A deep dive: Defend Texas Liberty and the CCISD elections

June 7, 2023

This is some serious money and dirty influence.

The extreme far right Political Action Committee, Defend Texas Liberty attempted to influence voters in CCISD. CCISD voters didn’t buy it and for very good reasons. CCISD candidate Peter Lauzon accepted $5000 from this extremist organization which was the majority of his donations. Candidate Glencora Rodgers returned the $5000 they had donated. Most voters have no idea of who Defend Texas Liberty is or who funds them. Here are some details:

Defend Texas Liberty filed their first report with the Texas Ethics Committee in 2020. Since then they have raised nearly $12 Million mostly from two billionaires. Timothy Dunn donated $7.3 Million while Farris Wilks donated $3.2 million. These two individuals accounted for 88% of all the donations. Windi Grimes of Houston donated $571,000. Phillip Huffines donated $500,000, and Ken Fisher donated $100,000.

Timothy Dunn
Dunn has donated over $21 Million since 2004. His biggest donations were to Empower Texas (dissolved) for $7.7 Million, Defend Texas Liberty for $7.3 Million, Ken Paxton for $672,000, Shelley Luther for $1.7 Million, $407,000 to Tony Tinderholt and $275,000 to Bryan Slaton. Shelley Luther is known for being the hairdresser who refused to close her shop during COVID. She ended up in jail then ran for the House and then the Senate. She lost both. Tinderholt is a christian, conservative that has been married 5 times. Praise the lord. Bryan Slaton was removed from the Texas House by unanimous vote after he was found to have provided minors with alcohol and porked his 19 year old staff member. Lordy!

Farris Wilks
Wilks donated almost $15 Million since 2014. He also donated to Empower Texas for $2.4 Million, Defend Texas Liberty $3.2 Million, Ken Paxton for $776,000, and Bryan Slaton for $103,000.

Defend Texas Liberty
Defend Texas Liberty has spent $10.8 Million to various candidates and PACs including $160,000 to Representative Bryan Slaton pictured above. As I said, Slaton won his election and was recently removed from office by a unanimous vote in the Texas House for providing alcohol to minors and having unbridled sex with his christian, conservative, staff member who was 19 years old at the time.

Other notable donations:
Local State Representative Terri Leo-Wilson received $12,000 to add to her total, of which 94% came from out of district. State Representative Tony Tinderholt received $23,000.

Tim O’Hare, an extreme far right candidate, of Southlake Texas received $86,000 for his race for Tarrant County Judge in 2022. Texas Homeschool Coalition received $112,500.

Shelley Luther received $208,500 for her failed bid for Senate. Her claim to fame was.

And that is who attempted to influence the CCISD elections.

Senator Money Mayes Middleton protecting kids from violence? (not quite)

June 7, 2023

Senator Middleton broke his arm patting himself on the back claiming he is protecting our precious children in. He isn’t.

In an email to some of his constituents Money Mayes Middleton said:

“The number 1 cause of death of children in Texas is gun violence and I am proud that I filed and passed bills that would restrict access to military style guns, ban open carry, and require common sense reforms to gun ownership.”

LOL. He didn’t say that. Instead he said:

“This session, we prioritized protecting our precious children from things they should never be exposed to. I was proud to co-sponsor legislation, House Bill 900 by Representative Patterson, that bans sexually explicit books in our schools and sets strict new library standards to make sure children aren’t exposed to sexually explicit materials. We also passed the bill to protect children from sexually oriented performances and drag shows.”

Yes. Books. The number 1 cause of death of children in Texas is books. And drag queens. I don’t remember a drag queen killing 19 children in Uvalde, or 8 high school kids in Santa Fe, or 27 christians in Sutherland. I can’t remember when a child was assaulted with a book leading to their death.

If you think your kids are any safer after Middleton’s bills, you might want to think again or better yet just think. Nothing has changed. Your kids and family has just as much chance of getting shot at schools, Walmarts, parades, concerts, clubs, restaurants, and anywhere in the public as they did before the Legislation session started. Middleton is full of crap.

And Middleton isn’t going to do a thing about it. Not even offer worthless thoughts and prayers.

Donating Campaign Cash: Tillman Fertitta

June 6, 2023

Tilman Fertitta donates to both sides……sort of.

In a previous post I noticed billionaire Tilman Fertitta, owner of the Houston Rockets, had donated $40,000 in 2022 to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. $40,000 isn’t a lot of money compared to other one time donations Paxton has received including $200,000 from Dallas Cowboy’s owner Jerry Jones, but it did catch my attention.

According to the Texas Ethics Commission Fertitta has donated over $5.2 Million to candidates/PACs in Texas since 2000. He has donated over $1.8 Million to Greg Abbott, $842,000 to Dan Patrick, $347,000 to Rick Perry, $165,000 to Ken Paxton, and $220,000 to Glen Hegar (Texas Comptroller), 145,000 to Speaker Phelan, for a total of $3,519,000 for these 5 Republicans.

