As Texans know all too well, whether it’s in Washington or Austin, the political system is a rigged game in favor of the moneyed and powerful special interests at the expense of everyday Texans. Politicians rake in this money to further their careers, special interests get what they pay for, and too often the public ends up losing.
Sam Harless is a candidate for the state legislature running for Texas House District 126 in Harris County. Harless has hit the insider fundraising ground running, because he’s been a part of the establishment political money game for a long time.
Before running himself, Sam Harless served as campaign treasurer for his wife, Patricia Harless, the outgoing state representative for the district where he is now seeking election. Ironically, Patricia is now serving as treasurer for Sam (the carousel goes round and round, but taxpayers never get ahead).
According to Texas Ethics Commission records, while serving as treasurer for Patricia Harless, Sam Harless neglected to follow Texas law and failed to report the financial contributions to the Harless legislative campaign committee in 2010 and 2012. After an investigation, the committee was fined for its failures to report.
With Sam Harless now running himself, he is raking in money from many of the same people who donated to Patricia Harless, probably because those contributors expect to receive the same treatment. Campaign finance reports from the Texas Ethics Commission show Harless has taken tens of thousands of dollars political action committees (PACs) special interest groups, lawyers and lobbyists, with more than $70,000 from PACs alone.
While many politicians treat politics like a game, or a carnival carousel, taxpayers should demand our voice be heard. We need to Reform Austin.