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.

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

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?

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."

Details about former Representative Bryan Slaton’s sexual encounter

May 30, 2023


Prior to voting to expel State Representative Bryan Slaton, the Committee of General Investigating issued a report on their investigation into allegations against Slaton which included providing alcohol to a minor, having sex with a staff member, and threats. The report is just 16 pages long and is chock full of gross details.

Slaton is accused of providing alcohol to a number of under aged staff members including a 19 year old identified as “Sophie” (not her real name). Slaton is a holier than thou, twice married, former pastor who has led the republican efforts against the gay community. Sophie is probably also a right wing holy Christian who porked a married man 26 years older than she is. From the report:

Sophie A. told Emily J. that she and Slaton had sex in various places throughout his apartment and that it “went on the entire night.” Sophie A. told Emily J. that it felt weird to have sex with him [Slaton] with pictures of his wife in the apartment. 

Yep. That is so very Christian of both of them. But it gets worse. Here is another snippet:

Emily J. recalled her conversation with Sophie A. on the morning of April 1. Emily J. asked Sophie A. “did you have sex with him [Slaton]?” and Sophie A. replied “yes.” Sophie A. told Emily J. that she had lost her virginity and that she bled a great deal as a result. Sophie A. told Emily J. that “they” had to change the sheets the next morning because of the blood. Sophie A. had bloody underwear with her that she attributed to her loss of virginity. Sophie A. told Emily J. that she was keeping the underwear as a memento from the night. Emily J. saw bloody underwear on Sophie A.’s bedside table.

I warned you this report was graphic. Now this isn’t graphic but it is disturbing. Republicans think they are above the law.

Other than Sophie A., all employees of Slaton are male. All five men employed by Slaton were represented by the same attorney, Connor Ellington. Ellington is employed by the Law Office of Tony MacDonald. Upon the advice of Ellington, all five men employed by Slaton refused to meet with the independent investigator for an interview, even after being informed that a person must cooperate with an investigation in accordance with the Committee Rules.

You can read the entire report here. I hope the Committee has referred Slaton to the District Attorney. What he did was gross, illegal, and representative of the current Republican Party.

Clear Lake’s State Representative Dennis Paul vote against impeachment explained

May 29, 2023

You have to be an idiot to vote against impeachment after reading the 158 page transcript of the hearing on Ken Paxton. (BTW I have read it)

Only 23 Republicans voted against impeachment of Ken Paxton. 121 House members voted in favor even Little Baby Briscoe Cain of Deer Park voted in favor. Dennis Paul was in the minority joining Representative Leo-Wilson of Galveston which leads me to believe Senator Money Mayes Middleton will be voting against removing Paxton from office.

Paul claims in a statement, below, that the process was rushed which, if you read the transcript of the hearing of the Committee of General Investigating, is total bullshit. Paul is just repeating the talking points of the extreme far ignorant which included Democrat Harold Dutton. Impeachment in the House does not remove Paxton from office, but just last month after a two week investigation by the Committee, Paul voted to actually remove a member of the House, Representative Bryan Slaton for allegedly having sex with an intern among other things. That 16 page transcript is also posted.

Paul didn’t’t whine about that process, or rushing to remove him after Slaton was voted in by his Khristian Konservative Konstituents but he did whine about Paxton. He claimed he had read the 158 page report. I bet he didn’t. He claimed that his Khristian Konservative Konstituents wanted him to not impeach. I bet that isn’t true. As I said you have to be an idiot not to impeach after reading that transcript. Don’t believe me? Take a hour to read it.

The transcript of the hearing by the Committee is riveting. After reading 25 pages I would have voted to impeach and remove Paxton. It is just that bad. The transcript is the testimony of four, highly qualified, dedicated, non-partisan, (even though they are republicans) investigators giving a report to the Committee on what they found about Paxton. This included the evidence of bribery, securities fraud, misuse of the office, and 17 other claims which could get Paxton from 2-99 years in jail. It’s bad. It is very bad. If he was a Democrat he would have been impeached and removed in a heartbeat by a unanimous vote.

