Dave Carney, general consultant to Gov. Rick Perry, says he had nothing to do with efforts to get the Green Party's candidates on the Texas ballot.
The Dallas Morning News started the ball rolling, reporting on Arizona Republican Tim Mooney's campaign to coordinate the petition drive that put the Greens on the ballot in Texas. The Greens told the News that the 92,000 names on the petitions were a "gift" to them and that they didn't have details. And now, Democrats contend there's a link between Mooney and Carney, here in Texas, to help Republican campaigns by helping the Greens.
The theory? That the Republicans want the Greens on the ballot to bleed votes from Democrats, for whom they think the Greens would otherwise vote.
Carney says it's hokum. "I'm sorry to disappoint all the left conspirators, but I wasn't involved in this evil scheme," he says.
He and Mooney worked together to get the Nader campaign on the ballot in 2004 (that helped derail Democrat Al Gore's effort to wrest the presidency from George W. Bush), but they're no longer in contact, he says.
"I couldn't pick him out of a lineup, and I haven't seen him, e-mailed him or talked to him on the phone in years," Carney says.
He's also not convinced that having a Green candidate in a race would help a Republican candidate anyway. "It just makes more people turn out," he contends. "Most third-party candidates do not necessarily take away [votes] from the other parties."