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State House candidate Pruitt refuses to accept funds from pro and con gambling interests

ROCKWALL – State Representative candidate and Rockwall attorney Jim Pruitt, who recently rolled out a plan to improve ethics and transparency in the Texas House, reiterated today that, earlier this month, he refused to accept $2,500 from Texans for Economic Development (TED), a group pushing for Vegas-style casino gambling in Texas.

He added that he planned to equally turn down donations from lobby groups that support and oppose gambling in Texas.  He said that those who support gambling are primarily funded by Texas casinos and gambling interests; those who oppose it are largely funded by Oklahoma, Louisiana, and New Mexico casinos and horse tracks who want to protect their profits by encouraging gamblers to travel across the Texas borders.

“There are issues with both sides of this fight,” said Pruitt.  “I decided before I ran that I would not accept money from either side.  I rolled out a proposed ethics plan to improve transparency in the Texas House.  I obviously think I should practice what I preach.”

Pruitt’s reform plan was developed after several public scandals involving State Representatives and special interest lobbyists.

Pruitt’s proposed reforms include:

  1. Require all political advocacy groups to provide the names of donors and donation amounts on their websites
  2. End pension benefits for State Representatives convicted of felony criminal activity
  3. Phase out the state pension program for State Representatives because their public service was never meant to be a full-time career
  4. Impose additional disclosure requirements when Representatives meet with registered lobbyists
  5. Enact more severe fines and penalties, including possible incarceration, for Representatives guilty of egregious ethics violations
  6. Prohibit Representatives from serving as paid lobbyists immediately after stepping down from the Texas House

“As I campaign through Collin and Rockwall Counties, I hear more and more Republicans voice their concern about the lack of ethics and openness in our state government,” said Pruitt.

“My ethics reform plan is a first step towards shining the light on the Texas House and ending the backroom politics that have caused Texans to lose trust in their elected leaders.”

Pruitt, a former twice-elected Dallas County Criminal Court Judge, is campaigning to become the State Representative for Rockwall County and portions of Collin County in the new House District 33 race against businessman and motivational speaker Scott Turner.  Election Day is this Tuesday, May 29th.

The new seat is the result of newly-drawn districts by the State Legislature. State Rep. Jodie Laubenberg will no longer represent Rockwall County after Dec. 31.

By J.J. Smith, Publisher

 

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