But he does play both sides, sort of. Senator Alvarado received $48,000, Senator John Whitmire $195,000, Senator Zaffirini $12,500, Representative Wu $6500, Representative Walle $5000, Mayor Turner $11,800, and $116,000 to other various Democrats for a total of $394,800.

So, yes. Tilman Fertitta plays both sides.

Raising Campaign Cash: Texas AG Ken Paxton

June 5, 2023

He doesn’t have enough campaign cash to pay the $3.3 Million dollar settlement from the whistleblower lawsuit.

Over the last two years impeached Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton raised over $14 Million, spent about $12 million and has just over $2 Million remaining. He recently settled a whistleblower lawsuit against him for retaliation against four attorneys after they contacted the FBI over allegations of illegal activity.

Needless to say Paxton doesn’t have $3.3 million to pay his debt so he asked the Texas Legislature to pay it which started an internal investigation and ended in his impeachment. It’s almost funny. Almost.

$11.3 Million of his $14 Million haul came from individuals/PACs who donated more than $10,000, or about 80%. His largest donor is the extreme far right PAC created by the two billionaires featured on CNN, Defend Texas Liberty PAC for $1,300,000. Even Jerry Jones contributed to Paxton with a $200,000 donation as well as local billionaire Tillman Fertitta for $40,000. His top donors are listed below.

Paxton also has a debt in the form of loans to Defend Texas Liberty PAC for $750,000 and someone in California for $480,000. So he has enough in his campaign account to repay his loans but will not have enough to pay his lawsuit settlement.

Defend Texas Liberty PAC$1,300,000.00PAC
Republican Attorney General Association$500,000.00PAC
Simon Hodson$480,000.00Energy
Douglas Scharbaeur$450,000.00Oil/Cattle
Kenny Troutt$400,000.00Investment firm
Javaid Anwar$375,000.00Oil and Gas
Michael Porter$275,000.00Doctor
THRC Holdings$250,000.00Investment firm
Montgomery Bennett$200,000.00Hotel and Resorts
Jerry Jones$200,000.00Dallas Cowboys
Holly Frost$200,000.00Texas Memory Systems
Dan and Farris Wilks$150,000.00Oil and Gas

CCISD’s connection to the defense of impeached AG Ken Paxton

June 4, 2023

It’s a stretch but it show the how much money there is in republican politics.

Impeached Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton will be on trial in the Senate to determine his future as Attorney General. One of Paxton’s largest donors, Defend Texas Liberty, was also involved in the latest CCISD election. As reported CCISD candidate Pete Lauzon was funded by Defend Texas Liberty with a $5000 donation. He raised $278 from his district and gave himself a $2000 loan. The voters of CCISD voted against Lauzon by a wide margin.

Defend Texas Liberty also donated $5000 to CCISD candidate Glencora Rodgers but she returned it. (good for her!!)

Defend Texas Liberty also donated $12,000 to Galveston’s State Representative Terri Leo-Wilson. Wilson raised nearly 90% of her entire campaign donations from just 3 PACs and 2 individuals.

Over the last two years Defend Texas Liberty PAC has raised $5,701,482 from 20 donations from 11 individuals. 94% of all donations came from just 4 individuals. Dunn and Wilks are billionaires spreading their money to take over school boards. They have been featured in a CNN investigation. Since 2020 Defend Texas Liberty has donated $550,000 to Paxton and has loaned his campaign another $750,000.

Top Donors:

Dunn ,Timothy2,300,000.00
Wilks ,Farris2,000,000.00
Huffines ,Phillip500,000.00
Grimes ,Windi221,500.0

Texas Public School Finance 101.

June 2, 2023

I was going to write something about School Finance 101 but realized I knew nothing about school finance. The Friendswood Superintendent Roher gave a great 15 minute video on this subject. CCISD is mentioned with the second lowest taxes in the entire area. Take 15 minutes of your time to watch:

Raising Campaign Cash: Terri Leo-Wilson

June 1, 2023
Photo from The Post.

Now we know who she represents.

In 2022 Terri Leo-Wilson won her seat in Texas House District 23 serving the Galveston county area with a little help from her out of district friends.

According to the Texas Ethics Commission 90% of her fundraising came from PACs and 2 individuals. She raised $790,665 not including the $204,000 loan from her husband. $690,166 of this total, or 87%, was from 5 individuals/PACs, Texans for Lawsuit Reform, Senator Money Mayes Middleton, Representative Little Baby Briscoe Cain, Texas right to life, and Defend Texas Liberty. Another $21,847 came from various PACs making a combined total of $712,013 or 90% of her total fundraising.

Defend Texas Liberty PAC attempted to interfere in the CCISD elections but lost.

The five individuals/PAC that made up 87% of her total donations are:

Texans for Lawsuit Reform$603,371
Defend Texas Liberty$12,000
Texas Right to Life$10,000

So…..who’s her daddy or daddies?

