MINOR PROBLEM: Texas Legislature poised to expel Freedom Caucus member over intern abuse

The GOP Texas Freedom Caucus appears ready to join the rest of the state legislature in expelling one of their own, a representative that had been well-liked and respected within their far-right mini-party.  Indeed, they aren’t the least bit interested in defending their colleague precisely because he hosted a wholly inappropriate mini-party of a different type.

Texas State Rep. Bryan Slaton (R-Royse) maybe be expelled for inviting an intern, not yet even 21, over to his place — ALONE.

The encounter allegedly occurred late in the evening, and Slaton reportedly drank alcohol with the very young woman. Legislative members also referenced predatory sexual behavior.  The sexual allegations appear to be less substantiated though members made references as seen below.

An unnamed legislative staff member filed a complaint to the legislature. It accuses Slaton of inviting the intern to his Austin condo after 10:00 p.m. on the night of March 31st. The Texas Tribune corroborated the allegations in the complaint with an anonymous source working in the Capital.

A Texas-sized tornadic fury whipped up around Austin:

Cain wasn’t alone in his scalpel-sharp criticism. State Rep. Steve Toth, R-The Woodlands took to Twitter with rage hot enough to singe a bluebird’s feathers, stating, “The past few days in the Texas House, screams of everything that’s wrong with a small segment of its elected officials. Unfortunately calling the behavior of @BryanForHD2 ‘inappropriate’ is a gross understatement.”

Strong language, language that was then pureed into extra-strength:

“What’s most troubling about the events of this story is that his behavior appears to be predatory. He needs to resign. Now!”

There may be no need, the Texas Legislature requires a two-thirds vote to expel a member. One gets the sense that the vote is well-covered.

This type of news is never welcome but it comes only three days after Governor Greg Abbot came under serious fire for asking the Board of Pardons and Paroles to issue an expedited pardon for a man who was convicted of murder by a jury just days before.

Like a rare rainstorm, the Texas Statehouse was showered with an even rarer show of bipartisanship.

Rep. Ana-Maria Ramos (D-Richardson ) expressed her disgust while beautifully contextualizing the problem, saying on Twitter,I agree with ⁦@BriscoeCain⁩ and ⁦@Toth_4_Texas⁩. The young adults working in the Capitol are vulnerable and predators readily target these young people. We owe it to these young professionals to set the standard and protect them from harm.”

All young adults, but especially attractive young women, “vulnerable” to “predators,” are owed the legislature’s protection and must meet unconditional standards. It’s a beautiful summary of an ugly problem.

Meanwhile, parents of teen girls and respectful people everywhere can breathe a sigh of relief, since even in hyper-partisan Texas, the Freedom Caucus refused to cover for one of their own.

Democrats rightly and routinely blister Texas with well-deserved and powerful criticism. It is actually nice to applaud Texas Republicans for doing the right thing…for once.

Slaton’s replacement gets a “Howdy” from us. Y’all take note, Texans.

Based on Original Reporting by Texas Tribune

@JasonMiciak, Substack: One Week… That Changed America

Jason Miciak

Jason Miciak is an associate editor and opinion writer for Occupy Democrats. He's a Canadian-American who grew up in the Pacific Northwest. He is a trained attorney, but for the last five years, he's devoted his time to writing political news and analysis. He enjoys life on the Gulf Coast as a single dad to a 15-year-old daughter. Hobbies include flower pots, cooking, and doing what his daughter tells him they're doing.