Answering the Critics

“It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.”
President Theodore Roosevelt

“Rick Green has worked with and for WallBuilders for some 15 years and throughout that time I have worked side-by-side with him and can vouch for his character and disposition. I unequivocally support Rick, and find him exceptionally qualified for this position.”
David Barton

FROM RICK:  When I began my first campaign for the Texas House in 1997, people told me to be ready for the lies and distortions I’d soon read about myself in the newspaper. But I was never prepared for the onslaught that would come five years later in 2002 when I became a top target of the democrats in Texas. I’ve had about every accusation thrown at me that you can imagine, yet every single time the claims were dismissed but only after the headlines had made their impact on my family and me. The reason mudslingers do this is because they know the negative impression with voters lasts for years, and most never hear the truth.

Unfortunately, the left wing has found a formula that works for them in politics. When they are faced with effective conservatives, they attack the character of the conservative relentlessly and truth is never an obstacle for them. Just ask Ted Cruz, Tom Delay, Rick Perry or a host of other conservatives who have experienced the same relentless attacks. They have learned that if they just keep attacking, keep filing ethics complaints, keep launching “criminal investigations,” and keep running articles with accusations…even if they never, ever prove anything, convict anyone, or bring even one shred of evidence forth to support their claims, sooner or later people just assume that “where there is smoke, there is fire.” What gets lost in the whirlwind is that the fire was arson started from the outside by those attempting to destroy.

Having said all that, I am a flawed man, in need of the grace and redemption found in my Savior and ever thankful for His forgiveness of all the poor decisions in my life. I’ve made plenty of mistakes. Usually it was naïve decisions in my twenties when I was unaware of the lengths to which people would be willing to twist my actions and decisions. I’ve learned the hard way.

Then there were times where I was just flat out wrong and made a foolish decision or had a knee jerk reaction. I pray that I’ve learned from these incidents just like most people attempt to do with their life experiences. This document is intended to be a quick response to the accusations that were brought against me over ten years ago in my legislative race. For a detailed response and an honest discussion about those learning experiences, please read Our American Story. In that book, we share the details, the behind the scenes events, and our perspective. Click here for an excerpt from that book; titled “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly.”

Many have asked me why I did not file a libel suit against my opponent, the democrat party, and the media outlets that printed libel statements in 2002 and again in 2004. The truth is that we almost did. We had all of our evidence ready to go, but after much prayer and consideration, Kara and I decided against it for very simple reasons.

First, it is virtually impossible to win a defamation suit when you are a public figure. Unfortunately, the law is different for public figures and even when the evidence proves the opposite, the only defense the perpetrator of lies has to say is: “I believed it was true.”

Second, we are not a wealthy family and a lawsuit like this would have cost substantially more than we could afford in the early years of our marriage. It would have consumed our lives for years and we decided to enjoy our young family and opportunities to impact the culture rather than be caught up in the stress of a high profile lawsuit for the better part of our children’s young years at home.

After I ran for Supreme Court in 2010, we made a different decision because the attacks were even worse and even more blatantly false. We decided it was time to set the record straight and clear our name. After multiple requests to retract their false statements and presenting them with the evidence, we filed suit against major media outlets, a former Supreme Court Chief Justice, and several political operatives who knowingly lied about my record, even falsely claiming I had been “censured” by my legislative colleagues. If their claims were accurate, that would mean that all their accusations and innuendos had been investigated by a legislative committee and found true. Of course, this was absolutely false. It’s almost comical to me that this time around, the operatives are not only bringing up the old lies, they are even lying about the defamation suit itself. They claim I dropped the suit and ran, when in fact, the defendants settled the suit at mediation, apologized for their false statements and retracted them, all of which is part of the same public record the critics use to make their claims. But that has not slowed down the mud-slingers one bit. So get ready for the onslaught that is surely coming from the elite establishment crowd that will say whatever it takes and spend whatever amount is needed to try and keep a constitutionally sound conservative off the bench because they know I will be controlled by the Constitution, not them.

While our family is committed to staying joyful and focused on the important reasons we were willing to run in this race, this page of our website is provided for those who would like to know more about the accusations against me.

