Friday, April 30, 2021


This is nasty:
Texas Republican congressional candidate Susan Wright is seeking help from federal law enforcement the day before her special election, after supporters reported receiving robocalls that accused her of being responsible for the death of her late husband.

... Wright is running in the special election to succeed Wright, who passed away in February after being diagnosed with coronavirus.

... The robocalls do not have a "paid-for" attribution saying who is paying for the attacks.

... Recipients of the calls say they are being made from a blocked number.

This isn't the dirtiest dirty trick in the history of politics, but it's bad. It's not just bad, however -- it's ignorant. Here's my transcript of the call:
Susan Wright murdered her husband. She's now running for Congress to cover it up. According to confidential sources, Susan Wright, of 5505 Overridge Drive in Arlington, obtained a one-million-dollar life insurance policy on the life of her husband, the late congressman Ron Wright, six months before his death. According to hospital administration at Baylor Hospital, Susan Wright tearfully confided in a nurse that she had purposely contracted the coronavirus from a friend after taking a test that confirmed she had the antibodies necessary to overcome the virus. Susan Wright did this knowing full well that her husband, late congressman Ron Wright, was immunocompromised due to preexisting complications with lung cancer. Baylor Hospital has made a formal criminal referral to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and they have now opened a formal criminal inquiry into the matter. It is unclear whether this constitutes premeditated murder under Texas state law, but it is clear that the voters of Texas's Sixth Congressional District deserve to know the truth about Susan Wright and her involvement in the death of her husband.
In how many ways is this preposterous?

The most preposterous aspect of this is the murder plot itself. Yes, Ron Wright was a cancer survivor in his sixties, which put him at high risk of death if he contracted COVID -- but COVID is not a guaranteed way to kill someone. Susan Wright had allegedly taken a test showing she had antibodies, yet she was certain she'd be reinfected (most previously infected people aren't), and she was also certain that the reinfection wouldn't do her serious harm? Seriously? (In fact, both Wrights were hospitalized for two weeks.)

You really have to know little or nothing about this disease to think a person could carry out a plot like this and expect it to work.

I'm also amused by the notion that Baylor Hospital would go public with an accusation against a patient (Susan Wright was at the same hospital), and do so in a publicly available "criminal referral" (government officials and lawyers make criminal referrals, not hospitals) to the FBI (this would have been a simple in-state homicide, so why involve the feds?).

Also, if you'd committed a crime like this and wanted to avoid public scrutiny, wouldn't there be better ways of doing that than running for Congress?

But Republican voters believe all sorts of stupid conspiracy theories. Why not this one?

It's also possible, I suppose, that Wright's own campaign cooked this up as a play for sympathy -- after all, this is the same state where Karl Rove (allegedly!) bugged his own office in a gubernatorial campaign and then blamed the bugging on an opponent. But regardless of who's responsible, this is not just gutter politics, it's gutter politics for people who aren't very bright.

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