There are so many “OMG” moments in this transcript I would have to cut and paste the entire transcript, but let me just post a few lines:

VICE CHAIRMAN JOHNSON:··So is it fair to say the OAG’s office was effectively hijacked for an investigation by Nate Paul through the Attorney General Ken Paxton?
MS. EPLEY:··That would be my opinion

CHAIRMAN MURR:··So just — I want to summarize really succinctly.··And I’m not trying to put words in your mouth, but what your investigation of allegations by whistleblowers tells us is that the Attorney General himself chose to hire an attorney with five years experience based on the recommendation of Nate Paul’s attorney, give that attorney some job title that doesn’t even exist with Office of the Attorney General, and somehow give him the authority to issue 39 subpoenas to go after business interests for an individual and law enforcement that is conducting an investigation on that individual.
MR. DONNELLY:··That’s correct.

The entire transcript of the hearing can be found on the Committee of General Investigating website as well as the transcript concerning the ousted Bryan Slaton. Dennis Paul is either a liar, scared of a primary challenge, or just plain stupid.

Texas Republican pass modified ten commandments bill

May 28, 2023

Praise the lord?

Texas Republicans attempted to pass a bill requiring all public schools to post the Ten Commandments in every classroom. Unfortunately the bill stalled because various factions of Christians couldn’t decide which version of the ten commandments should be posted. The leader of the Catholic Caucus had this to say:

“Since Catholics are the largest group within the Christians faith we should be the deciding organization to determine which version of the commandments should be posted.”

The bill stalled until late last night when Democrats broke ranks and offered a compromise. According to State Representative S.A. Tan, “We have offered a compromise that not only will pass constitutional challenges, it will adequately reflect the true values of the Republican Party. With this compromise children in schools will know how to avoid being a dick.” The ten commandments that will be posted are:

  • Thou shall not steal
  • Thou shall not lie every fuckin day
  • Thou shall not pork a porn star
  • Thou shall not have affairs
  • Thou shall not have sex with interns
  • Thou shall not send dick pics to interns
  • Thou shall not be impeached
  • Thou shall not ban assault weapons
  • Thou shall not be like Ted Cruz
  • Thou shall not be a hypocrite

Praise the lord and welcome to Satire Sunday.

Grievance hearing against CCISD Trustee Scott Bowen

May 26, 2023

NOTE: A formal hearing on the grievance I filed against Scott Bowen was held yesterday. I want to thank the attorneys who represented Bowen and who presided over the hearing. I appreciate their professionalism. I may not agree with the results of the hearing when they are presented but I do respect what they do.

Last month I filed a grievance against Trustee Scott Bowen for his testimony in support of Senate Bill 175 which would, among other things, cut funding to the Texas Association of School Boards. In that video, posted by an anti-public education extreme right wing organization, Texas Education 911, Bowen identified himself as a CCISD Trustee and spoke on behalf of the Board. He also claimed he was representing his constituents and claimed we were in favor of vouchers, racism, and removing accountability from the district.

You can view his 3 minutes of fame here. Watch it and ask yourself if he was speaking on behalf of the Board and his constituents.

Bowen didn’t attend the hearing. Instead he left his defense to the CCISD attorney. The attorney defended Bowen saying that Bowen stated “I’m here on my own time and own dime” and therefore was not speaking on behalf of the Board even though he stated he was a CCISD Trustee. Watch the video yourself and make your own determination.

He says “TASB advocates for everything my constituents hate” using examples of eradicating racism and being against vouchers. That was his words. Literally. The attorney claims that he didn’t mean ALL constituents. Again, watch it. Make your own determination.

What also bothers me is that he signed in as representing CCISD and as an Executive Members of the Republican Party, Senate District 6. That can be found on the Senate website under SB175 here. He could have testified as “Scott Bowen” or as Mr. Joe Citizen but he didn’t. He used the weight of the title of Trustee to add credence to his testimony.

In the end the attorney claims that what Bowen did was not against CCISD policy from a legal standpoint. I might agree with this but what he did was definitely unethical and he should be held accountable.

The report from the attorney presiding over the hearing will be available in 14 days.

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