Is Wendy Davis Heading for 'Divorce-Gate'?

January 21, 2014 - 2:34 PM

Texas Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis could be finding herself in the hot seat over allegations that she distorted her life story, which has become a lynchpin in her campaign against her Republican opponent Attorney General Greg Abbott.

Davis gained national attention when she filibustered a bill that would ban the brutal procedure of late-term abortion in the Lone Star State.  While the bill was eventually passed in a special session, Davis wouldn't have a platform to stand on if it weren't for President Obama tweeting about her little legislative maneuver.   Nevertheless, it earned her the admiration of national Democrats and pro-abortion feminists.

So, what's her story? Well, Davis says she is the poster child for hard work and overcoming adversity after becoming a single mother at the age of 19 and living in a trailer with her young daughter, where she put herself through Harvard and eventually gained national prominence on the political scene.  The only problem is her story is a bit more complicated.  In fact, this aspect of her life was marked as "half true" by PolitiFact Texas last June.

Wayne Slater of the Dallas Morning News reported on January 18 that "Davis was 21, not 19, when she was divorced. She lived only a few months in the family mobile home while separated from her husband before moving into an apartment with her daughter."

Why is that relevant? Well, she reiterated this part of her story under oath last year while testifying before a three-judge panel about whether the new legislative districts in Texas violated the Voting Rights Act. Also, she used what appears to be a tall tale to fund her campaign, which some might say is fraudulent.

Additionally, her then-husband Jeff Davis paid not only for her two years at Texas Christian University, but also her time at Harvard.

"When she was accepted to Harvard Law School, Jeff Davis cashed in his 401(k) account and eventually took out a loan to pay for her final year there," wrote Slater. “I was making really good money then, well over six figures,” Davis said. “But when you’ve got someone at Harvard, you’ve got bills to pay, you’ve got two small kids. The economy itself was marginal. You do what you have to do, no big deal.”

In an ironic twist, Wendy and Jeff split on the same day the last payment to Harvard was due. “It was ironic,” Davis said. “I made the last payment, and it was the next day she left.”

Slater wrote that Davis admitted that parts of her story weren't the whole truth.  “My language should be tighter,” Davis said. “I’m learning about using broader, looser language. I need to be more focused on the detail.”  Yeah, that seems to be one of the first benchmarks when running for office making sure you’re not peddling false notions about your life story.

Vice President Joe Biden learned this the hard way.  He reportedly plagiarized a speech from UK Labour leader Neil Kinnock, which destroyed Biden’s 1988 presidential bid.  When something is plagiarized, or the truth is stretched, it doesn't turn out well.

Right now, Davis alleges that the Abbot campaign is behind the effort to expose her half-truths, but this is also not accurate as far as Slater is concerned. Wayne Slater tweeted over the weekend that he spoke to ZERO Abbot people when writing his piece on her.

Katie Glueck at Politico wrote today that "asked by POLITICO to point to specific attacks from Abbott, the current Texas attorney general, a Davis spokeswoman responded, 'We’ve had reporters independently verify these attacks are coming from Greg Abbott’s campaign.'” Yeah, I think they need to "verify" this allegation again.