Militant Mike: Michael Quinn Sullivan Exploits Fallen Heroes While Going AWOL Supporting Our Troops

It really bothers me when people exploit the military or their religion for personal gain.  Michael Quinn Sullivan appears to be okay with drawing a parallel between his work, and the sacrifices some of our bravest men and women have made throughout our history.   Too often, we use military rhetoric to describe politics and this time MQS has gone too far.

Apparently, MQS has decided that his legal troubles are akin to the Battle of the Bulge, where the U.S. suffered immense casualties and nearly 20,000 servicemen lost their lives.   In an appalling move, he alluded to the horrific battle in a letter to his supporters updating them on his ethics violations.

These antics should not be tolerated. There is no reason to evoke the grave circumstances and situations we faced during World War II to make a political point, let alone to describe your own advocacy as somehow being anywhere close to equivalent with a military battle.

MQS also apparently has a problem supporting veterans: he endorsed radio talk show host Sen. Dan Patrick over veteran Land Commissioner Jerry Paterson; he lambasted Rep. Kenneth Sheets, a Marine, for daring to waiver from complete adherence to the Empower Texans agenda; he is working against Naval officer Rep. Rick Miller; and he is supporting candidates running against Captain Sam Brown in HD 102 and decorated Navy fighter pilot Jake Ellzey in HD 10.

It has been said that MQS left the Texas State Guard last year for unexplained reasons. Is that what is behind the attack on returning vets who run for office? Is it because these folks are self-starters and independent thinkers that don’t blindly support his agenda? Or does he just have a problem with vets?

Or maybe his backers have a problem with vets?  Is Tim Dunn against the military?  Perhaps they don’t care for core military values like honor and loyalty, as evidenced by the way they manipulate their “scoring system” each session to justify attacking folks they supported just a year earlier.  We have seen Elizabeth Graham and her pro-life group speak out against some of these same veterans.  In fact, the Life, Liberty and Property tour by Empower Texans is seemingly being run by folks who have never stood in harms way, yet are attacking those who are sworn to defend our life, liberty and property.  Outside of MQS and his time with the State Guard, we can’t seem to find records of anyone working for AgendaWise or EmpowerTexans with any military experience.

In the Battle of the Bulge, Hitler built up his military in a last ditch effort to turn the tide in his favor.   German blitzkriegs inflicted massive damage, but the Allied armies were able to endure and ultimately defeat the Nazis. MQS means to paint himself as one of those brave warriors in the forest, holding the line against the forces of tyranny. From a different vantage you could argue that MQS is using the same type of vitriolic, emotional rhetoric that helped Hitler gain power, and he and his wealthy donors look more like the Axis powers trying to mount an all-out assault against the mainstream conservatism that currently governs Texas.

Empower Texans Dunn

Bob Garret was kind enough to point out what I was planning to predict about the latest Empower Texans ethics report…it’s all about Dunn.

The report shows that Dunn is 99.98% of the contributions to the Empower Texans “grassroots” organization. While Dunn has always been the major funding sources behind this entity, it used to have at least a few small donors that MQS duped into contributing. But that has never been very many and has been steadily on the decline. From 2007-2010, they averaged about 180 small dollar donations (less than $100) per year. In the last 3 years, they only average about 25 small dollar donations per year.

This explains why Michael Quinn Sullivan and Tim Dunn decided last cycle to go totally hypocritical, and refuse to disclose donors and accept and use hidden corporate dollars. Those moves found led their group to be investigated by the Texas Ethics Commission. The fact that true grassroots, ordinary citizens had quit supporting the group, and that they had become a pay-to-play entity, made them have to go this route. But they could only hide their deception for so long. While still accepting hidden money from corporate donors, they had to file a report on Empower Texans that showed it is purely a Dunn operation. No grassroots. No “1836” donors despite a yearlong campaign by MQS shamelessly begging every email and post. Not one dollar from the “grassroots” so alarmed by the Texas Ethics Commission having the audacity to make MQS and Mr. Dunn follow the law. Nada. Zero. Zip. Read the report.

Empower Texans is a shell entity that does the bidding of its owner, Tim Dunn. While masquerading as a grassroots, liberty loving, small government group, Mr. Dunn makes millions off of the state dollars that flow to his lucrative charter school operations that gainfully employ his kids. He also doesn’t hesitate to pocket the substantial tax credits that flow to his oil company. While his lapdog MQS is railing about “rent-seeker” and “cronyism” in Austin, he is working for one of the most inside players in the state.

