamy’s page was his work serving on Ohio’s Covid-19 Response Team. The editor claimed that Ramaswamy had explicitly asked to remove the mention of his work on the Covid team, while the editor himself deemed the fellowship to be “extraneous material.”

After some back-and-forth with other Wikipedia contributors, information noting Ramaswamy’s Soros fellowship was later added back to the page.

Ramaswamy had announced his bid for president less than two weeks after he seemingly commissioned an editor to modify his Wikipedia page.

To this day, Ramaswamy’s Wikipedia page begins with a disclaimer that the “article has multiple issues” and the “neutrality of this article is disputed.”

“This article contains paid contributions. It may require cleanup to comply with Wikipedia’s content policies, particularly neutral point of view,” Wikipedia warns.

The episode is just another in a long series of Republicans spinelessly refusing to stand by their past when facing Donald Trump, or to offer even a nugget of an argument as to why, hey, maybe it’s OK to care about problems like Covid.

Most remarkable is that any of the Republicans think their hungry embrace of conservatism’s furthest-right instincts will result in anything other than failure. Materially, their policies aren’t helping people. And politically, they’re all losing to Trump, who then proceeds to inspire losses for Republicans across the country.

But nary a Republican can imagine staking any claim or engaging in any imagined “battleground of ideas” they purport to glorify; instead, they’ll go to such lengths as coughing up cash to a random user online to clean up their Wikipedia pages, resulting in outcomes so clumsy that you begin to wonder how any of these people got as far as they did.

Atlanta Is the 190th Mass Shooting of 2023

America is on a record pace for shootings.

Megan Varner/Getty Images
Police officers work the scene of a shooting near a medical facility on May 3 in Atlanta.

There have already been a record number of mass shootings in 2023, and the number is still climbing.

With the shooting in Atlanta on Wednesday, in which at least one person was killed and at least another four injured, there have been 190 mass shootings this year alone, according to the Gun Violence Archive. The organization defines a mass shooting as an attack in which at least four people are shot, either injured or killed, not including the shooter.

For comparison, there have been 123 days in the year.

The AP reported Tuesday that the United States is on track to have more mass shootings in 2023 than any other year since the outlet began monitoring this data. The AP and USA Today have kept a database of mass killings since 2006. Although that database defines a mass shooting as an attack with four or more fatalities, this year still has the highest number of such attacks.

There have been 97 deaths in mass killings in 2023, according to that database, an average of about five people per week. The previous record was 93 people killed by the end of April 2019.

A Q&A With the Iowa Teen Who Yelled “Trans Rights Are Human Rights” at the Governor

Clementine Springsteen went viral for calling out Kim Reynolds’s anti-trans record. But she has a lot more to say.

Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe/Getty Images

On Sunday, Iowa high school senior Clementine Springsteen got up onstage during an academic honors ceremony, posed for a photo with Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, and then bellowed to the audience, “Trans rights are human rights!” In March, the Republican governor signed bills banning gender-affirming care for people under the age of 18 and restricting what bathrooms transgender students can use.

Springsteen is in fact trans herself. And her journey into her new identity—and new name—exhibits both the stakes of the vicious attacks against trans people, and yet too the beautiful compassion and humanity to be embraced if we only allow ourselves to look around.

Prem Thakker: Many people are wondering about your lovely name: Clementine Springsteen.

Clementine Springsteen: Yeah, so, Clementine, I actually picked out myself. I named myself after the character Clementine Kruczynski from the 2004 Jim Carrey movie, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. To give you a little backstory, when I was in fifth grade, I was actually indoctrinated into a very different way of thinking than I have currently. I was like 10 years old and the first time I heard the word “Muslim,” I asked my teachers like, “Hey, what are Muslims?” She was a trusted adult, and she told me that they were people who are coming to the country to kill Americans and Obama was letting them in.

P.T.: Wow.

C.S.: And I was, you know, I was 10 years old. I never heard of them before. So I kind of just accepted that without question. And that led me down a bad path of thinking. I kind of adopted more beliefs along those lines, and throughout all of middle school, that was kind of what I believed.

And then I started kind of, you know, having the mental development to be able to break those beliefs down and question them. And that’s how I grew into who I am today and so with Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind—it’s my favorite movie ever—the whole idea is that Clementine got her memories of Joel erased after their breakup. And then he was distraught about this, went to get his memories of her erased but then while this process is going on, he realizes he doesn’t want to forget any of it, even the bad stuff.

And that’s my philosophy with giving myself that name: is that I’m not proud of my past, I’m not proud of the beliefs that I used to hold, but I don’t want to forget that I’ve once held them. Or forget that I’ve grown from them.

P.T.: That’s really beautiful. If you don’t mind me asking, what was your given name before you changed it?

C.S.: It was Reese, like the candy.

P.T.: Tell me about what led up to that moment on stage.

C.S.: Yes, so I realized in about seventh grade that I am trans. But at that point, I was so afraid of that and you know, I was deep in my horrible beliefs at that point. And so I denied it. I denied it for years and then about March of last year, I kind of accepted it. I realized that I can’t keep denying this part of myself, that I need to live as my authentic self.

I’ve seen how specifically Miss Reynolds’s bills that she’s signed into law, that she’s put into place have affected other people in my community.

