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Greg Abbott Asks If Wendy Davis Book Tour Illegal

Marjory Kamys Cotera & Todd Wiseman/Texas Tribune
Attorney General Greg Abbott says Wendy Davis' book tour is illegal because, he says, her publisher will use private funds while she uses political funds.

From The Texas Tribune:

Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott's campaign manager is requesting a ruling from the Texas Ethics Commission on whether Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis' book deal and tour are illegal corporate campaign contributions.

In the three page letter sent Monday morning, Abbott campaign manager Wayne Hamilton argues the book is tied to her campaign. Corporate campaign contributions are illegal in Texas elections.

"The book will be serving as a promotion of the issues the candidate has been highlighting over the course of the campaign," Hamilton wrote in his letter. "Because of the proximity of the book's publishing and the election, the candidate will be using political funds on voter contact at the same time the publisher is using corporate funds to promote the book."

Davis spokesman Zac Petkanas said the Davis campaign was careful to follow every legal guideline. 

"This frivolous stunt by the Abbott campaign is the clearest sign yet how worried they are about the power of Wendy’s story," Petkanas said in an email.

The letter from the Abbott campaign poses four questions — if money spent promoting Davis counts as in-kind political contributions if it is coordinated with her campaign, if her publisher can pay for Davis' travel to and from cities if the events are coordinated with her campaign, if the campaign can pay for trips if they are coordinated with the publisher and how royalties should be counted on the financial statements.

On Friday night, news broke that Davis' book reveals she had two abortions for medical reasons in the 1990s. The book goes on sale Tuesday.

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