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Similar to the familiar statement above that we all receive when we make our online purchases, Tim Dunn has had his operation put out an online statement for Wallace Hall Jr. In his latest post, Mike Sullivan, right on cue, defends the potentially illegal actions of Wallace Hall Jr. as a UT Regent. No doubt this comes as a result of one of Tim Dunn’s myriad enterprises receiving another undisclosed cash infusion from Wallace Hall Jr., or someone like Jeff Sandefer on his behalf.

By the way, this defense of Wallace Hall Jr. has revealed yet another Tim Dunn enterprise: American Spectator. Never having weighed in on Texas higher education matters, or really anything else, this blog has now appeared parroting the writings of Texas Public Policy Foundation, Agenda Wise and Empower Texans. It works like this: one of these Tim Dunn subsidiaries will post some opinion the others will post similar pieces referring back to the original post. This all culminates in the original referring to the final post as verification by a third party. Quite an “echo chamber “Mr. Dunn has bought and controls through his various operations.

It’s really no surprise that Mike Sullivan would defend Wallace Hall Jr. In addition to undisclosed monetary support, which neither Mr. Hall nor Mr. Dunn have refuted, Mr. Dunn and Mike also share a disregard for the rule of law. While under multiple investigations by the Texas Ethics Commission, Mr. Dunn also challenges the very existence and authority of the Commission. Through his multiple “echo chamber“vehicles he loudly proclaims that the laws that apply to everyone else in the state do not apply to him or his lobbyists. Much the same as Wallace Hall Jr.

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Paperwork is Important

A search in March of their franchise tax status showed Empower Texans Foundation’s right to transact business in Texas had been involuntarily ended.

Are Empower Texans getting lax on their paper work or is something bigger in store? Are they shutting down the Foundation? Say it ain’t so, Mike…

ET-foundation-status

It appears they have now fixed the issue for now, but they have moved to a new location on Guadalupe Street.  Are they expanding?  I guess as their bureaucracy grows they will need more space.

https://mycpa.cpa.state.tx.us/coa/servlet/cpa.app.coa.CoaGetTp?Pg=tpid&Search_Nm=empower%20texans%20&Button=search&Search_ID=32040929054

Primary Thoughts

After a month of sorting through various email reports from my good friends in and around the Austin political scene, I have some observations and reports:

What did we learn from the results of the primaries?   Seems like Republicans have the momentum going into November.   I have some people telling me about this underground machine that Wendy Davis is running on the ground, but I haven’t seen anything out of that camp that makes me think she will mount a serious challenge to Abbott.   The only machine in the Governor’s race seems to be the one printing money to make sure Abbott wins.   

Tim Dunn and Company, along with his new partners in the Jeff Sandefer world, have been spending large sums this primary season with mixed results.  In the statewide races they faired pretty well.  They blessed Sen. Dan Patrick for Lieutenant Governor; Sen. Ken Paxton for Attorney General; Sen. Glenn Hegar for Comptroller; and, Sid Miller for Agricultural Commissioner.   Hegar won, and it looks like Paxton, Patrick and Miller are all the favorites to win their runoffs.

In the Senate, they helped to protect Sen. Donna Campbell from her challengers.  They could not defeat Sen. Kel Seliger, but they took down Sen. John Carona and installed Don Huffines (although I wonder how they are feeling about his willingness to cozy up to the “Establishment” so quickly).  They have spent heavily trying to defeat Sen. Bob Deuell, but I keep hearing that he will hang on against Bob Hall.  

In the House races, they weren’t nearly as successful.

Dunn/Sandefer went to 34 House districts last fall recruiting candidates to run against incumbents. This recruiting trip occurred after their “report cards” were mailed into these districts. Out of those 34, they claimed they recruited 17 challenger candidates. That puts the success rate for Dunn Co. at 50% for House races.  They then dumped nearly $3 million into these 17 House seats. (Due to their interpretation of reporting rules, it’s hard to track Dunn Co. numbers down.  Since printers and media types are amazingly willing to visit about their large projects, this is the known amount.)  The vast majority of this spending was focused on defeating Rep. Jim Keffer, Rep. JD Sheffield and Rep. Angie Chen Button, which Dunn Co lost handily.   They also spent big in their failed efforts to defeat Rep. Sarah Davis and Rep. Myra Crownover.  