When you say “You can indict a ham sandwich”….

June 1, 2023

To those who have served on a grand jury, you sound like an ignorant idiot.

Seriously. Stop saying it. You don’t know what you are talking about. The reason ignorant people say this is because they do not understand how a grand jury works or the statistics behind the indictments.

Having served on 3 grand juries in Harris County I can say from experience the rate of indictments is high for only one reason, the evidence is clear and the cases should go to a jury. That is all the grand jury does. They vote to either indict based upon the evidence presented and send the case to trial or to “no bill” and dismiss the case. The rate of indictments could be as high as 98% of all cases presented.

The process of reviewing and voting on the cases is up to the members of the grand jury. A GJ could listen to a number of Assistant DAs each bringing 30-40 cases to the jury, explain the evidence, and the GJ would vote on which to indict, which to discuss further, and which to no bill. A GJ could hear hundreds of cases a day, serving 2-3 days a week. The GJ also determines how they would vote on each case. They could vote in mass because the evidence is clear on each case, or they could pull cases for further discussion and vote in mass for the others. It is up to the specific GJ to decide.

The GJ may hear a special case much like a case against an elected official. They would listen to witnesses, be able to ask questions, and issue subpoenas. They have an incredible amount of power to use to get to the truth. They could hear evidence for an extended time, multiple days, multiple hours. They do not vote on whether the subject is guilty of a crime. They just vote on whether there is evidence a crime was committed and if the case should proceed to a jury.

The GJ is a safeguard for the citizens. It provides a way to review a case before it heads to trial. It provides a checkpoint in the process of charging a citizen with a crime. The GJ isn’t a deli. It has nothing to do with a ham sandwich. It’s a group of citizens taking their time to verify the actions of a District Attorney.

Do yourself a favor and quit speaking like a idiot.

AR15s allowed at Friendswood 4th of July parade and celebration

May 31, 2023

No Place but Texas. And Friendswood.

The city of Friendswood was asked if open carry of assault rifles is allowed on parade floats and at the celebration in the park. From the email exchange:

Question: Since Texas is an open carry state, will float entries be allowed to open carry guns? Will attendees to the park event be able to open carry? Will there be any restrictions to the rights of gun owners participating in the parade or park event?
Response: there are no restrictions other than those set forth by the State of Texas in regards to open carry.

According to tml.org:

The state has no licensing scheme for long guns. Because state law does not prohibit the carrying of a rifle or shotgun in a public place, a person is generally allowed to carry those weapons in public in Texas.

So you could expect to see a float with elected officials, gun owners dressed up like cartel members or GI Joe, and carrying assault rifles, hand guns, and NRA flags. You could expect to see them on the sidewalks behind you as you watch the gun floats. You can expect them at the celebration in the park throughout the day. Just because someone is carrying a load AR15 under their trench coat doesn’t mean you should be scared shitless.

Remember. What could possibly go wrong with assault weapons at a 4th of July parade and celebration?

The allegations against Ken Paxton in a nutshell

May 30, 2023

I took one for the team and read the entire 158 page transcript of the Committee of General Investigating hearing on Ken Paxton which led to an impeachment resolution. Here are the allegations in a nutshell:

  1. Paxton used the office of the Attorney General to help Nate Paul in a civil case against a non profit without the knowledge of his staff and after being warned that it was against the law to do so.
  2. Paxton had an affair. This in itself is nothing to worry about for Republicans but….Nate Paul hired his mistress and moved her to Austin.
  3. Nate Paul donated $25,000 to Paxton and paid for upgrades to his home.
  4. Paxton hired an outside Houston attorney, Brandon Cammack, to help Nate Paul with a federal investigation without the knowledge of his staff and after the staff rejected the request to do so and informed him it was against the law.
  5. Paxton allocated $25,000 for Brandon Cammack’s work. Cammack had just 5 years experience in law and no prosecutor experience.
  6. Paxton hired Cammack as a recommendation from Nate Paul.
  7. Cammack identified himself as the Special Prosecutor for the Attorney Generals office and issued 39 subpoenas. There is no “Special Prosecutor” title and all subpoenas were eventually squashed by the AG staff. Cammack never had an official contract with the AG’s office.
  8. Paxton handed off privileged and non public information to Nate Paul, an abusive of his official capacity a 3rd degree felony.
  9. He diverted time, effort and money of the AG’s office to help Nate Paul in a civil case, a 3rd degree felony.
  10. Paxton committed securities fraud and 1st degree felony. (he has been indicted on this count already)
  11. Retaliation against the whistleblowers who contacted the FBI. Some were fired, others resigned, others were put into higher paid positions but with little authority.
  12. Making false statement concerning the AG’s office involvement in the Nate Paul civil case.
From the report: "CHAIRMAN MURR:That is a pretty comprehensive list of concerns.··That's alarming to hear.It curls my mustache."

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