Abbott Goes After Watkins! It's The Demagogue vs. The Nose Thumber in a Cage Smackdown! Who Cares!? Not Me!

Categories: Schutze

The big news in local politics today is supposed to be that Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has publicly slammed Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins over how his office handled a civil suit. Yeah. Sorry. Somehow this doesn't rise quite to the level of man-bites-dog for me. More like dogs-will-be-dogs.

It's all about the splendid investigative series Byron Harris has been doing on WFAA-Channel 8 about alleged Texas Medicaid fraud by big dental chains, and I do follow most of those stories with great interest. But maybe not this one.

Abbott's people say Watkins let a Dallas dental-chain owner off easy after the owner's wife gave him a campaign contribution of 10 grand. The big problem with that story appears to be that Watkins gave the money back as soon as he found out who the woman's husband was.

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Greg Abbott
But anyway, so Abbott is giving a public lashing to Watkins? That's news? Personally I'm more excited about watching The International Wrestling Association-Unlimited's "homicidal Steven Davis" in a last-man-standing steel-cage event with Josh "The Intimidator" Totten, which may actually be coming up soon.

This one -- the Abbott-Watkins cage match -- shapes up more like Craig The Nose Thumber against Greg the Demagogue, which I could miss, thank you. "Nose Thumber," because Watkins ducked a subpoena recently by sending word to a Dallas judge that he was busy and sick, plus he was also sick and busy. "Demagogue" because the next edition of Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, when it comes out, will define demagogue as, "Greg Abbott."

And most of what I know about Abbott I learned by reading Unfair Park, which, I admit, could be my own problem. But isn't this the guy who has been waving guns around like Annie Oakley ever since Newtown? He challenged the president of the United States to a skeet-shooting contest to prove the president is not really an American and can't really shoot a shotgun.

Right? Same guy?

He took a two-bit fraud case and tried to turn it into his own personal major victory against the War on Christmas. "Whether it's a Grinch or a convicted felon, the state won't stand by while anyone steals Christmas away from deserving families in our community." Fighting to save Christmas, right? Same guy?

Now, you jump in and correct me if I'm off on this, but is this not the same man who also told us that Hillary Clinton and certain international organizations were about to ride into Texas, take over our elections and permanently subvert our beloved God-given Texas damn sovereignty?

No, really. He did all that.

Here's the last thing, though. Abbott's a big Republican who wants to replace Rick "Oops" Perry as governor. Watkins is a famous Democrat. Five years ago Abbott's people were out snooping on Democratic election workers in their bathtubs to prove that too many Democrats were voting in Dallas County.

From what I know and what I have seen in Dallas County, our local Democrats could well have been in the tub together trading stolen ballots as some kind of sick political rub-a-dub-dub. But you know what? That just makes me even less interested in any of them on either side. Like I say, dogs will be dogs. So excuse me. Got work to do.

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The Byron Harris  report was interesting in this case.  The dentist in question, whose "Six Flags" type personal entertainment complex at (one of )his home(s) in Highland Park has been featured in last years' Unfair Park archives, alledgedly fraudulantly (over) billed the state Medicaid program for $20 million of controversial indigent care orthodontics.  The AG's office (I doubt that it was Abbott-personally) contacted the Dallas DA to prosecute the case and collect a reasonbale amount of the 20 million state Medicaid funds in restitution.  Mrs. Dentist contributed $10000 to DA Watkin's 2009 campaign, while Mr. Dentist was under investigation by the DA's office.  Mr. Watkins, who has not been able to make court appearances or appear on last nights' Byron Harris investigation due to illness (dang -the guy must be near death), was able to personally go to the Dentist's lawyer's office where he met with the Dentist and his attorney (isn't the personal touch thoughful?).  Mrs. Dentist got her $10000 campaign contribution back and Mr. Dentist got off with no jail time and a mere $46,000 fine. The Texas AG's office estimates that at least $1.5 million in restitution should be the minimum recovery, which is why they are pursuing the matter. 


This appears to be another 'selectivity' issue associated with the DA's office:


"In a virtually unprecedented move, the district attorney took a criminal referral from the Attorney General’s Office and unilaterally converted it into a civil settlement without the knowledge or consent of our criminal investigator, who was excluded from the process despite her repeated requests to be consulted about the criminal investigation that she referred for prosecution." 

No reply from the DA's office back to the OAG before dropping pursuit on any possible criminal charges? What specific criminal evidence did the State have in this case?

Someone in the DA's office needs to speak up and explain it's actions on this one.  If congress is going to set up a medicaid orthodontics program for poor kids then accountability needs to be in place both as a whole and for specific cases like this one rather than the business as usual rampant medicaid fraud as reported in the 'splendid investigative series' mentioned above. Part of which can be found here:

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

Oops is a horrible disgrace, but having Abbott as Governor would be like jumping from the deep fat into the flames.


If you didn't care that much, why write about it?

holmantx topcommenter

The Dallas Morning News opinion-crafters will reluctantly circle the wagons ala John Wiley Price.

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

If campaign contributions don't have any influence on elected officials then why do elected officials "give back" contributions from time to time and why do people give often large contributions to elected officials?

The keys to campaign finance reform:

1) Contributions from anybody in any amount

2) All contributions must be publicly disclosed and a list of contributors made readily available

3) No contributions may be received within 30 days prior and 30 days after an election.

observist topcommenter

" But isn't this the guy who has been waving guns around like Annie Oakley ever since Newtown?"

I think you're confusing him with his daughter.

Montemalone topcommenter

I can't wait til Demagogue goes after all the preachers telling their flocks how to vote (Repub, of course!)

Really, I can't wait. There's not that much time left til the Universe ends.


Evidentally the millions of dollars of alledged Medicaid fraud (50 million total) and the Byron Harris  investigative  series was not shocking/"splendid" enough  to divert Mr. Schutze from his perpetual crusade against AG Abbott, who ( --regardless of how you feel about him) is apparently only tangentially involved in the latest Dallas DA escapade.

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