If you are a supporter, we ask for your prayers for our family to keep our joy despite the attacks, to have wisdom to make the right decisions and avoid even the appearance of impropriety, and the courage to stand strong no matter the adversity.

For Freedom,

Rick Green

Now let’s get specific:

“Squeezing lobbyists to pony up at a fundraiser for a private foundation he started.”

This first one is almost comical. The Torch of Freedom Foundation puts on a mock legislative session each year called “Patriot Academy” for young students wanting to learn more about their government. Ambassador Alan Keyes came to Austin to speak at our fundraiser and I sent invitations to everyone in my rolodex because I thought it was special to have a speaker of that caliber – I guess the Dallas Morning News considered that squeezing people.

 

Travis County “investigations.”

Two weeks before Election Day in 2002, Travis County prosecutors from Austin started leaking to reporters that I and another republican legislator were under “criminal investigation” for our law firm representing clients in matters with state agencies. This was perfectly legal and had been practiced by both Republican and Democrat lawmakers for years. But after all those years, one prosecutor somehow formed the opinion that this was now an illegal practice. It should be noted that about 15 democrat legislators had also represented their clients before a state agency that year, but the prosecutor declined to investigate the democrats, only the republicans. After front page headlines, sullying my reputation, were run in the local papers for the last two weeks of the election, the charges were dropped after I was narrowly defeated on election night. Their plan had worked perfectly. They only wanted this House Seat back and they knew that they couldn’t attack me on my conservative voting record. They had to create a “criminal investigation” in order to win and that was their goal all along. Right after the election, the lead prosecutor quit his job and went to work for my opponent’s top contributor as an “ethics advisor.Click here for a copy of the new DA’s letter closing the case because there was nothing to pursue.

 

“Used state office for personal benefit.”

This is the accusation often leveled due to an interview I gave that was later used by the production company in a commercial. I did not receive any compensation for the interview and had no ownership of the product. I had been taking this nutritional supplement for quite some time and the company asked if I would be willing to give a testimonial on camera, which I naively thought would be just fine. It was certainly fine from a legal and ethical point of view, but it gave my political adversaries an easy target to distort. Click here for two documents from the company proving that I received no compensation for the interview.

 

“Represented felon before the parole board who loaned $400K to Rick’s company which was never paid back and Rick says he doesn’t know what happened to the money.”

This one is so egregiously false that it would have been the main basis of the libel suit we almost filed in 2002. This man’s 80 year old wife had been like a grandmother to me. Her elderly husband was eligible for parole from a white collar sentence and was so physically disabled that the State gave him a “special needs parole” because it was costing the state too much to take care of his health needs, and they preferred for a man his age to finish his sentence at home. She asked if I could help get the paperwork filed for his parole, which I did. As for the supposedly unpaid loans, he did in fact loan my startup company money in the early 90’s. The loan was actually given in small increments for operating capital over a period of several years. These loans were paid back in full and there was never any question at all as to what happened to the money as it was spent on startup expenses such as staff and inventory, while I was the entrepreneur taking no salary. Click here for a letter from the Judge who handled the man’s assets, it confirms that the loans were paid back.

 

“Altercation with State Rep. Patrick Rose.”

This is the one accusation that is true. I had an altercation with a liberal democrat who refused to stop dragging my family’s name through the mud even 4 years after I had last run for public office. I publicly apologized for this, the case was dismissed and the record expunged, and I have learned much from this mistake. For details, please read the attached excerpt from Our American Story (scroll to page 14).”

 

Final Thoughts

Once you step into the political arena, you live your life in a glass house. Everything you do is scrutinized under  a microscope. I look back at these accusations that started 17 years ago and some seem so silly to us now, but it’s important to Kara and me that people know exactly where we’re coming from.

I’m sure there will be even more outlandish accusations to come as long as I’m willing to put my name on the ballot. Kara and I thought and prayed long and hard this time before stepping back into the arena. We knew all of these accusations would come up once again. While we would have personally preferred to continue our very blessed private lives, enjoying our family without our name being dragged through the mud, we came to the conclusion that there is too much at stake in America right now for us to sit on the sidelines. When we think about our soldiers taking real bullets, all the name-calling we receive really is not a big deal.