In the mid-1960s, at a time when the Republican Party was small and fractured, Ronald Reagan popularized what came to be known as the 11th Commandment: “Thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow Republican.”
Elizabeth Ames Jones and Jeff Wentworth have routinely trampled all over that commandment ever since Jones abandoned her dead-end U.S. Senate campaign in favor of challenging Wentworth for his state Senate seat in this year’s GOP primary. But even by the ugly standards set early in this campaign, the last week has been pretty vicious.
Last week, Wentworth unleashed a venomous TV ad literally depicting Jones as a puppet of the Houston-based Texans for Lawsuit Reform – who have bankrolled her campaign to the tune of more than $500,000 – and her husband Will as a stealth lobbyist who has exploited his wife’s former position on the Texas Railroad Commission. On Wednesday, Wentworth filed complaints with the Texas Ethics Commission against Jones and her husband, alleging that Will Jones’s legal work for water and energy companies made him “the secret fourth commissioner” on the Texas Railroad Commission.