Moneybags Sullivan= TAX CHEAT

Michael Quinn Sullivan, best known as the mouth piece for Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, appears to not be practicing what he preaches. In my quest to unveil the truth about the external influences in Texas politics, I have uncovered some startling information.ImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

Mr. Sullivan is known to have numerous shell operations that he uses to bully elected officials in Texas. One of the more obscure groups, “Fix the Facts” has gone into tax forfeiture for failing to satisfty its franchise tax requirements. This failure led to the forfeiture of its charter by the Secretary of State. Even more disturbing when examining this issue is that MQS, face of frugality paid himself more than $264,000 from Empower Texans and Fix the Facts.  Daniel Greer is also bank rolling from Fix the Facts with an income of $50,136 in 2010. There is no telling how much these guys are paying themselves from Texans for Fiscal Responsibility.

Both of the groups obviously have Tim Dunn pulling the strings as illustrated by company ownership on their 2010 returns. The returns also confirm that undisclosed corporate dollars are being run through these companies to fund his political projects. Fix the Facts and Empower Texans show contributions of $1,047,430 with $517,417 of non salaried campaign expenses. 

I can’t wait to hear MQS explain this…

Advertisements

The Real David Simpson

Rep. David Simpson has decided to run for Speaker. I don’t think this caught anyone by suprise. Rep. Simpson is best known for his strange antics and extremist views. I decided to take a little time to examine the newest Tea Party canidate for Speaker…

A run for Speaker is curious in light of the fact that Simpson, in addition to offending so many of his peers, has on multiple occasions emphasized his inexperience and lack of knowledge of how the House works. Simpson has historically been a vocal opponent of Straus; he was one of only 15 Representatives to vote against him in the last Speaker election and also gained notoriety on the eve of that election by leading a group of Christians in prayer on the Texas Capitol steps. Cowboy hat in hand, Simpson prayed, “Father, give us a godly, humble leader of the Texas House,” to which a soft-spoken chorus replied “Yes, Lord.” A video clip of Simpson’s stunt ended up on Jon Stewart’s “Daily Show” in a segment about alleged anti-Semitism in the Texas House.

Inappropriate injection of religion into his political career is something Simpson excels at; according to one newspaper he performed an unsolicited “laying of hands” on two fellow House members to heal their ailments, although no Representatives will address this on the record . He is a devout Reformed Baptist who studied at the now-defunct Trinity Ministerial Academy in Montclair, New Jersey and owns a religious publishing company serving up such grave titles as “We Must Obey God: The Biblical Doctrine of Civil Disobedience to Human Authority with Special Reference to Operation Rescue” . Simpson so frequently acts out this ‘civil disobedience in God’s name’ routine that it seems he goes against the grain just for the sake of it, hoping to appear like some sort of religious renegade. In support of his continuous infusion of religion into politics, in his website’s “Statement of Faith” he cites language in the Texas Constitution referencing acknowledgement of a “Supreme Being”, interpreting it as a literal requirement for office. Article 1, Section 4 of the Texas Constitution does, in fact, contain this language, but this ‘requirement’ has never been enforced in practice (and never could be because it is a patently unconstitutional religious test).

Simpson is a self-proclaimed expert on the U.S. Constitution, dubbing himself a “Jeffersonian constitutionalist.” But for an expert he has little understanding of the meaning of the Supremacy Clause or the Tenth Amendment. Last session Simpson famously championed the so-called TSA “anti-groping” bill, desperately clinging to it even after it was struck down by the Department of Justice as an impermissible state regulation of a federal agency. Not to be deterred by such pesky details, Simpson has already pre-filed the bill again (with minor changes that he claims actually ‘strengthen it’) for the upcoming session. His justification for ignoring the federal government is “nullification,” or the idea that the states can simply ignore any federal law that they deem to be unconstitutional. The concept rests on a fundamental misreading of the Tenth Amendment (which gives to the people and states any powers not explicitly reserved to the federal government) and is favored by members of the extreme right . In his speeches, publications and correspondence Simpson frequently cites Biblical passages, often references the depraved, sinful nature of all humans and claims to be directly guided by God in all of his actions. He interprets the Bible as literally as he does constitutional texts; in fact a literal interpretation of and adherence to the Bible is a hallmark of Reformed Baptists. His sect also espouses a Biblically-derived view on gender relations, as explained in one of his company’s publications: “Reformed Baptist churches are distinguished by a conviction regarding male leadership in the church. Our age has witnessed the feminization of Christianity…God has sovereignly ordained that leadership in the home, the state, and the church is to be male”. You have to wonder how Simpson feels about all those female Representatives in the Capitol.

