Republican sugar daddy jumps into the Harris County Commission race

September 30, 2022

Candidate for Harris County Judge, Alexandra MAGAt Mealer, is getting a bump in funding from one of the many sugar daddies of the Republican Party.

In the last filing period, County Judge Lina Hidalgo reported fundraising over $1 Million with 70% coming from small donors. MAGAt Mealer, on the other hand, raised $765,000 with just 7 individuals providing 67% of her total fundraising.

MAGAt Mealer’s donations came from the major sugar daddies of the Republican Party such as David Weekley the homebuilder and founder of Texans for Lawsuit Reform (Deform) and Mattress MAGAt Mack. According to a leaked email MAGAt Mealer will be getting a $5 Million boost from David Weekley which should be reported in the next week or so.

Mealer is a typical republican. She is an election denier (unless her team wins) and is a liar much like Trump, Abbott, Cruz, and other republicans and she will be loyal servant to the NRA. Campaign finance reports will be filed next week.

When did Texas republicans become a bunch of Texas sized cowards?

September 27, 2022

One of Texas stupid sayings is “Everything is bigger in Texas”. It’s not true except we do have bigger cowards.

For example, the biggest coward in the State is Texas Senator Ted Cruz who fled to Cancun while his state was literally freezing to death. Following in his footsteps is our Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, running away like a scared little bitch. From The Texas Tribune:

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton fled his home in a truck driven by his wife, state Sen. Angela Paxton, to avoid being served a subpoena Monday, according to an affidavit filed in federal court.

That means he ran, like a coward. If Ken Paxton was at the battle of the Alamo he would have fought Ted Cruz to be the first to cross that line in the sand and run like a Texas sized coward. This is who they are.

BTW. I was in Canada last week. Every time a Canadian asked “Where you from?” and I responded with “Texas”, they gave me the look of “I’ll pray for you”. If I thought prayer actually worked, I would have joined them.

The Texas Ethics Commission finally nails Michael Sullivan of Empower Texas

September 5, 2022
From The Houston Chronicle

It’s sad that it takes 10 years for justice to be served but served it was. According to the Houston Chronicle:

A Texas appeals court this week upheld a nearly decade-old fine by the state ethics agency against former Empower Texans CEO and conservative activist Michael Quinn Sullivan for failing to register as a lobbyist.

The details of this complaint filed with the Texas Ethics Commission in 2010 are interesting. Why would they issue such a large fine of $10,000 on such a small issue as not registering as a lobbyist for a simple $100 fee. I will summarize the final order explaining here:

  • Empower Texas is an extreme right wing organization
  • Michael Quinn Sullivan was the CEO at the time
  • The complaint was filed by 2 republican law makers
  • The complaint alleged Sullivan failed to file as a lobbyist in 2010, the filing fee was only $100
  • After a 2 year investigation he was fined $10,000
  • The Commission subpoenaed documents from Sullivan
  • They came to the conclusion that “Mr. Sullivan and Empower Texans have destroyed or lost thousands of emails sent to members of the Legislature during 2010 and 2011, despite having received written requests for such information in 2012”
  • Sullivan was subpoenaed to show at the formal hearing but refused to answer any questions “asserting his rights under the First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendment as a basis for his refusal to testify”
  • “The Commission’s unanimous opinion is that Mr. Sullivan is a paid lobbyist who is required to register under Texas law.”

So bottom line it would seem the Ethics Commission had a real problem with Sullivan not producing subpoenaed documentation as well as him refusing to answer questions. Maybe that was the reason for the $10,000 fine. It took 10 years to resolve this. This is what happens when you have uncontrolled money in politics.

Don’t Move to Texas

August 24, 2022

It’s hard to disagree when Texas leads the nation in mass shootings (8), is the easiest state to get a gun, a state where anyone can walk around in public with a loaded AR15, a 100 round barrel clip, a silencer, and wearing body armor. A state with out of control property taxes, electricity rates, college tuition rates, home prices, and home insurance premiums. Texas ranks 49th in benefits for teachers in the nation, 45th in education. Texas teachers are underpaid, under appreciated, and under attack. Texas doesn’t take too kindly to gays, muslims, Mexicans, or anyone who even looks illegal. Texas has flooded the streets with unlimited guns putting our law enforcement under constant stress to keep us safe. And Texas is ranked 48th in quality of living

In short, Texas sucks. Do yourself a favor, Don’t Mess Move With To Texas.

