Brown's comment was put out today by Smith's Republican primary election opponent in House District 92, Jeff Cason.
"Todd Smith said on the House floor that he thought the best thing for Republicans would be if this bill just died” in reference to the Voter ID bill.
Brown served on the House Elections committee, which Smith chaired.
In breaking ranks with the chairman, Brown adds fuel to the voter ID debate that has dogged Smith in his bid for re-election. Smith has maintained that he was seeking a compromise ID bill that could pass the legislature, but other Republicans have said he was single-handedly responsible for keeping an issue close to their hearts from winning passage.
The controversy? Many GOP leaders wanted Smith to stick with an earlier voter ID measure to require photo ID at the polls. Smith had said he supported a less stringent bill, and wanted to delay the ID requirement for two to four years and exempt some older voters.
Texas Watchdog broke a story earlier this month that dealt with Smith and his stance on voter ID.
The story centered on a voicemail recording obtained by Texas Watchdog in which Smith referenced "stupid" GOP women during the heated debate on voter ID.
Smith, a lawyer in the Mid-Cities town of Euless, between the cities of Dallas and Fort Worth, said the comment was directed at the woman he was leaving the message for, rather than the female Republican population at large.
The recipient of the voicemail believed he was talking about all Republican women who supported tough voter ID measures.
Brown is in the midst of her own primary race, where an opponent is calling her out for not being conservative enough -- a common theme in the nearly 20 GOP primary challenges taking place in Texas right now. And Brown is also no stranger to controversy when it comes to voter ID. She apologized last year after making a comment concerning the names of Asian-American voters during a voter ID hearing.
We're putting a call in to Brown and Smith on this issue today.
See the entire press release below:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FEB. 27, 2010
Contact Jeff Cason
FELLOW REPUBLICAN STATE REPRESENTATIVE ON TODD SMITH'S ELECTION COMMITTEE SETS THE RECORD STRAIGHT: TODD SMITH WANTED VOTER ID TO DIE
Today Republican Representative Betty Brown, who sits on the Elections Committee chaired by Representative Todd Smith, released the following quote:
"Todd Smith said on the House floor that he thought the best thing for Republicans would be if this bill just died", in reference to the Voter ID
Representative Smith's distortion of the truth in an effort to get re-elected has caused his fellow Republicans to step forward and tell the truth about Mr. Smith.
Mr. Smith has ruthlessly attacked his opponent and is lying to the voters, saying "his record proves that he strongly supports strict voter photo ID laws". But we know Smith's deceit caused his fellow Republican Elections Committee member to step forward and set the record straight.
The record is that Representative Smith sat on the Voter ID bill for 5 weeks in his committee, refusing to even allow a vote for 5 weeks. It took 71 Republicans signing an open letter to Rep. Smith to get a vote on the bill and even then the vote didn't come until 11 days later.
What happened to Voter ID when it finally came out of Smith's committee? There was just enough time in the session for the Democrats to stall the bill, so session ended without a vote and Voter ID died on the house floor...sounds a lot like Rep. Smith's quote, "the best thing for Republicans would be if this bill just died" - guess what, it did die and now we know for sure who killed it.
"For Todd Smith to use his office to attack me for all of these weeks and to lie to voters about his record is beneath the dignity of the office. Thankfully there are honorable people on the elections committee who are outraged enough by Todd's lies that they'll step forward when an injustice is being done to the voters. Todd should apologize to my family for the lies he's told and the harm he's caused. Finally, Todd Smith and his campaign of distortion and attacks have been brought into the light of truth and justice", said Jeff Cason.