True the Vote, the anti-voter fraud initiative started by the Texas Tea Party group King Street Patriots, says Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-Texas) has been electioneering outside of polling places.
Jackson-Lee, on the other hand, says she has been concerned by allegations of voter intimidation by poll watchers in Harris County, where True the Vote has launched an aggressive anti-voter fraud campaign.
Yohannes Tsehai, Jackson-Lee’s chief of staff, told TPMMuckraker that their office reached out to both the Department of Justice and the Harris County Attorney’s office. As TPMMuckraker reported, DOJ is gathering information on the allegations.
At least one poll watcher, who has not been named, filed a complaint against Jackson-Lee. Anonymous sources on a conservative blog also accused Jackson-Lee of electioneering. Video that appears to be of Jackson-Lee only shows her talking with two people outside of a polling place, but it is unknown what that conversation is about.
A YouTube user by the name of VoteSJLOut posted a video the user says allegedly shows Jackson Lee politicking outside of the Palm Center polling place in a heavily minority area of Houston. Jackson Lee won the 2008 general election with 77.32% of vote.
According to a press release from the Liberty Institute, volunteer poll-watchers “also are being verbally and physically harassed by people loitering at the polls with no intention to vote at the time, including a man identified as a reverend and Houston Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee who was seen inside the polling location electioneering and threatening to turn a poll-watcher’s name to the Department of Justice for voter intimidation.”
The Liberty Institute is representing King Street Patriots founder Catherine Engelbrecht in a defamation suit filed against her by Houston Votes and the affiliated group the Texans Together Education Fund.
“As a matter of law, corporations cannot sue individuals for defamation; this attack is baseless,” Kelly Shackelford, president/CEO of the Liberty Institute, said in a statement. “All these attacks are clearly an attempt to bully and silence a group of volunteer citizens who are just trying to keep the election process honest. This is pure desperation by a Democratic Party everyone knows is not doing so well.”
Here’s the video that is said to show Jackson-Lee outside a polling place.