Why campaign finance reform is needed in CCISD

August 11, 2022

There are two real good reasons for campaign finance reform in CCISD. Misty Dawson and Scott Bowen.

In Texas there are no limits on donations and it’s pretty obvious here in the CCISD area. State Representative Money Mayes Middleton spent $2.5 Million of his own money to win a state house seat here in Galveston County and CNN aired a segment called “Deep in the Pockets of Texas” highlighting 2 billionaires donations to candidates.

And now that money is coming to CCISD. It is unlimited. It is unstoppable. These billionaires can donate unlimited amounts of money to put unqualified, extreme white wing, candidates on our ballot for CCISD. They could finance legal challenges after these candidates lose causing chaos and discouraging qualified candidates from running. This is happening right now in CCISD.

Bowen spent over $20,000 on his latest at-large campaign, five times more than his opponent. This does not include the donation by the Harris County Republican Party in the form of a mailer. Dawson spent about $8000 on her campaign in her district only. Most candidates spend a couple of thousand dollars for a school district campaign.

For those who do not know here is what Bowen and his extreme white wing candidates can do in CCISD in the next upcoming election:

  • Candidates can accept unlimited amounts of donations
  • Candidates can accept donations from outside of the district, even out of state
  • Candidates can accept donations from political parties (Bowen and Dawson)
  • Candidates can accept PAC money from billionaires like the ones in the CNN report
  • Wealthy Candidates can loan themselves unlimited amounts of donations

CCISD is not alone in this problem. For decades school boards across Texas did not have the problem of unlimited donations. Unlimited money started to affect our schools about 6 years ago. For the sake of all qualified candidates CCISD needs to do something to curb this abuse for instance:

  • Limit donations from inside the district only
  • Ban PAC donations
  • Curb the amount of personal loans
  • Limit donation amounts to $500

Blast from the past: The Texas Ethics Commission

August 10, 2022

Back in 2009 KHOU did a story about the research a few activists performed concerning how elected officials spent their donors money, specifically hiding expenses behind a credit card. You can watch it here.

NOTE: In this story I made some comments about the Texas Ethics Commission which I do not agree with today. I have gained a much better respect for the Commission, especially the staff, and appreciate what they do.

In 2009 a small group of us looked at every State Representative and State Senator expenditure reports, about 180 of them. We found many were hiding purchases behind credit cards. The rules of the Ethics Commission are clear, report who gave you money and what you bought using their money. We found elected officials spending their donors money on personal items hidden behind a credit card. Converting campaign donations to personal use is against the law. It’s called “stealing”. We eventually filed about 60 ethics complaints with only 2 rejected.

Of the 58 accepted by the Commission, one resulted in the largest fine in the history of the Commission, $75,000. Many resulted in fines and requirements that the official return the money they stole from their donors. The Commission also required a new form to be filled out to identify every purchase made with a credit card. I hope this new form requirement was based upon the research we performed.

We eventually published a report called Don’t Mess With Ethics documenting what we had found. You can read that report here. Enjoy!

Welcome to Bay Area Houston!

August 10, 2022
Fishing in Mexico

Thank you for visiting Bay Area Houston!

I have been blogging on political and consumer issues for over 15 years and appreciate you stopping by. I hope I can provide information you find interesting, disturbing, or funny at times. Feel free to add your own comments to my posts! I appreciate comments, corrections, or ideas!

On the right side of this page you will find a list categories. You can click on one and look at the posts for that particular topic. For instance if you click on CCISD you will see all my posts about CCISD. The same goes for SATIRE. You might get a laugh at those posts!

And if you scroll to the bottom right of this page you will see a FOLLOW+ button. Click on that button, enter your email address and BAH will email when a new post is published! Share with your friends!

If you want to know a bit more about me click on the ABOUT menu item at the top of the page and if you have the urge to contact me visit the CONTACT page. Again, thanks for reading and enjoy!!!

