The Texas Republicans exposed a big fraudster this week: Democrat State Rep. Jim Dunnam, of District 57 in central Texas. I say “of” but that’s not really accurate. That’s because he doesn’t live in the district, and hasn’t lived there for quite a while now. The Republicans dropped the hammer on him in a press conference in Waco, and it’s had Dunnam flustered and on the run ever since. He’s basically admitted, both back in 2002 and again today, that he doesn’t live in District 57, but over in neighboring 56 – and then simultaneously blamed it all on the Republicans, and then said “It’s for the children.” No, really. That’s what he said to a local subscriber-only outfit called the Quorum Report (the quote’s behind a subscriber firewall but it’s already zinging around the email chains in Texas):
“Why do I still have my house they cut out of the district? After Republicans intentionally redrew my district cutting out my new home, my wife and I made the decision to leave our children in the school district where they have always attended school,” Dunnam said.
And there ya have it – an admission that he has chosen of his own free will to live outside the district that he runs in. So Waco TV station KWTX caught up with him, and here’s what he had to say when they asked him how often he sleeps at the out-of-district house versus how often he sleeps at the abandoned house that’s in the district.
When asked how much time he spends at the house that’s in his district, he responded, “Where I am and when I’m somewhere is not something I think is relevant.”
Well, Texas law thinks it’s relevant. The state’s constitution says you have to live in the district for a year before you’re eligible for office. Dunnam hasn’t lived in HD57 for at least 8 years, and maybe a dozen. This gentleman is both the chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, and one of the most powerful trial lawyers in the state. He knows the law. He just doesn’t care to abide by it.
It’s long past time to turn this arrogant hack out of office.
Update: Heh. Jim Dunnam is certainly no Lando Calrissian, no matter how much he whines.