Now that Simpson is running for Speaker, we understand why he invited those incoming freshmen to Longview… because he realized that he will need some friends when the House reconvenes. Last session he gained notoriety and the ire of many for singlehandedly knocking veteran Representative Senfronia Thompson’s (D-Houston) ‘puppy mill bill’ off the fast-track Local and Consent calendar. Although the implementation of the bill would be funded through fees charged to breeders and require only a handful of regulators to enforce, Simpson declared it an “egregious infringement on the free market, privacy, and private property caused by the creation of a new dog and cat breeders bureaucracy,” or even more crazy, a “dog Gestapo”. Cue Sam Houston; Simpson compared his crusade against the protection of defenseless animals to Houston’s struggle against secessionists. Seriously?

But Simpson was bipartisan in his bill opposition last session, such as one sponsored by Rep. Charles “Doc” Anderson (R-Waco) banning sales of salvia divinorum extract (a hallucinogen that is banned in over 20 states) because it would criminalize “possessing a plant that God made” that is “sometimes used for religious purposes.” He went beyond God’s creations to say that “Things are not the problem, just like guns. You don’t solve murders by getting rid of guns”. Another ‘thing’ that Simpson thinks the government should not regulate is crystal meth: last session he opposed Rep. Leo Berman’s (R-Tyler) bill imposing stricter regulations on the sale of pseudoephedrine used to produce the drug. This is especially confounding in light of the fact that his home of East Texas has been in the throes of a meth epidemic for years. By way of explanation he claimed that the proposed regulations would violate personal privacy. Simpson also shocked House members last session by suggesting that cologne be added to Rep. Lois Kolkhorst’s bill to ban smoking in public places, quipping that it might also contain carcinogens. Kolkhorst did not find the stunt cute, telling him “This is out of bounds. I ask you to show some decorum.” Simpson even opposed his longtime supporter and fellow Tea Party poster boy Rep. Dan Patrick’s (R-Houston) overwhelmingly Republican-backed “school choice” voucher legislation, stating that he is “in favor of public money going public places”. This rings peculiar coming from someone so devoted to limiting funds poured into government-run entities, and who is also no fan of public schools (all of his seven children were home-schooled or attended private schools). Also mystifying for someone who supposedly favors private sector growth and public sector shrinkage is his opposition to several business incentive funds, including the Texas Enterprise Fund and the Emerging Technology Fund.

Simpson’s Longview constituents and major campaign contributors are not exempt from his capriciousness. None of the twelve bills he filed last session dealt with local issues and he not only refused to sponsor but actually voted against a bill supported by his constituency to increase the local hotel-motel tax in his district to fund the construction of a civic center. Also, some of Simpson’s major campaign contributors involved in the oil and gas industry might have been less than pleased when he introduced HB 2849, which would privilege the rights of surface rights owners over mineral rights owners through imposition of onerous new regulations and myriad associated penalties. The Texas Oil and Gas Association named HB 2849 the “worst bill filed last session” and, according to an economic analysis it commissioned, if passed could result in a loss of over 200,000 Texas jobs. What appears to be a baffling move significantly increasing government regulation by someone otherwise so recklessly laissez-faire makes more sense when you consider that Simpson’s timber company, Avinger Timber LLC, owns significant amounts of land and could stand to profit from a government-enforced reallocation of property rights favoring surface rights owners? Interestingly (and probably not coincidentally), Simpson filed the bill just one month after Avinger became involved in a dispute with Enbridge Pipelines (East Texas) L.P., owner of a natural gas processing plant and associated pipelines located on Avinger’s land, over calculation of the fair market value of the land. The case is currently pending after the Supreme Court of Texas sent it back to the trial court for rehearing . Simpson’s company has a great deal to lose in the case: Avinger’s expert valued the property at $20,995,000, whereas the commissioner charged with determining the fair market value of the land settled on $47,580. Clearly Simpson not only tolerates but actively supports increased government intrusion and regulation if he stands to gain from it.

