I recently reviewed a new website – tlr-pac.com. It was most enlightening.
There are numerous contributors to both sides of the debate on the rights of individuals to pursue their claims in court. As it turns out, the largest donor to those opposing open access to the courthouse is Harold Simmons. The Texans for Lawsuit Reform have made it a point for over a decade to persuade the legislature that lawsuits are bad for business. By all objective accounts, this group has been successful in passing anti-consumer legislation during this time. A review of the most recent statewide filings indicates that Mr. Simmons is the leading donor to the Texans for Lawsuit Reform.
Mr. Simmons donated $825,000 last year, while serving as owner of Waste Control Specialists. One public interest group noted that his $825,000 donation surpassed the $575,000 he given to the same group of the preceding eight years. Labeled a nuclear waste kingpin, Simmons’ recent explosion in political giving should cause the general public to be concerned about his motives and interests. Does Simmons have concern about his company’s exposure for past waste dump activities? Or is Simmons going to make a push to bring more toxic waste to our state?
The TLR PAC – one of Texas’s biggest PACs – took 12 cents of every dollar raised from this waste dump billionaire. Now is not the time to pass legislation that will protect his corporation’s interests in the event of a BP-type disaster. In fact, the state of Texas should look even closer into Mr. Simmons’ business operations to ensure the safety of our citizens.