Taxpayers Subsidize TLR President Dick Trabulsi’s Life of Luxury

Texans For Individual Rights (TXIR) today called on Dick Trabulsi, President of the special interest lobby group Texans For Lawsuit Reform, to repay to taxpayers all funds that he or his family businesses have received in the form of government handouts.  According to a farm subsidy database maintained by the Environmental Working Group, Trabulsi’s company Richard Trabulsi Inc. has received $43,787 in farm subsidies since 1995. Another database, maintained by the taxpayer watchdog group “OMB Watch”, reflects an additional payment of $12,647 to Richard Trabulsi Inc. from the Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program in 2010.

Trabulsi is the owner of a luxury condominium in the exclusive Four Seasons building in downtown Austin with appraised value of $875,000. The website of the Four Seasons Residences bills itself as “The Premier Address in Austin, Texas” that offers an “unparalleled lifestyle” to its residents.

It is disgusting to learn that taxpayers have been subsidizing Dick Trabulsi’s life of luxury. However, it is not a surprise considering that Trabulsi and TLR’s major backers use their political power and influence to benefit personally at the expense of average Texans. One of the main reasons our nation is in a fiscal crisis is because of profligate spending exemplified by taxpayer handouts such as those received by Richard Trabulsi Inc. We call on Mr. Trabulsi to do the right thing and repay these funds back to the taxpayers.

While Texans For Lawsuit Reform claims to represent Conservative values,  Trabulsi has written about his desire to see the Democratic Party “become competitive again” and for Democrats to be “in a position of strength to influence public policy” in Texas. We have written extensively about Trabulsi at #StopTLR. You can learn more about him herehere, and here.

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The Mark McCaig Show for 12/16/12: The Tea Party’s 2013 Priorities

This week on the Mark McCaig show, Mark was joined by Felicia Cravens of the Houston Tea Party Society. Mark and Felicia discussed the recently released 2013 legislative priorities of the Texas Tea Party Caucus Advisory Committee, of which Felicia is a member. One of the top priorities for the Tea Party movement this session is to return government to its core functions and end Solyndra-style handouts to private businesses through the Texas Enterprise Fund, Emerging Technology Fund, and similar programs.

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Embattled Cancer Agency Subsidized Powerful Lobby Group TMA

Texans For Individual Rights (TXIR) has called on the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas to explain why and how they awarded nearly $1 million in grants to the Texas Medical Association (TMA), one of the wealthiest and most powerful lobby groups in Texas. The revelation of CPRIT’s grants to TMA come in the wake of criminal investigations into CPRIT’s operations and reports that CPRIT improperly awarded an $11 million grant to a company with close ties to a major political donor who also contributed to a foundation that subsidized the salaries of top CPRIT officials. This Donor, Peter O’Donnell, made his largest contributions to Texans For Lawsuit Reform.

Texas taxpayers have a right to know why CPRIT used their money to coddle the doctor lobby.  The Texas Medical Association should be ashamed of itself for taking taxpayer money, which was supposed to fund legitimate cancer research, to subsidize its operations. TMA is one of the best funded and most powerful lobby groups in Texas and shouldn’t be asking for or receiving handouts from taxpayers.”

Additionally, the TMA has been at odds with many conservative groups in recent years. They have opposed legislation that would protect innocent human life as well as legislation that has recently been made a priority by the Tea Party Advisory Caucus to improve access to healthcare by expanding the scope of practice of advanced practice nurses. TMA’s political action committee has also come under fire by some for their activities in the Republican primary, which included significant contributions to a shadowy PAC called “Texans For Responsible Government” that attacked State Representative Wayne Christian.”

The elected officials on CPRIT’s oversight committee, Comptroller Susan Combs and Attorney General Greg Abbott, have each received thousands of dollars from TMA’s political action committee. The Vice-Chairman of CPRIT’s oversight committee, Dr. Joseph Bailes, has been an active member of TMA and once served as Chairman of TMA’s “Council on Legislation.” Texans For Individual Rights has filed a request under the Texas Public Information Act with CPRIT for all documents related to grants awarded to and requested by TMA. We will post new information, including information obtained from CPRIT, as it becomes available.

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The Mark McCaig Show for 12/9/12: The Truth About “Tort Reform”

This week on the Mark McCaig Show, Mark examined the true goals of the so-called “tort reform” lobby and groups such as Texans For Lawsuit Reform. Mark discussed how these groups don’t work to end truly frivolous lawsuits as they claim, but rather seek to gain political power to benefit a small group of powerful donors at the expense of the rights of average Texans.

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The Mark McCaig Show for 12/2/2012: Taking Back the GOP

This week on the Mark McCaig Show, Mark was joined by Dave Nalle, Chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus. Mark and Dave discussed how the growth of the liberty movement within the Republican Party was paying dividends and the necessity for liberty minded Republicans to work to reform the Party. Later, Mark discussed the controversy involving an improper handout made by the state’s taxpayer funded cancer research agency to a Dallas company with close ties to major TLR donor Peter O’Donnell.

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