8 Days a Week – The last big round of reports show some fireworks.

Well here we go… the home stretch is upon us and the 8-day reports are out. This is the last time for all the spectators to predict and prognosticate.

What have we learned?

Empower Texans is starting to tick someone people off— 

Check out this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8aqnIY00uxs.  It seems that this video actually angered Michael Quinn Sullivan. Not surprisingly, he wrote an unusually long, rambling and grammatically incorrect post about it. I do find it a little ironic that I only found out about this attack video because they posted it on their site. http://www.empowertexans.com/features/why-we-fight/ And once again they make totally obnoxious comparisons to them being military and like the NAACP fighting for civil rights. I bet Mr. Sullivan’s grandfather would be ashamed…

Accountability First is Linked to Empower Texans–  

Anyone who thought that Accountability First was operating separately from Empower Texans/ Texans for Fiscal Responsibility had bad Tuesday. The corporate arm of Empower Texans used their unknown pool of corporate dollars to funnel $145,504.86 to Local Voice Solutions for phone banking.

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That seems like a lot of money and based on Local Voice Solutions Scope of Services, they don’t appear to be a call center. As promised I have finally put my hands on a copy of the Local Voice Solutions Service Plans and Campaign Services Agreement. It is long but an interesting read.

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It is pretty apparent that these guys want to do more than dabble in some local bond elections. And now we know they are working to utilize Empower Texans corporate “dark money”. Scary stuff… 

Don Huffines just might beat Carona—

I’ve been hearing the numbers are all over the place, but Carona may have finally stepped in a fight he can’t win. Empower Texans are neck deep in this race and have started utilizing the Houston-style “Pay-to-Play” model with various DFW conservative slate cards. I would hate to see Empower Texans buy another Senator but it is not looking good for Mr. Carona.

Harvey Hilderbran sneaks up and takes down Glenn Hegar— 

The oil and gas message is finally starting to kill Glenn Hegar. Glenn Hegar is on the record opposing oil and gas production in the Houston Area because the water needed to frack wells takes away water supplies for rice farming. While I applaud the Ag based message that Glenn Hegar is using, that dog doesn’t hunt in Texas. Harvey Hilderbran has run a real campaign and made his way back and forth across the state reminding voters what the largest revenue source is for the State (and it isn’t rice farming). I expect to see Harvey Hilderbran on top next Tuesday.

James Leininger is back in action.— 

I’ve been told he is giving money to Tea Party groups to help promote scorecards in Dallas and Tarrant County. Upon further inspection, James gave $75,000 to Dallas/ Fort Worth Conservative Voters PAC. Based on their endorsement list, I think this is a new arm of Empower Texans.

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Stay Tuned

Accountability First Liberty Pledge Establishes Ultimate Control

Bob Garrett wrote an interesting story in the Dallas Morning news about a new political group that is trying to unseat incumbents and promote more “liberty minded” candidates in open seats. The group is very similar to the Michael Quinn Sullivan clown show with complete with Trey Trainer serving as the new group’s treasurer. One particularly interesting and disturbing part of the story was regarding a “pledge” all supported candidates were required to sign…

liberty-pledge

Accountability First has asked House hopefuls to sign a six-point “Liberty Protection Pledge.” Its provisions include opposition to tax increases, support for a tighter state spending cap, backing of private property rights and a pledge to disclose conflicts of interest.

Signers vow that if they violate the pledge, they won’t seek re-election. It is not legally binding, but a violation would probably be politically damaging in a future GOP primary.

James Jones said he didn’t intend for the pledge to become public. He said he devised it as a tool “to make sure the PAC and the candidates are on the same page.” 

I can certainly understand why Mr. Jones did not want this document to go public. The document pictured above clearly states that if the candidates they support do not cast votes that are in lock step with Accountably First, they will not run for reelection. Why would anyone vote for a candidate that has sold their soul to a group of multimillionaire businessmen that have little to nothing in common with average Republican voter? Furthermore, if this group does not expect to use this pledge as legally binding document, why does it need to be witnessed? There have been rumblings about candidates who violate the pledge will be required to reimburse Accountability First for fair market value of all services provided by Local Voice Solutions. I am currently tracking down a copy of the Local Voice Solutions agreement and will post it when I get my hands on it.

