Thomas Ratliff, SBOE Member, Ineligible

Aug 12, 2011 by

By Donna Garner

Texas has had a great victory this morning. The Rule of Law has been upheld by Texas Attorney Greg Abbott. His opinion can be found at the link below; but what he has basically said is that Thomas Ratliff, a registered lobbyist who sells to clients who do business with the Texas State Board of Education and with the Texas Education Agency, is ineligible to serve on the SBOE.

The AG goes even further and states that because Ratliff is ineligible even to be on the SBOE, then Ratliff’s argument in which he says he can recuse himself from certain votes involving his clients is actually mute and void because Ratliff should not be on the SBOE in the first place.

Now, what can be done? Thomas Ratliff can and should be impeached if he chooses not to resign from the SBOE.

According to Texas Government Code, Section 665.001, Impeachment Proceeding, and Section 665.004 (, if the Legislature is not in Session, a majority of the House (in this case 75 members because Rep. Fred Brown has resigned his seat) can sign a petition of impeachment. Please read the remainder of the provisions in Section 665.001, etc. for details.

With the Texas primaries coming on March 6, 2012, and early voting beginning on 2.21.12, the time is perfect for Texas legislative candidates to make their positions clear. Are they going to support the impeachment petition against Thomas Ratliff and uphold the Rule of Law, or are they going to lack the courage to do the right thing.

Below the excerpted AG’s opinion, I have posted links to various articles that give more information about Thomas Ratliff and his nefarious activities.

Donna Garner


Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s Notification of Opinion:



Subject: Notification of Opinion (Texas Attorney General’s Office)

Good morning:

We issued 1 Attorney General Opinion

Opinion No. GA-0876

Go to:

Re: Construction of section 7.103(c), Education Code, regarding the eligibility of a registered lobbyist for membership on the State Board of Education (RQ-0948-GA)

Summary: Subsection 7.103(c), Texas Education Code, precludes certain registered lobbyists from serving on the State Board of Education (“Board”). A person who has been retained to communicate directly with the legislative or executive branch to influence legislation or administrative action in or on behalf of a profession, business, or association on a matter that pertains to or is associated or connected with any of the statutorily enumerated powers or duties of the Board is not eligible to serve on the Board. Thus, a registered lobbyist who has been paid to lobby the legislative or executive branch on a matter relating to Board business is ineligible to serve on the Board. The question of whether any person engaged in lobbying activity is ineligible under subsection 7.103(c) is a fact question that is inappropriate to an attorney general opinion.

Absent a mechanism to cure a violation in subsection 7.103(c), we cannot advise that a member of the Board may cure his or her ineligibility under the subsection.


8.10.11 — “Latest Outrage Committed by Thomas Ratliff” — by Donna Garner


4.3.11 — “Thomas Ratliff’s Brazen Gall” by Donna Garner —


3.25.11 – “Who’s Behind This Mounting Pressure?”


3.15.11 — “Thomas Ratliff’s False Sense of Security” by Donna Garner

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