The anti-Trump conservative group known as The Lincoln Project announced this week that it would be filing an ethics complaint against Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott with the Texas Ethics Commission “for misuse of official time and resources in furtherance of his re-election campaign.” The complaint was tied to an interview that Abbott sat for with the far-right media outlet known as Breitbart, which was filmed at the stadium for the University of Texas at Austin — which told The Lincoln Project just the previous month that an ad from the group against Abbott would not be allowed to air because of a dubious policy against political advertisements. Was an interview with Breitbart not political enough to violate the same policy?
Now, in addition to the ethics complaint, The Lincoln Project has filed Freedom of Information Act requests with Abbott’s office and the university to try and uncover whether there was any communication between the two regarding the anti-Abbott ad by The Lincoln Project that the school blocked. The Lincoln Project appears to be under the impression that such communication did, in fact, take place, with group co-founder Reed Galen commenting as follows:
‘As his approval continues to sink, Greg Abbott has become more and more extreme in his use of state power to achieve his political goals. We aren’t surprised he would deny free speech to his opponents. We’re also not surprised that Abbott, a former Supreme Court justice and Texas Attorney General, would so flagrantly violate state law by using the Longhorns’ hallowed ground for his venal and cynical political purposes.’
Abbott has established himself amid the COVID-19 pandemic as an avid opponent of basic safety precautions. Recently, for instance, he signed an order meant to block any “entity” in the state from imposing mandates to receive vaccines — although major companies including American Airlines and Southwest Airlines, both of which are based in Texas, promptly announced their intentions to defy the governor’s order. The companies said that, instead, they’d be abiding by directives from the Biden administration, which is ordering government contractors to have their personnel vaccinated against COVID-19.