Truitt Blasts Successor Capriglione in Email

Former Texas Rep. Vickie Truitt Feb. 7, 2013.
Former Texas Rep. Vickie Truitt Feb. 7, 2013.

Former Republican state Rep. Vicki Truitt says she's over her primary loss to freshman Rep. Giovanni Capriglione, R-Southlake.  

But an email she sent to "selected friends" early this month indicates she's still harboring some resentment over her 2012 defeat. 

In the note, sent after Capriglione was taken to task by members of the House State Affairs Committee over his bill to expand financial disclosures for legislators, Truitt wrote that her former opponent “was spanked in a very public way.”

“He had been making the rounds at the Capitol telling members he was going to right the wrongs of his predecessor’s ills, and presumed he would win the day with his pristine legislative proposal,” she wrote. “What happened to him in the State Affairs Committee was not what he expected.”  

 Asked about the email, Truitt did not deny its validity, but declined to comment further. 

 Capriglione said he filed the bill to keep a promise to his constituents, not because of his campaign against Truitt. 

"My focus at this point is not on politics, but rather on doing the business of the people who sent me here," he said in a statement. "...Going forward, I look forward to engaging Mrs. Truitt with respect as a constituent of District 98."

During the committee hearing, Rep. Harvey Hilderbran, R-Kerrville, painted Capriglione's bill, which would require legislators and their families to disclose government contracts with businesses in which they own at least a 50 percent stake, as a "vendetta," and accused him of bringing politics into his lawmaking. 

In the midst of a bruising primary campaign last year, Capriglione questioned a business contract between Truitt's husband and the taxpayer-funded Tarrant County Hospital District. Truitt said there was nothing inappropriate about the arrangement, which began before she was elected. 

In her email, Truitt, who has returned to the Capitol as a lobbyist, directed readers to the online video footage of the hearing, calling it "30 minutes of interesting entertainment." 

She also accused Capriglione of creating an "illegal" attack website — vickitruitt.org — which members of the State Affairs Committee displayed on an iPad during the hearing for the disclosure bill. The website has since been taken down. 

Legal experts have told the Tribune that while attack websites with misleading domain names fall in an ethical gray area, there is nothing illegal about them. Though commercial enterprises are often entitled to reclaim their domains — say, if Coca-Cola purchased Pepsi.com — people who are in the political realm are generally not afforded those protections because the websites qualify as free speech.   

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