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  • admin

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    Subject: Conservative Republicans of Texas Treasurer Request for Information
    From: info@refpac.org
    Date: Tue, Jan 14, 2014 11:06 am
    To: HAnnah.hamilton@gophq.com
    Dear Ms. Hamilton,
    We (Referee PAC) received a request from a voter in the area covered by a recent Conservative Republicans of Texas mailer (see link below). The voter would like us to peruse the reference source materials on which the claims within the mailer are based. Since this is relative to an election coming soon and the mailer was recently distributed, we assume that Mr. Bart Standley (and associates) have all these references ready at hand. Due to the sheer size of candidates/office holders involved, he (they) can take the weekend assembling a package. We would like to receive this package by the end of the business day on Tuesday (January 21, 2014) to evaluate the contents.

    Thank you for receiving this message on Mr. Standley’s behalf (as we discussed on the phone), and we look forward to hearing from Mr. Standley soon.
    Sincerely,
    Elizabeth Jensen, PhD, PE
    Referee PAC, Treasurer
    (832) 279-3619

    Conservative Republicans of Texas mailer link: https://refpac.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/photo.pdf

    Copyright © 2003-2014. All rights reserved.

  • admin

    No response was received. Mr. Standley, the state Ethics Commission’s point of contact for “Conservative Republicans of Texas” PAC, was posted on the “Wall of Shame” for the PACs failing to verify the material published in the mailer. A certified letter (tracking #70132630000089275223) was mailed to Mr. Standley advising him of this decision with the request that he contact us if he would like to appeal.

    https://refpac.org/?page_id=6

  • admin

    U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 113th Congress – 1st Session
    as compiled through Senate LIS by the Senate Bill Clerk under the direction of the Secretary of the Senate
    Vote Summary
    Question: On Passage of the Bill (H.R. 933 As Amended )
    Vote Number: 44 Vote Date: March 20, 2013, 04:29 PM
    Required For Majority: 1/2 Vote Result: Bill Passed
    Measure Number: H.R. 933 (Department of Defense, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013 )
    Measure Title: Amend the title to read: “An Act making consolidated appropriations and further continuing appropriations for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2013.”
    Vote Counts: YEAs 73
    NAYs 26
    Not Voting 1

  • admin

    U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 113th Congress – 1st Session
    as compiled through Senate LIS by the Senate Bill Clerk under the direction of the Secretary of the Senate
    Vote Summary
    Question: On the Cloture Motion (Motion to Invoke Cloture on H.J. Res. 59 )
    Vote Number: 206 Vote Date: September 27, 2013, 12:29 PM
    Required For Majority: 3/5 Vote Result: Cloture Motion Agreed to
    Vote Counts: YEAs 79
    NAYs 19
    Not Voting 2

  • admin

    U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 113th Congress – 2nd Session
    as compiled through Senate LIS by the Senate Bill Clerk under the direction of the Secretary of the Senate
    Vote Summary
    Question: On the Cloture Motion (Motion to Invoke Cloture on the Motion to Concur in the House Amendment to S.540 )
    Vote Number: 33 Vote Date: February 12, 2014, 01:55 PM
    Required For Majority: 3/5 Vote Result: Cloture Motion Agreed to
    Measure Number: S. 540
    Measure Title: An act to temporarily extend the public debt limit, and for other purposes.
    Vote Counts: YEAs 67
    NAYs 31
    Not Voting 2

  • Elizabeth Jensen

    The issues that I see here are:
    (1) The “factual sources” reference to “Obamacare” votes, #44 for “Department of Defense, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013” does not cover the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)
    (2) The “factual sources” reference to “Obamacare” votes, #206 for “Motion to Invoke Cloture on H.J. Res. 59” is not a vote _for_ a bill but rather a _time limit_ on the discussion of the bill
    (3) The reference to bill #33 for “Motion to Invoke Cloture on the Motion to Concur in the House Amendment to S.540” again is not a vote _for_ a bill but rather a _time limit_ on the discussion of the bill
    (4) I went through the entire Texas Monthly article and couldn’t find the quote attributed to Senator Cornyn that Senator Cruz needs to be “less confrontational”

  • David Mullinax Post author

    The cited references appear to have no relation to substantiating the text. His statements ARE misleading! Therefore, I motion “Aye.”

  • Tim Caplinger

    I’ve got to say ‘Aye’ as well. Initially, I didn’t see a problem with the ad at all, I wasn’t even thinking about checking references. However, after checking I was left wondering why the references cited had anything to do with Obamacare. Was there some small part of 44 or 206 that related to Obamacare that I just didn’t see? Could they have just made a typo? I might even go so far as to believe that if it wasn’t a mistake on both of the articles cited.

  • Tim Caplinger

    The only thing I find deliberately misleading about this attack ad is the date on the photo. I can’t quite consider this one a foul, though it is tempting. Mr. Kirkland really did have a DWI. That it was twenty years ago should make a difference in the eyes of any potential voters, but I don’t think how long ago the offense took place is the kind of mitigating circumstance someone running an attack ad should have to worry about providing. The date on the photo could be construed as misleading, but so far as I can tell, there are no out-right lies in the ad. It doesn’t exactly raise the level of discourse to resort to attacking someone on the basis of a twenty year old offense, and leaving the impression it might have taken place not so long ago, but it isn’t outright lying. It’s somewhat sneaky, to be sure, but I can’t quite give it a foul.