Simpson has often explained away his mercurial actions and political tantrums by saying that he operates from principle, not party. That is a harrowing thought in light of what those principles have revealed in just one session. In Simpson’s world it’s well within your rights to wake up, eat some hallucinogens for breakfast, kick your puppy, grab some crystal meth that you made and head over to the local college campus to sell it…armed, of course.

NEW HIRE… David Simpson??

Image

Representative David Simpson has been calling around to Representative Elects since last week telling them to “keep your powder dry”, a theme from his election night calls on behalf of Speaker Candidate Bryan Hughes. Apparently he left out that he wanted them to keep their powder dry for him. Rep. Simpson recently had dinner with the far left liberal Representative Trey Martinez Fisher, then had his official interview this past weekend with We the People (Joann Fleming is not and never has been a fan of Hughes). It appears to have convinced Rep. Simpson that it was time for him to run against Joe Straus for Speaker. He is telling members that he has the support of the D’s and can get enough freshmen R’s, with Hughes, Zedler and Phil King bringing along enough veteran members to get him to 76. He bragged about his 14 Republican “pledges” at his fundraiser tonight.

All observers last session understand and acknowledge that Rep. Simpson left Austin having insulted and been disrespectful to the entire chamber, most notably to Speaker Craddick and Houston Rep. Senfronia Thompson. Whether a member agrees or disagrees with the politics of these two folks, they are the most senior members of the House and have served with distinction for over 4 decades and served their state and their districts well. Not a very good way to cement support from the voters- 149 House members- that a Speaker candidate must have.

So where does Rep. Simpson get the votes? He has to get all the D’s and round up 21 R’s. The letter Rep. Simpson sent some time back supporting the D’s on their redistricting plan reveals his perceived path to victory, sealed by his dinner with liberal tyrant Rep. Martinez Fisher last week.

Long time fence walker Bill Miller commented about Rep. Simpson’s retreat with a small number of the freshmen. He mentioned that Rep. Simpson was working on learning how to play well with others in the House and show that he could be a serious member. It is rumored that Miller is lending his credible and substantial knowledge of the process to Rep. Simpson to aid him in this run. Rep. Laubenberg had a fundraiser tonight with Rep. Simpson in Austin. It is known that she is very close to Rep King, Paxton, Hughes and other conservative members. While the obvious fall off in participants at her joint event with Simpson tonight didn’t hurt her campaign account ( at last report she had $309k In her account), and Rep. Simpson is independently wealthy thanks to his father’s businesses, her association with a Speaker candidate that is actively supporting the D’s on creating more D seats in redistricting next session could damage her with the grassroots she is so strongly aligned with.

Rep. Simpson is not a serious member or a contender for Speaker. He uses his seat to draw attention to himself and to the marginal causes he embraces. But who is he willing to damage in his quest for the his 15 minutes of fame? The answer: anyone.

 

 

HELP WANTED: Bryan Hughes Replacement

Joanne Fleming, of We the People  and Co Chair of the tea party legislative caucus that Representative Phil King and Senator Dan Patrick started in fear of the tea party folks last session and then promptly (wisely) abandoned, has appointed herself the arbiter of all things Speaker-like in the Texas House.
While continuing to put out inaccurate observations of all things political in the echo chamber (not to be outdone by her friends Michael Quinn Sullivan and Alice Linahan), she is determined to gather the massive influence of her group of 100 folks and merge it with the overwhelming force of the other tea party groups and their almost 100 members across the state and hold an interview process for speaker candidates. Image
After the application process closed last week, they will now apparently interview any House member that can draw a breath and wants to get some tea party attention and crown this member as their candidate for Speaker this session.
Apparently the campaign efforts of Representative Brian Hughes who has been running for the post since May 29 has failed to capture the heart and soul of the tea party activists that dream of relevance. What’s wrong with these groups backing Hughes?
Social Conservative? Yes
Well liked? Yes
Pro business? Pretty much
Crazy? No
Sadly, this excludes him from getting their support and sends them on this journey to find a new champion of their marginal issues
Stand by to see who emerges this week to get the support of this group…