Steve Mostyn's partner in life and law practice sat on a panel of big-money donors bemoaning Citizens United and promoting campaign finance reform (including public funding) at the Texas Tribune Festival last month.
Though they sank more than $3 million into Wendy Davis’ failed campaign for governor and are co-founders of the Ready for Hillary PAC, Steve and Amber affect to be concerned about the undue influence big donors have on the politicians they support.
Clearly, it's not their own money that they want to get out of politics, but the money of donors opposing their agenda. It's not their own influence they seek to curb, but the influence of contrary interests.
Donations that redound to the benefit of the trial bar and its captives in the Democratic Party are fine. Donations that promote tort reform and Republican candidates are not.
Blue money good, red money bad.
The Mostyns' support for public financing of political campaigns is likewise disingenuous, motivated by the knowledge that it would hamstring conservative candidates and have little negative impact on wily liberals who are very good at finding ways to skirt the rules.
For all practical purposes, Steve and Amber have already introduced public financing to Texas elections, by sueing a quasi-public state agency for millions of dollars and donating a portion of the proceeds to a political campaign.
Six years ago, Galveston County District Court Judge Susan Criss issued a restraining order to hide the details of a $189 million settlement of Ike-related claims with the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association, but the state attorney general's office affirmed the association's status as a governmental body subject to the Public Information Act and the sordid details came out.
The biggest beneficiary of the deal Criss wanted to keep quiet? Steve Mostyn, who subsequently contributed $200,000 to Criss's campaign for state representative.
Too much money in Texas politics? No, too much Mostyn.