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April 28, 2016      6:14 PM

Paxton declines to defend Ethics Commission in lawsuit over House videos in campaign ads

Wayne Smith's challenger wants to be able to use House videos in political advertisements, which would violate Texas law

The Texas Attorney General's Office will not represent a state agency facing a lawsuit related to a heated GOP runoff in Southeast Texas.

The Texas Ethics Commission has been sued by Briscoe Cain, the challenger of Licensing & Administrative Procedures Committee Chairman Wayne Smith, R-Baytown, because Cain would like to use archived Texas House livestream video in his political ads. Doing so would be illegal. Taxpayers footed the bill for production of the video.

Attorneys for Cain, the same lawyers who regularly represent Tim Dunn’s Empower Texans and allied organization Texas Right to Life, argue that the video will show voters proof of Smith’s hypocrisy on the campaign trail.

Cain is asking a judge in Harris County to strike down that section of Texas law. The judge denied a request for a temporary restraining order and a hearing has been set next month.

By Scott Braddock