Lubbock Home School Coalition Sues Texas Ethics Commission

- LUBBOCK, TX -- The Lubbock-based Texas Home School Coalition filed a lawsuit Friday morning against the Texas Ethics Commission and Lubbock County Criminal District Attorney Matt Powell.  The lawsuit seeks to stop either Powell or the commission from enforcing “severe and unjustifiable burdens on THSC’s right to engage in protected speech on matters of public concern.”

The THSC lawsuit says the Ethics Commission reinterpreted state law in the last year or so.  Under the new interpretation THSC is treated like a political action committee even though only 9 percent of its expenditures would be considered political in nature.

The lawsuit says, “THSC formally endorsed candidates for state office whom it believes to be committed to defending homeschooling and parental rights.”

The lawsuit says THSC is now required to hire campaign-finance advisors, accountants, and attorneys, at substantial expense just to engage in First Amendment free speech.  The lawsuit also says THSC must treat its member fees as political donations – none of which is required by Texas law but is required under the Ethics Commission’s bad interpretation of the law.

Powell did not comment except to say he had not seen the lawsuit.  The executive director of the Ethics Commission had also not yet seen the lawsuit and beyond that she chose not to comment. 

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