AG Abbott raises funds for ally Phil King

December 7, 2007

Weatherford Democrat

Galen Scott

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott lavished State Rep. Phil King (R-Weatherford) with praise at a fundraiser in Weatherford Tuesday.

Abbott, famous for a successful U.S. Supreme Court bid to keep a monument to the Ten Commandments at the state capitol, said King’s leadership has been valuable to decision makers in Austin.

“I can assure you that we definitely need Phil King back in Austin, Texas,” Abbott said in front of a standing-room-only crowd at the Doss Heritage and Culture Center.

King has worked closely with Abbott’s office on a host of legal and constitutional issues associated with new voter security legislation.

As illegal immigration debates in Congress heated up this summer, King pushed bills in the Texas Legislature that would require proof of citizenship and photo identification before a person is allowed to register to vote.

King’s initiative failed to find enough support in the Legislature after Democrats voiced opposition, but some version of the proposal is expected to surface again.

“It is a very personal issue to me, and I can tell you, to my constituents,” King said.

Following a brief speech, Abbott said most of the illegal voting prosecutions his office has dealt with have been referred by either the Secretary of State’s office or local prosecutors.

He said cases where people are using the identity of dead people, and citizens are registering illegal immigrants and then voting in their place, have originated around the state.

When asked whether proof-of-citizenship or photo-ID voting requirements like King’s previous proposals are likely to become law, Abbott said the issue is more political than legal.

“I think that when people recognize that it is a real issue across the state, the people who stand to lose are the people across the state whose vote is being undermined by illegal votes that are being cast,” he said. “It impacts people across both parties, and across all demographic groups. As a result, hopefully it’s the kind of thing everyone across the state can support.”

King drew Republican opposition to his legislative seat for the first time ever Monday when Weatherford Mayor Joe Tison announced his candidacy.