Seeing how many more anti-trans laws passed each year, I believe just this year alone, there are over 400 that have been introduced. And we’re only, you know, at the start of May—that’s four months with over 100 bills each month that have been introduced and that’s… It’s disheartening and we have a transgender group at my school that meets every month. And we all just share in the feeling of fear. We’re scared for our futures. We’re scared of being able to live as our true selves. And I’m tired of this. I’m tired of my community being broke down again and again, when we’re just trying to live and be happy.

P.T.: You changed your name when exactly?

C.S.: So I officially started using Clementine over my given name in March of last year. I was in speech class actually. And for my final speech, I spoke about transgender acceptance and came out to my teacher and my class.

P.T.: What was the experience of coming out like?

C.S.: So I was terrified, obviously. But my teacher has always been really supportive. She’s always been really supportive, and there for me. As far as the class goes, there were a few there who I was really terrified of how they’d react. But I think within my speech, I’m hopeful that I managed to change their minds about the issue. I didn’t have any issues with them after that point. So I’m hopeful that I was successful in changing their mind.

P.T.: During the ceremony, there were other students throughout the state that were wearing shirts with statements like, “Public Money For Public Schools” and “I Read Banned Books.” Was there anything else you saw during the ceremony from fellow students that interested you or stood out?

C.S.: Yeah, there was one girl who, I don’t know if it was on purpose, but her whole dress was actually the trans flag colors. I don’t know many people picked up on that. But I saw that, and I was really excited for that.

There was one student from the ceremony who actually reached out to me and said that he had on a “Trans Rights Are Human Rights” shirt, which I didn’t notice at the time. And then there was one person who had pins on like I did. I couldn’t see the pins on screen but my mom told me that they were the color scheme of the pride flag and that sort of thing.

So I know it was a lot more than just the three of us that went viral.

P.T.: Have you been thinking about gender-affirming care for yourself? Especially amid the ban, or even before it?

C.S.: I was thinking about it beforehand. The issue for my family is money, mainly. We just, I don’t come from a well-off family. And we just, I have, you know, I have four siblings. And even though my stepdad makes relatively good money, it’s hard to support four kids just in general. So we don’t have a lot of funds for that kind of thing. So right now, we’re looking to set me up with a psychologist to get me actually diagnosed gender dysphoria and get that history of counseling established so that I can start transitioning.

P.T.: What has it been like having these feelings but not having a way to sort of physically or materially act on them?

C.S.: It’s been difficult, very, very difficult. I, you know, I’ve always kind of preferred more feminine things and it’s like at the ceremony, despite me being vocal about, you know, “trans rights are human rights,” and being trans, I still wore a suit as opposed to a dress because I knew that that was the only way I was going to be taken seriously.

P.T.: What do you want to say to people?

C.S.: I want to say that trans people are here. We’ve been here for a lot longer in human history than people believe. It’s not a new thing by any measures. It’s just new within the culture in America. We’re here, and it doesn’t matter what laws you pass or you know, what hatred you send our way, we’re still going to be here, we’re still going to exist. You can’t, you’re not going to be able to just extinguish an entire group of people. Because even if you do, more are going to be born. So we’re going to persist as a community no matter what you throw our way.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Texas Republicans Pass Bill to Rig Elections in Their Favor

This is how local democracy begins to crumble.

Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Texas Republican senators have passed a bill that would give the (also Republican) governor’s office the power to overturn elections in one county, which has consistently voted Democratic in recent years.

The bill, which easily passed the Republican-controlled Senate on Tuesday, is a direct response to a snafu in Harris County midterm elections. About 20 polling stations ran out of ballot paper on Election Day, which Republicans argued swung results away from them. But an investigation by the Houston Chronicle found that while there were issues and technical problems, no voters were unable to vote. There was also no evidence that the issues changed any race outcomes.

Still, Republican lawmakers are targeting the county. Tuesday’s measure now heads to the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, where it is also likely to pass, and would then head to Republican Governor Greg Abbott’s desk. The bill would give Abbott’s appointed secretary of state the power to order a new election in Harris County should at least two percent of its polling stations run out of ballot paper for more than an hour. Harris County has 126 voting locations, so it would only need to run out of paper at three stations for the secretary to order a brand new election.

Senate Republicans said the bill was about ensuring voting logistics, not overturning an election, but Democratic Harris County Senator Borris Miles said the measure was based on a conspiracy theory. He also pointed out that the bill only affects Harris County. The bill’s sponsor said he was open to expanding the measure to encompass other counties, but there appeared to be no such amendment by the time of the vote.

Harris County, which includes the city of Houston, has consistently voted Democratic since the 2016 election. Since then, Democrats have won most of the county commission seats and nearly all of the judicial ones. President Joe Biden and gubernatorial hopeful Beto O’Rourke also prevailed there by well over 50 percent.

Harris County Attorney Christian Menefee also said the bill was “not about making elections better.”

“They are about targeting the largest county in the state, which is led by people of color. Laws that attack only one county are not only bad public policy, but also violate the Texas Constitution,” he said.

Harris County Commissioner Adrian Garcia put things a little more bluntly: “They’d rather be able to rig results than try to win fair and square,” he said.