Thomas Ratliff Is Breaking the Law

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Why Make Laws If No Mechanism is In Place to Enforce Them?
Thomas Ratliff has been a registered lobbyist with the Texas Ethics Commission since 1998. 
One of Ratliff’s most lucrative clients is Microsoft earning him between $25,000 – $50,000 each year since 1998.
The link is to Donna Garner’s 2.17.11 article entitled “Ratliff: Attempting to Hoodwink the Public.”
In this article, Donna copied information from the Texas Ethics Commission which details some of Thomas Ratliff’s education-related clients and the tens of thousands of dollars he has made from each.
This is the link to Ratliff’s bio posted on the Texas Education Agency’s website where he lists himself as a “governmental relations consultant and lobbyist.” 
Thomas Ratliff also lobbies members of the Texas Legislature.  He has the power of the purse because undoubtedly he is the one who advises his lucrative clients to which Texas Legislators to give campaign contributions.  Is it any wonder that legislators are so ready to welcome Ratliff into their inner circle?
 Thomas Ratliff may be the only elected official in Texas who was a registered, full-time professional lobbyist before running for state office and remains a full-time registered professional lobbyist after being elected to the SBOE.
Thomas Ratliff breaks the law and isn’t punished. WHY?  
1. A law states that a lobbyist cannot be a member of the state board of Education.
Texas Education Code:  Subchapter A, Section 7.103 (c):
 (c)  A person who is required to register as a lobbyist under Chapter 305, Government Code, by virtue of the person’s activities for compensation in or on behalf of a profession, business, or association related to the operation of the board, may not serve as a member of the board or act as the general counsel to the board.
2. Thomas Ratliff ran for and won a seat on the state board of Education. 
Ratliff ignored the Texas Education Code, blatantly raised money for his campaign from other wealthy lobbyists and special interest groups, and beat out conservative Don McLeroy for the position.
3. The SBOE chairperson, Gayle Lowe petitioned the Texas Attorney General (TAG), Greg Abott to rule on the legality of Ratliff serving on the SBOE.
Here is SBOE Chair Gail Lowe’s 3.2.11 letter to Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott requesting an opinion on the SBOE-registered lobbyist law: //
4.  The TAG ruled that it was illegal for Ratliff to be on the SBOE.
5. Since there is no mechanism by which a person can be forced off the SBOE even though the TAG said he is on there illegally, then Thomas went ahead and stayed. In fact, he went ahead and ran again, won the primaries, and was elected on the Nov. ballot.
It takes brazen gall for a person to do what Thomas Ratliff is doing.

What You Can Do:

Dear Texans, after reading these comments, if you want to submit your comments about lobbyist Thomas Ratliff  to Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, send them to
Submit your concerns to this e-mail address (
Ask for a receipt for your comments and receive the receipt from this e-mail address:

Please be sure to put the following file number in the subject line of your e-mail and also at the top of your letter:
File #ML 4667511, I. D. #46675 — Thomas Ratliff.  

You might refer to one or all of these facts when writing to the Texas Attorney General, Greg Abbott.
FACT: Ratliff supports CSCOPE. Since no SBOE member has had access to the CSCOPE curriculum and only heard information about this Instruction Material on Nov. 15, 2011, is Ratliff being rewarded as a lobbyist for supporting CSCOPE? 
Fact:  Ratliff has been on the SBOE for exactly ONE meeting (January 2011), yet he has cast himself as an authority on the SBOE — the “go to” man for Texas Legislators, the person to help direct the configurations of the SBOE redistricting maps for 2012 (all seats will be up for grabs), the person with whom NAACP and LULAC collude to carry out their  lawsuit over the Social Studies standards, and the person the liberal news media loves to quote.  One single SBOE meeting vs. years of service on the SBOE by the other experienced members – Thomas Ratliff is no authority on the SBOE!
Question:  When Thomas Ratliff testified before the Senate Education Committee, the Sunset Review Committee, and the Redistricting Committee, did he do so as a “one-meeting” member of the SBOE or as a registered, professional lobbyist?  
Question:  When Ratliff testified before the Senate Education Committee on 3.29.11 about SB 6 – HB 6 which he stated he just “loves,” why did he not mention the fact that he is a registered lobbyist for Microsoft?  SB 6 – HB 6 contain language that will transform the payout of the Permanent School Fund, and Microsoft will derive huge benefits from these changes.   
Question:  When Ratliff speaks at public meetings, does he represent himself as an SBOE member or as a professional, registered lobbyist?  I believe the audience would want to know that information.
Question:  How loudly would the liberal media howl if any of the conservative SBOE members:
·        Lived in Austin during the entire legislative session;
·        Made millions as registered lobbyists wining and dining wealthy clients who invest in education-related products that come before the SBOE for consideration;
·        Were “useless members” of the committee on the Permanent School Fund (January 2011) because they had to recuse themselves from three separate votes because of conflict of interest problems with lobbying clients?
Question:  I wonder how long it would take for a good reporter to point out the fact that even if Thomas Ratliff recuses himself from votes on the SBOE, this still would not resolve conflict of interest problems because of (1) possible backroom deals he might be making and (2) confidential information that he might be sharing with his clients.  
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  1. Katherine Edmiston says:

    You people are a bunch of witch-burners. I guess you can call it, curriculum burners! Your anti-intellectual, rigid ideological stance could use some of what you fight against: EDUCATION! You are not very good learners: if you would have observed the last general election, the Unites States (and Texas, soon), has rejected your extremism, your intolerance, your strident ideology, and your zealous persecution of science and knowledge. Dont’ you read your Bible? King Solomon prayed for wisdom, and God was pleased. Guess what? Ignorance, fear, and reaction ARE NOT VERY WISE. Repent! Narrow-minded bigotry is all that you represent. May God forgive you and humble your proud souls, your hard hearts, and your Pharisee blind eyes….

  2. Julia Pierce says:

    In my humble opinion, we citizens are looking in the wrong places, at the wrong things. If we want to be heard, we must be in front of the media stations. We must be in front of their homes. We must be at the unions’ offices. We must be at their homes. We must be at every government officials’ office in the United states. We must be at their homes. We must turn all our cameras, that we pay for, on them in their offices. We must demand that all government officials be filmed at all times when doing the people’s business. In their offices, in their cars, at their meetings. All of it. No deals, anywhere, at any time, are done outside the peoples view. No person shall deal with any representative of any government agency unless in full view of the citizens. At all times. Always. Forever.

    As is too obvious to be said, we can not trust them. We now have the technology, at our disposal, that enables we citizens to watch them rather than trust them. We must use it.

    We did not hire them to vote their conscious. We hired them to vote OUR conscious. In all matters, at all times. We must require that they do so.