Dunn/Sandefer were the main funding sources in two incumbent losses: Rep. Diane Patrick and Rep. Bennett Ratliff. It’s not surprising that they focused their attention on these two supporters of public education. Dunn and Sandefer make large sums of income from their state-subsidized charter school operations.  This brings the win number for Dunn Co/Sandefer to 5.9% in House races. If you want to be generous and take it as a percentage of the seats they had challengers in, you could double this to 11.8%. That is a pitiful number, particularly when you have unlimited millions to spend and a self-proclaimed conservative grassroots program.

At that rate, Dunn and Sandefer would be justified to fire everyone from campaign consultant Luke Macias on down through mouthpieces Michael Quinn Sullivan and the almost bloggers at AgendaWise. Their other subsidiary venture, Texas Public Policy Foundation, could probably use a scrubbing as well, since it was their unsupportable non-substantive analysis of legislation that was used as mail fodder by Dunn Co in the races.

But perhaps, being inherited wealth oil guys, a win rate below that of wildcat wells is acceptable to them.

Legal Beagle

Tony McDonald, baby lawyer for Tim Dunn and other undisclosed cronies, wrote about his interpretation of the legal wrangling at the Texas Ethics Commission by Tim Dunn. To review, Tim Dunn’s operations (which are the sole employer of Tony McDonald) are under state investigation for numerous ethics violations. The common theme in all of these complaints is a refusal by Tim Dunn’s operations to even attempt to comply with the disclosure of transparency laws that apply to all 26 million Texans. Ridiculous, I know.

But let’s review a few other issues that illustrate the old “the rules of law and nature don’t apply to us” involving Tim Dunn and his band of merry men:

– Trey Trainor, another baby lawyer of Tim Dunn’s, is reportedly subject to State Bar review for attempting to issue a subpoena in the name of a state agency;
– Joe Nixon, making a fortune off of Tim Dunn, asserts in his lawsuit against a state agency, the Texas Ethics Commission, that it isn’t really a state agency, even though he is suing them as a state agency. Huh? (Go read the file in Judge Spark’s court. Take a peek. Priceless.)
– Mike Sullivan lands Jeff Sandefer and Wallace Hall Jr. as undisclosed corporate donors then spins that these new donors shouldn’t comply with statutes related to disclosure;
– Texas Public Policy Foundation, another Dunn subsidiary, involves itself with campaigns against incumbents by putting out indefensible “policy” gibberish that Dunn’s other operations (2 dark money operations) Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, then uses in a coordinated manner. Interesting interpretations of IRS rules.

I could go on and will as we are given additional information, but you get the drift.

But I must say, it’s interesting reading the insightful legal and political explanations by lawyer McDonald that are based on his vast 18 months of experience as a lawyer and a low-level staffer for a House freshman. Enlightening.

Temper Tantrum

So it was announced that Tim Dunn and Company has settled its case with Murphy Turner in San Antonio.

Dunn secured what looks, kinda sorta, like an apology letter from Murphy Turner for using a PAC name similar to the one Tim Dunn uses to dispense his state tax-break substituted largesse to the drones selected by Mr. Dunn, Jeff Sandefer, Monty Bennett, Wallace Hall and the Jones boys in their star chamber in East Austin.

I was curious as to why, all of the sudden, Tim Dunn decided to put a trademark symbol on some of his operations. I say “some”, because he has yet to put this public ownership stamp on his other projects, Texas Public Policy Foundation, the Liberty Institute and the Morrison Report.

I guess this settlement shows why. Dunn wants to be sure he protects the “value” of his various intertwined operations for the 82 people in the state that recognize the names.

As others and I have reported, attending of the San Antonio hearings was quite a spectacle. Dunn was usually lawyered up with 3 or more folks, billing at a cumulative rate of about $2,000 an hour. Usually Nixon and Trainor got poured out; often they were sanctioned. Bored on the last time I drifted down there for a viewing I took the time to look through the file. My attorney friend that went with me figured that Dunn was well into a million dollar legal bill. And that was when I went in January. All that for an apology letter?

And they’re proud to trademark “Texans for Fiscal Responsibility℠”? Really?