North Central College in the News

North Central College communication chair co-authored column in Truthout

Jan 30, 2023

Steve Macek shared insights on the defamation lawsuit brought by billionaire Warren against O’Rourke

Steve Macek, professor and chair of communication and media studies at North Central College, co-authored an article in Truthout. The piece, published January 28, 2023, focused on the defamation lawsuit brought by billionaire Kelcy Warren against Beto O’Rourke.

Here is an excerpt from his column:

A recent Texas lawsuit has opened a new front in the ongoing battle over the reign of money in politics, making it a prime example of how wealthy individuals and mighty corporations seek to wield political influence while avoiding public accountability.

As Jordan Uhl reported in a January 2023 article for The Lever, Kelcy Warren, a Texas billionaire whose fortune derives from gas and propane pipelines, is suing former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke for defamation, because O’Rourke publicly criticized a million dollar donation Warren made to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, in 2021.

On the campaign trail, O’Rourke criticized Abbott for failing to hold Texas oil and gas companies responsible for their role in the disastrous consequences of a February 2021 ice storm that cut power to more than 4.5 million state residents, caused hundreds of deaths — and produced a $2.4 billion profit for Warren’s company, Energy Transfer Partners, according to its first quarter earnings report for 2021.

Click here to read the full column in Truthout.