Jones, Wentworth battle continues in ethics ads

Marilyn Tennissen May 15, 2012, 7:56am


After one of her primary opponents filed an ethics complaint against her, state Senate candidate Elizabeth Ames Jones has shot back with accusations of her own.

The former Railroad Commissioner released a television ad that hammers incumbent Jeff Wentworth for his "long history of ethical lapses."

Jones, Wentworth and Dr. Donna Campbell are fighting to be the Republican nominee for Senate District 25.

Jones' ad calls out Wentworth, who has held the seat for 19 years, for receiving $75,000 to lobby a state agency on behalf of a drug company which is a conflict of interest.

The ad also mentions Wentworth's involvement in a pyramid scheme that was shut down by the federal government. Travis County prosecutors investigated the venture, but no charges were filed against Wentworth.

Wentworth recently filed an ethics complaint with the Texas Secretary of State accusing Jones' husband, attorney Will Jones who is director of Elizabeth Ames Jones for Texas Inc., of acting as a lobbyist without being registered as one. He alleges that Jones had actual knowledge of her husband's lobby activities and failed to disclose it.

In addition, he claims Jones did not disclose some of her business interests while she served on the Texas Railroad Commission.

Wentworth is also running a campaign ad portraying Jones as a puppet for Texans for Lawsuit Reform. TLR had supported Wentworth in the past, but says he votes now with Democrats on most issues.

Campbell, an emergency room physician, is behind the others in fundraising, but ran a successful campaign in 2010 to become the Republican candidate for U.S. House District 25. She lost with 44.84 percent of the vote.

In March, she received the endorsement of the Central Texas Republican Assembly, which lauded her conservative values. She has also been endorsed by Texas Alliance for Life, Texas Right to Life and Conservative Texans Political Action Conference.

As of the campaign finance reports at 30 days before the election released on April 30, Wentworth leads the pack with $278,878 on hand. Jones has $238,046 and Campbell is still alive with $81,215.

The Republican primary is May 29.

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