Watchdog Group Files Criminal Complaint Against Speaker Tom Craddick

A political watchdog group has filed a criminal complaint alleging that Tom Craddick is illegally trying to buy support for his re-election as speaker of the Texas House, a newspaper reports.

The Austin American-Statesman reported the complaint by the Texans for Public Justice filed the complaint Monday with Travis County prosecutors.

The group accuses Craddick, a Republican, of donating $50,000 to each of three Democrats who support Craddick and are facing re-election challenges within their party. A fourth Democrat turned down the money, the group alleges.

House members must elect a speaker when they convene next year. Craddick turned back two challenges to his leadership from his own party last year. Fifteen Democrats were crucial in offsetting his loss of support among Republicans.

Information courtesy of the Associated Press. (2008)

Cathryn Khalil, reporting.