–John Cobarruvias Bay Area Houston

August 6, 2022

CNN recently aired a show, Deep in the Pockets of Texas, which highlighted the unlimited money donated to republican causes by just two billionaires. I’m wondering if that money is coming to influence CCISD elections.

Misty Dawson, who is “Morally Minded and Not Politically Divided” and who lost the CCISD school board election and has sued her opponent has closed out her campaign account after filing her last campaign finance report in June. In July she amended the report to keep it open. Her report did not disclose any payments for legal services to Eric Opiela, her attorney. According to the Texas Ethics Commission no payment from any organization has been made to Opiela for these services. Even if Opiela is providing the services free of charge Dawson must record the fair market value as an “in-kind” donation. As of today she has not.So, who is paying for Dawson’s attorney? It could be a number of people including State Representative Money Mayes Middleton the oligarch of Galveston County, or the Texas Republican Party or Harris County Republican Party although neither have reported this expenditure on their latest reports. It could also be Kathleen Wall who spent $6 Million of her own money in a losing Congressional effort. It could be State Representative Little Baby Briscoe Cain.

Or it could be Farris Wilks or Timothy Dunn the two billionaires in the CNN show. No matter who is paying for Dawson’s attorney it must eventually reported. My bet is on Wilks and Dunn.

CCISD comes to a decision on the Dawson v Cejka lawsuit

August 6, 2022

Well that was interesting.

CCISD had a special board meeting last night to vote on a couple of issues, funding the legal response to the Dawson election lawsuit and appointing an individual to lead the grievance hearing against Trustee Scott Bowen.

The board voted to fund the defense of the lawsuit filed by the loser, in the CCISD election Misty Dawson, specifically in reference to a CCISD employee who was named in the suit. Since the lawsuit named a CCISD employee the board now has authority to fund the defense and voted to do so, unanimously with Cejka abstaining. According to Trustee Larson once the suit focuses on Cejka specifically the funding can come to a stop. I can’t see that happening since Cejka did not run the elections, is not being accused of rigging the election, and did nothing but run in the election. Even if the lawsuit is successful Cejka cannot void the election, cannot order a new election, and can’t run a new election. Why Dawson and Bowen thought suing Cejka was legally sound is beyond me.

In the other vote, the board voted to appoint someone to hear the formal grievance filed against Trustee Scott Bowen concerning his conflict of interest in the Dawson v Cejka lawsuit. That has been covered before and the vote was also unamimous with Bowen abstaining.

Grievance filed against CCISD Trustee

August 6, 2022

This is what happens when CCISD is flooded with outside, unlimited, partisan money.

An official grievance has been filed against CCISD Trustee Scott Bowen for his conflict of interest in the past election resulting in a lawsuit by the loser against the winner, Jessica Cejka. For background:

After the election for CCISD the loser, Misty Dawson, filed a lawsuit against Jessica Cejka demanding that she voids the election, conduct a new one, and give her $100,000. The suit was NOT against CCISD who actually conducted the election. Since the suit has been filed Scott Bowen has been running point on behalf of Dawson. Based upon his comments during the last Board meeting it is clear Bowen is compromised and should recuse himself from all further discussion concerning the issue.

Bowen should recuse himself for a number of reasons including:

  1. Based upon his comments during the last CCISD board meeting it is clear he is coordinating with the attorney for Misty Dawson and should never be involved in closed door discussions concerning this lawsuit
  2. This attorney for Dawson was the former general counsel of the Texas Republican Party
  3. The TRP endorsed Bowen
  4. Bowen is the lead for candidate recruitment for the Harris County Republican Party
  5. Bowen recruited Dawson
  6. Bowen campaigned for Dawson
  7. The HCRP listed on their campaign finance report that they supported both Dawson and Bowen
  8. The HCRP paid for a mailer for the campaign
  9. Bowen has a clear interest in this case in order to have a 4th vote for him to become the President of the board, a vote he lost by one vote
  10. Just the appearance of a conflict of interest should be enough for Bowen to recuse himself from participating in any discussion, vote, or decision concerning Dawson v Cejka

Below is the email sent to the legal office of CCISD concerning the grievance. 

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