One only has to look at the Texas Public Policy Foundation event last week to see this. There were wall to wall politicians, corporate folks and lobbyists, and Mr. Dunn running to and fro to at the event cuddled up to all three groups. These are the folks that we at the Capitol work with and deal with daily, and that mouthpiece MQS attacks daily as being the bane of society. Yet there his owner is, hosting an event with his money, given by an entity that he started and runs, attended by the very people he claims to detest. For a man in so much angst over the ruin these people have made of Texas (according to him) he sure looked very happy, cozy and at home with the same folks.

A funny thing got reported to me over the weekend. A few of the Agenda Wise kids were out sampling adult beverages past their bedtime and got to yapping as they often do. Usually their yammering is too boring to report on, but this was interesting. They offered up as to how Coach Ditka was never going to appear at TPPF this week. Whether he was never invited or was conveniently made unavailable by the largesse of TPPF owner Dunn wasn’t reported. Turns out the report is that the whole plan was coordinated to give Scott Turner an audience and a venue to announce his run for Speaker.

What do you think all those corporate donors to TPPF are thinking about now? The ones that underwrote the Dunn event that was intended to roll out the Dunn recruited candidate to challenge the Speaker, and many incumbents, that these business entities claim to support? Take a look at who is supporting the operation that is coordinating the direct challenge to the sitting Speaker, Lieutenant Governor, and House and Senate chairmen and members.

TPPF has never been a think tank. Ask any real think tank anywhere in the country and they won’t even know who they are. It’s a charade and plaything for Tim Dunn, to give him credibility and attention that he craves. And to give him access to politicians and corporate money to be the ultimate insider, while he acts like the humble funder of a grassroots organization. And underwritten by the very people that MQS and Dunn attack daily. When will the donors to TPPF wake up?

At least the Koch Brothers operation had two people funding theirs.

Typo Tony

Tony McDonald, J.D., has worn many hats during his recent rise in the political arena.   As Senior Vice Chairman for the Young Conservatives of Texas (the same group whose antics last fall Attorney General Abbott denounced as “repugnant”), Mr. McDonald became a faithful foot soldier for Empower Texans, using the YCT brand to back Empower Texans approved candidates.  His loyalty landed him a gig serving as chief of staff to Rep. Jonathan Stickland, where he gained notoriety for his bigoted blog postings about bringing back literacy tests for elections.  Now, the self-proclaimed Lutheran mixologist, and new baby lawyer for Michael Quinn Sullivan, EmpowerTexans, AgendaWise et al., has taken it upon himself to be the monitor of campaign content and typos.


In his most recent rant on the Empower Texans site (soon to be rerun on their AgendaWise site), McDonald, like an elementary school teacher who just pulled out the red marker, wrote at considerable length about typos on several campaign websites.  They say it takes one to know one, and sure enough, you can find some errors right in lawyer McDonald’s backyard. 

In this recent AgendaWise post, they couldn’t even get the spelling right in the bold and capitalized text in the title of their post.


Additionally, even closer to home, the campaign banner of former (we are led to believe) boss Rep. Stickland has a major misspelling. Stickland  At how many events was that banner used? Either lawyer McDonald or consultant Luke Macias weren’t doing their best editing the day they printed this. Or perhaps they were.

The EmpowerTexans team seems to have a history of inaccuracies.   From filing ethics reports that needed correcting or misattributing sources.  Even McDonald’s boss, Quinn Sullivan, had to recently send out an email correcting an error in his blog post.

Lawyer McDonald’s attention to detail is apparently not lacking in just the spell check department.  As a legal practitioner, he is running about 0 for 5 in his recent lawsuits against the state.  One has to assume that Tim Dunn, Brent Sandefer and Wallace Hall Jr. could afford a better attorney, if not a grammarian, for their pet projects.  With their combined wealth, they could easily afford an army of lawyers and spelling bee champs. 

Typo Tony already cost his backers a good chunk on failed legal maneuvering. Looks like they may also continue to absorb reprint costs.   If he wants to rid political campaigns of misspelled words, proof reading his own work would be a great start.