What a Difference a Week Makes…

A week ago, Wallace Hall leaked a confidential copy of the Kroll report on admissions practices at the University of Texas to Tim Dunn’s lobbyist, Mike Sullivan. Dunn, having received hundreds of thousands in dark money contributions from Hall, dutifully had Mike Sullivan start spinning the message Dunn and Hall wanted regarding the report. As usual, the version spun on behalf of Hall was incorrect, so bad that even Regent Hall himself wouldn’t comment on it.

Those of my readers who have taken the time to study the now-public report know that it vindicates President Powers and reveals that Hall’s personal vendetta against President Powers and UT is wholly without merit. Furthermore, it was revealed that members of the Board of Regents, including Hall, attempted to exert influence on the admission of underperforming applicants. Some have suggested that it was Hall’s inability to get one of these applicants admitted that started his private war on Powers.

But here is what I find interesting:

In a week since the Kroll report was made public, Dunn and his operation have published, by my count, 220 statements on their various Dunn-owned and operated publications. Over 30 articles, posts, tweets and utterances a day on behalf of their millionaire benefactor, Wallace Hall.

Yet in the 2 weeks since Tim Dunn put out an article referring to women in politics as “whores”, none of his operations, spokesmen, lobbyists, attorneys or buddies like Wallace Hall or Jeff Sanderfer have said, written or posted one word condemning the reference or rebuking Tim Dunn for his organization’s public demeaning of women.

We have brought to light, on numerous occasions, the fact that Dunn and Mike Sullivan seek out opportunities to campaign against female candidates and keep them from serving in office. They have no problem supporting candidates with questionable opinions about women and their role in today’s society.

Just seems to be very interesting that Mike and Dunn have found ample resources to activate their machine to defend dark money donor Hall, but haven’t lifted a finger to back away from their contention that all women in politics are whores. Nor have any of the members that are in Dunn’s pocket publically disputing the assertion by Dunn and Sullivan that women who dare to leave the home and work in politics are whores. I wonder how ladies on their team like JoAnn Fleming, Alice Linahan, Arlene Wolhgemuth, Peggy Venable, and Cathie Adams feel about this?

It’s easy to see why Dunn and Sullian have so many media mouthpieces to spew this kind of cave man mentality. What’s hard to understand is the silence by their friends.

On the Job Training

Let’s hope that new Attorney General Ken Paxton’s major fumble on the Travis County gay marriage matter was just a symptom of on the job training and not indicative of his legal acumen. Many of us that voted for him were aware that he had little practical legal experience. But I and others supported him feeling he would overcome this shortcoming by hiring bright legal minds, keeping Abbott folks in the operation, or even heavily relying on Abbott himself.

But his first foray into defending the state laws and constitution was a major fail.
Abbott and his team would have been all over Judge Herman’s ruling as soon as it occurred. Paxton, by waiting ( inexplicably ) to petition the state Supreme Court, gave the LGBT community the opening they needed, they took it, and now the state is mired in controversy over the issuance and use of a legally valid marriage license issued to a gay couple.

Paxton and team then respond, belatedly, with a flurry of filings all over the place, none of which have any effect on the matter at hand.

This would have never happened under Abbott. And probably wouldn’t have happened under the leadership of more moderate, but much more seasoned, Dan Branch.

With the state under constant assault by the federal government, we taxpayers don’t have time to pay for on the job training for our new AG. Paxton needs to step up his game or bring in able lawyers to make up for his deficiencies. Or pick up the phone and ask Abbott.

Dunn and His Cronies Win One… Finally

After years of various agencies and courts kicking in the teeth of the Tim Dunn “stellar” legal team, Dunn finally won one round. Everyone reading this by now has read numerous versions of the interpretation of the Denton County ruling vindicating the decision of Dunn lobbyist Mike Sullivan to stop registering as a lobbyist, despite having done so for years and doing the exact same thing now as he did when properly registered. I don’t disagree with Dunn not having to register his various lobbyists with the state. Everybody knows what Mike and his boys do is lobbying and they are easy to track.

The question really is: what is Dunn hiding? Companies and individuals with much more complex operations than Dunn and his state-supported oil company and charter school operations choose to comply with the law and disclose what they are doing. These are folks that could eat Dunn for breakfast, business-wise, and never miss a beat. What is it that is so important for him to hide that he has to pay millions to a subpar law firm to defend an employee that had wasted millions more of his dollars on ineffective lobbying and campaigns? He even had his employee “move” back home to his parents in another county to get into the court of an obviously biased judge to get the desired ruling. Most legal experts expect the judge to be reversed on review, but even so, it gives Dunn a temporary, and rare, victory in his continual search to avoid complying with the laws of the state.

It’s apparent that it is critical to Dunn that he hide the money he is paying his lobby team. Is he also hiding his payments to various members of the legislature? Hiding questionable sources of funding for his operations? Hiding the campaign collaboration between his various units like TPPF and Empower Texans, some of which is illegal under federal law if discovered?

We know it isn’t about free speech, because Dunn and his mouthpieces and operations openly weigh in on everything from tax reform to their belief that women involved in politics are “whores”. Speech doesn’t get much freer than that. Dunn hides behind his supposed Christian beliefs to justify manufacturing and promoting outright lies against those that dare defy him, or just because he doesn’t like them for political, religious or any other reason. Looks like free speech to me.

No, Dunn and Mike are hiding something and really, really, really don’t want anyone to find out what it is. Eventually they will have to disclose this information and then whatever it is will finish them off. They aren’t much of a factor now in Austin anyway. Mike used the announcement of his victory in Denton County to immediately ask people to send him money, a constant theme in all his missives. Perhaps it is of the nature of the Marcus Hiles operations, the disgraced domestic abuser whose disclosure of his activities led to a scramble by Governor Abbott and Lt. Governor Patrick to disgorge themselves of his hefty contributions.

One thing in all this is certain: Dunn and his cronies sure don’t want anyone to see what’s behind the curtain. And for a man whose entities all clamor for transparency and disclosure, he sure doesn’t want any light shined on him or his operations.