My understanding is that Accountability First only “owns” candidates who are receiving in-kind contributions of Local Voice Solutions or multiple monetary contributions. That leads me to believe Accountability First owns:

Rep. Matt Scheafer

Rep. Stephanie Klick

Matt Beebe running against Speaker Straus

Jared Patterson running against  Rep. Chen Button

Bobby Vickery running against Rep. Cook

Read King running against Rep. Crownover

Timothy Delasandro running against Rep. Kacal

Cullen Crisp running against Rep. Keffer

Isaac Castro running against Rep. Susan King

Tony Tinderholt running against Rep. Diane Patrick

Matt Rinaldi running against Rep. Ratliff

Danny Pelton running against Rep. JD Sheffield

Molly White running against Rep. Ralph Sheffield

Court Alley in the seat vacated by Dan Branch

Justin Perryman in the seat vacated by Bill Callegari

Ted Seago in the seat vacated by Brandon Creighton

Wayne Faircloth in the seat vacated by Craig Eiland

Karen Harris in the seat vacated by Harvey Hilderbran

Phillip Eby in seat vacated by Robert Orr

TJ Fabby in seat vacated by Jim Pitts

Mark Keogh in seat vacated by Steve Toth.

I will update this blog as I get my hands on more information…

Mr. Stickland Has Some Explaining to Do…

As I mentioned in my previous posts, it is nice to have good friends that point out the little things that non-professionals like myself miss when looking at campaign reports. We have all heard, read, experienced that Jonathan Stickland wants NOTHING to do with Austin, Austin Lobby or its money. Empower Texans has persecuted the gentleman who is running against the pest control expert/ oil and gas savant for entering Travis County. So with all of the hoopla over the exterminator and his pledge to only take money from a few mega-millionaires (Dunn, Sandefer, Gore) his 2013- 2014 reports wouldn’t have a drop of lobby or PAC money, right???

WRONG!!

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And the hypocracy continues…

Corporate Dollar Criminals

I hate to admit but I look forward to ethics reporting days during campaign season. I have begrudgingly spent most of my day reviewing reports that were posted online today.  Sadly this has nothing to do with my real job so I hope my advertising clients didn’t notice. Instead of simply looking to see how much MORE money Tim Dunn dumped in to Empower Texans/ MQS kids college fund, I had a couple of specifics I was looking for…

Recently my inbox has been blown up with MQS complaining about everyone who doesn’t follow his legislative slate card. I continued to hit delete as usual. Thankfully I pay a little more attention to my text messages. A good friend of mine from the Governor’s office pointed out that our buddies over at Empower Texans/ Texans for Fiscal Responsibility have become a little sloppy with their use of corporate dollars this campaign cycle. Everyone knows that Empower Texans PAC and Texans for Fiscal Responsibility are the same person using 2 separate bank accounts. Well this cycle MQS has given his email list to campaigns to use to promote their own campaign announcements and fundraising. As long as those email lists are the property of Empower Texans PAC and properly reported as a contribution from ET PAC to the campaign on the candidates report, all good. Now this is going to come as a SHOCK but there is NO RECORD of any contribution ANYWHERE. That leads us to believe based on lawsuits, lawsuits and the constant use of said email list for a Texans for Fiscal Responsibility (corporate dollars, not PAC dollars) emails that this list is a corporate asset. This is a big problem and FELONY for 2 reasons…

1.  If TFR (corporate dollars, not PAC dollars) is giving their email lists to campaigns or allowing campaigns to utilize their email lists, that is an improper corporate campaign contribution. I have seen PROOF that candidates are using TFR email lists. All you candidates out there who have used TFR lists, you just received corporate dollars… FELONY!!

2.  TFR (corporate dollars, not PAC dollars) have posted nasty websites, sent scorecards and bought Facebook ads to slam the candidates running against the candidates MQS endorsed and allowed to use their email lists. So… explain to me how one can make a case that independent expenditures are being made in these races using corporate dollars on websites/ ads/ direct mail when coordination clearly occurred to allow them to use the email list??? FELONY!!!

The sad part is MQS/ Tim Dunn do not care about the individuals that are being put in jeopardy by their fast and loose game to buy seats in the Texas House. I guess when you make a deal with the devil… At some point this has to be stopped. Public Integrity Unit where are you???