HOUSTON, Texas — State Senator and gubernatorial candidate, Wendy Davis, recently released a new ad attacking her opponent, Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott. The ad suggested that Abbott was is more interested in giving kickback payments to his supporters than finding a cure for cancer. Davis’ charges relate to $11 million in taxpayer funds that were awarded as a grant by the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT), apparently without proper review. While Abbott sits on CPRIT’s governing board, the Attorney General has effectively blunted himself from Davis’ assertions and cleared himself from any conflicts of interest.
In Davis’ 30-second ad, which is set to ominous music, a man named Manuel Alvarado says into the camera, “When you’re battling cancer, you pray for a cure. But Greg Abbott did his best to keep my prayers from being answered.”
Matt Hirsch, Communications Director of Texans for Greg Abbott, responded to the ad in a statement provided to Breitbart Texas. “It’s ironic that Sen. Davis – who has repeatedly profited from public service and whose legal work is part of an FBI investigation – would question the integrity of Attorney General Abbott,” Hirsch said. “If there is a candidate who is guilty of pay-to-play politics, it’s Sen. Davis, who has consistently sold her position to pad her personal bank account. This ad is yet another case of a desperate, losing campaign playing fast and loose with charges that have already been debunked.”
Those on the left have also attempted to connect Texas Governor Rick Perry to the CPRIT scandal. Perry vetoed $7.5 million that was set to go to the public integrity unit of the Travis district attorney’s office.
But Chris Walling, a former investigator for the Travis County district attorney’s office who was part of the investigation, provided an affidavit which showed that neither Abbott nor Perry are guilty of corruption.
The investigation into CPRIT is now closed. Only Jerald Combs, the former Chief Commercialization Officer of the CPRIT, was indicted. Combs had not contributed to Abbott in the past, according to the Texas Ethics Commission.
The affidavit provided by Walling stated that there was “no evidence whatsoever” that anyone other than the indicted individual was responsible for any wrongdoing.
As Breitbart Texas previously reported, Abbott appointed Jay Dyer to represent him on CPRIT’s board. Hirsch previously told Breitbart Texas that Abbott appointed Dyer to represent him “to retain his independence and remove himself from potential conflicts.”
Hirsch added, “Having just lost a family member to cancer, Greg Abbott thinks it offensive that the Davis campaign would knowingly use the Cancer Institute as a political ploy–especially when her claims are completely false. Texans deserve better.”
Follow Kristin Tate @KristinBTate.