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.
Things got darker and weirder from there. According to the complaint, Slaton allegedly prepared fake emails containing “facts” about the incident which he presented to the intern as some kind of cruel “loyalty test.”
A Texas-sized tornadic fury whipped up around Austin:
Rep. Briscoe Cain, R-Deer Park, condemned Slaton on Twitter:
“I am absolutely furious at a [R]epublican whom I believe to be a sexual predator,” Cain wrote on social media. “I’ve never been so ticked off at another legislator.”
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