The results are in…

Wow… I want to thank everyone for their comments and emails regarding the impropriety surrounding Empower Texans/ Michael Quinn Sullivan/ Adenda Wise/ Trey Trainor/ Daniel Greer. I am shocked at how much direct contact Michael Quinn Sullivan has with members and staff on behalf of Agenda Wise/ Empower Texans while he remains an Unregistered Lobbyist. Tax returns prove that he is making well over the $1,000 compensation requirement. Not only is this a clear violation of his transparency mantra but is a VIOLATION OF THE LAW!

I have been researching each and every response. Today I would like to start with the first of many issues that you have brought to my attention…

Issue 1- Taxation

Empower Texans, Agenda Wise and Michael Quinn Sullivan spend quite a bit of their bandwidth arguing against any form of taxation at the state level. The mere mention of the “T” word sends those groups into apoplexy, wildly lashing out at anyone daring to mention the word, preferring to do away with any and all government revenue.

However, in their postings, Empower Texans, Agenda Wise and Michael Quinn Sullivan take no issue with entities that create the highest tax load on taxpayers: special districts. (They also take no issue with taxpayers failing to pay owed taxes, as evidenced by their failure to pay the taxes that give them the right to do business in Texas, as all other businesses properly do).

The special districts are almost all created by large real estate developers to underwrite the infrastructure costs that allow them to build huge developments- and profits- at the expense of the taxpayer. By examining this contradictory position of Empower Texans, Agenda Wise and Michael Quinn Sullivan on this critical tax issue, it is reasonable to presume that large corporate real estate companies are a major source of hidden revenue for ET, AW and MS –and their 6 figure salaries. Remember, their failure to pay their taxes forces all other taxpayers to carry the load.

Issue 2- Charter Schools

The support of Empower Texans, Agenda Wise and Michael Quinn Sullivan for charter schools has been solid and consistent over time. And it should be. After all, over 90% of the disclosed funding for these joint operations comes from Tim Dunn, whose family has made substantial money off of these family run charter school operations, along with Jeff Sandefer, a leading proponent of school reform.

I find their unfettered support of charter schools refreshing, as it ties directly to the interest of one of their major funding sources. And that’s what makes this ongoing examination of the correlation between positions taken by Empower Texans, Agenda Wise and Michael Quinn Sullivan and their hidden funding sources workable- these guys don’t take a position that isn’t somehow tied to making money. There’s nothing wrong with that business model. What’s wrong, and what flies directly in the face of the ethics laws, is the steadfast refusal of Empower Texans, Agenda Wise and Michael Quinn Sullivan to be transparent in their funding. Because the funding is what drives their positioning-and their six figure salaries. And members need to know the source of their funding if they are going to associate with them.

Per your requests I am currently working on liquor, gaming, pay day loans, craft beer, water, pensions, Port of Houston and Texans for Lawsuit Reform. Please email, tweet, or comment with any additional requests. More to come…

 

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