As if the state needed more reason to be ashamed about the 2012 Republican Senate primary -- you know, the one that ended with Ted Cruz basically being handed a national platform on a silver platter -- Buddy Barfield, longtime top aid to Cruz's runoff opponent, David Dewhurst, has admitted to siphoning almost $2 million from Dewhurst's campaign.
From 2008-2012, Barfield filed fake invoices with the David Dewhurst Committee and Dewhurst for Texas. When money was paid to the front companies he created, Barfield used it to pay for things like his mortgage and his kids' school tuition. As you would expect, Barfield did not claim the money he embezzled on his taxes -- in 2008, a year he grabbed more than $650,000 from the Dewhurst piggy bank, he claimed zero taxable income -- so he also admitted to tax evasion.
As embarrassing as the situation must be for Barfield, it's even more embarrassing for Tom Leppert.
Leppert the erstwhile pro-business, thoughtful conservative in that 2012 Senate race, couldn't get more than 13.3 percent of the vote. Thirteen point three percent while running against a campaign that was actively sabotaged by one of its top aides and Ted Freaking Cruz.
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Maybe it was that Leppert's prime accomplishment in public life was shepherding the second toll road referendum down the throats of Dallas voters, maybe it was that he has all the personality of low-sodium Cream of Wheat, but Leppert could not force his way into a runoff in a race where his two top opponents had either a staff on the take or an utter lack of desire to be part of a functional government.
Even Ron Kirk did better than that.
Barfield faces up to 28 years in prison, but prosecutors have recommend leniency because of his quickly pleading guilty.