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.


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