Former Perry Staffer Implicated in Green Party Drive

Green Party officials drop off about 93,000 signatures to the Texas Secretary of State.
Green Party officials drop off about 93,000 signatures to the Texas Secretary of State.

If today’s court ruling stands, there will be no Green Party on the November ballot in Texas.

To the delight of the Texas Democratic Party, a judge ruled in favor of an injunction preventing the Green Party's inclusion because its petition drive to get on the ballot was funded by out-of-state corporations.

"We are very pleased with today’s ruling," said party spokeswoman Kirsten Gray. "Giving corporations the right to buy ballot access in Texas would be disastrous."

During the hearing, a 22-year-old University of Texas student, Garret Mize, testified that he was paid by Mike Toomey, a former chief of staff and close ally of Gov. Rick Perry's, to approach the Green Party with a proposal for a petition drive funded by outside sources. While that plan wasn't implemented, a similar one was, successfully.

Democrats say this indicates a coordinated effort with the Perry campaign. Perry's campaign staff has said repeatedly that it had nothing to do with the Green Party's efforts, and spokeswoman Catherine Frazier said this evening that if Toomey was involved, he was acting on his own. Toomey could not immediately be reached for comment.

After the ruling, the Tribune spoke with party General Counsel Chad Dunn about the case:

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