By Jacqueline Brown
Killeen Daily Herald
Republican candidate Dan Corbin has three competitors on the District 54 Republican ballot and one adversary in District 59.
State Rep. Sid Miller publicly renounced his endorsement of Corbin on Feb. 3 in a letter courtesy copied to Texans for Lawsuit Reform.
TLR forwarded the letter to thousands of voters in District 54 as a mailout with the message Sorry Dan and a picture of a thumb pointing down in reference to Corbins opposition to lawsuit reform.
However, Corbin said he never actively sought Millers support and didnt publicize his endorsement.
Dustin Boyd, an attorney with Corbin & Associates, said he saw Miller at a political event in Gatesville and mentioned his boss was running for state representative.
He said If he needs anything, tell him to give me a holler, Boyd said.
Corbin said Miller later called and left him a message and when Corbin returned the call Miller offered his endorsement and gave him the name of his campaign consultant.
I never used it in anything, Corbin said.
However, Miller said Corbin called him early in the campaign to let him know he was going to file and asked what he could do to help him.
I told him I would be glad to help him, he said. I gave him my endorsement on his initiated phone call.
Corbin also pointed that the letter he received did not say it was courtesy-copied to TLR like other copies.
Miller said he sent the letter, dated Feb. 3, to Corbin and TLR at the same time.
However, the Killeen Daily Herald received a copy via e-mail from TLR dated Feb. 2.
Corbin said he didnt find out about Millers decision to drop his endorsement until the Herald contacted him for an interview.
In addition, he said he never promised to be a true conservative, as Miller insinuated.
We never had that kind of conversation, he said. Anybody who knows me would say thats laughable. Corbin is not going to be anybodys boy.
Corbin said he believes Miller was heavily influenced by TLR because the committee gave him more than $105,000 in campaign contributions in one campaign cycle.
Most anyone who has supported tort reform will have received without fail monetary support, Miller said. But one of the platforms I ran on before I was ever elected to the Texas House was that I was going to support lawsuit reform.
Miller said frivolous lawsuits are the No. 1 deterrent for businesses interested in moving to Texas.
This is nothing new to me and nothing anyones influenced me to do, he said. Thats always been my stance, money or no money.
Corbin offered extensive literature about TLR and its endorsements for political candidates. He argued that a few wealthy individuals have influenced the Legislature by generous contributions.
However, Corbin didnt mention organizations such as the Texas Trial Lawyers Assoc-iation, which contributed $1.67 million in 2004.
Texans for Public Justice reported that TLR contributed the most to campaign funding in 2004 at $3.1 million, but TTLA and several other law firms made the list, easily topping the TLR expenditures.
Contact Jacqueline Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org