  • Elizabeth Jensen

    (1) The biggest issue here is the content in the ad quoted in the article:

    “It notes Kirkland’s ‘history of high-risk behavior that is likely to be repeated.’ A woman’s voice warns, ‘You or your child or family could be Steven Kirkland’s next victim.’”

    Here’s where I see the 20 years since the DUI offense being an important measure: “history of high-risk behavior that is likely to be repeated” is unsubstantiated. We can certainly contact the “Moving Texas Forward” PAC for an explanation, if any of the Referees request it.

    (2) On the photo date, I would beg to disagree on the harm (foul) relative to misleading materials. If a significant number of voters misinterpret the mailer and think that the offense occurred in 2012, then the mailer has misinformed voters _cheating_ them of the opportunity to make an informed vote. No doubt some would still prefer to vote for a candidate with a cleaner background, but (for myself) I don’t have a problem with voting for a leader who understand the pressures that lead to a colossal screw-up…as long as they admit that they made a mistake and try to fix it.

  • Elizabeth Jensen

    Another way to look at this, Tim, is imagine you’re working off of a scientific paper written like these ads. It’s not _technically_ wrong, just misrepresented to give any casual reader the wrong impression. How would you feel?

  • Tim Caplinger

    I can absolutely see that. It is definitely designed to give an impression that, after further research, would almost certainly be reversed. It probably says plenty about my views of politics that I walk into my view of political ads thinking that, best case, they’re “based on a true story.”
    I don’t know that the goal of such ads is even really to inform the public as much as it’s to win an election. If I did run across this kind of thing, and after further research I’d found it to be too awfully under-handed, I’ve got to say it would have precisely the opposite of its intended effect.

  • admin

    Note to observers:
    One of our Referees has been dealing with serious family medical problems since the end of February; we will resume this deliberation and vote as soon as we have a 3rd Referee available.

  • Tori Garibay

    Most of the thoughts I had on this article have already been brought up. One of my main concerns was that the absence of a date on the “case records”, accompanied by the inclusion of a much more recent date on the photograph, was intentionally misleading. As far as the radio advertisement is concerned, I don’t really think that two occurrences decades ago constitutes chronic drunk driving, but this can only be evaluated on an opinion basis. The claim that the offence is “likely to be repeated” is unsupported by the facts provided.

  • Tim Caplinger

    I’ll call for a second on this one, Liz. Can I go ahead and vote here? If I can, I’m voting not to consider it a foul. It’s perhaps a little shady, but not shady enough to me to consider it worthy of a formal foul.

  • Elizabeth Jensen

    I’m going to disagree, and vote for calling it a foul. The misrepresentation of information threatens to cheat a significant number of voters from making a decision based on the facts. I doubt many people will support a candidate with a recent DUI; however, many good candidates _now_ have had troubles that they had to overcome. Everyone involved in alleging that *he could be out there threatening your family right now* knows very well that’s a blatant lie, legally defined as “defamation”. Lying and misrepresenting data to voters is unethical free speech.

  • Tori Garibay

    Perhaps I underestimate the willingness of the typical audience member of these advertisements to fully investigate the facts the claims are based on, but I would call this a foul. I do think that the misrepresentation of the true situation surrounding the facts in these ads must have had an impact on the way some people voted.

  • David Mullinax Post author

    I have concluded that George Felming’s “Moving Texas Forward” PAC is not guilty of voter deception and therefore not worthy to grace our wall of shame due to the lack of evidence that the author of this article failed to provide. I agree with Tim that what Flemming did was sneaky and underhanded, and it is no suprise after learning of the ongoing fued based on a past court case in which Kirkland’s ruling (as judge) had cost Fleming and his firm $13 million. My problem with this article is lack of evidence and examples of previous smear campaigns orchestrated by Flemming, such as the “dirty campaign full of half-truths and innuendo” that cost Kirkland his last election. I am expected to just accept these accusations without further examples.

    I would have liked to have some specific examples on Fleming’s past. Also perhaps some links to some of the smear videos containing the date the photo was taken that was allegedly confused for Kirkland’s arrest date.

    I fail to see anything deceitful, only underhanded and sneaky as Tim points out. I therefore vote no foul.

  • admin

    Prior to voting, I had the opportunity to obtain the requested information (a copy of the mailer and a recording of the show). No referees requested the documentation under the assumption that the author of the article, Ms. Falkenberg of the Houston Chronicle, had done her work in documenting the material for her piece. (If not, journalists can be discredited.) There has been no dispute about the existence of the materials.

  • admin

    Reminder to all Referees:
    The MEASURE of a “Foul” is whether or not a significant number of voters would have selected a different candidate when provided accurate information.

  • David Mullinax Post author

    I’ll acknowledge your previous post clarifying the existence of the proper materials and the author’s integrity.

    So the question is, “was this information accurate?” I originally voted yes (no foul), even though this sneaky underhanded tactic was defended by Jordan who said on Fleming’s behalf that they are fully aware of the strategic placement of the date and a “DWI is a DWI” regardless of time. I felt that they did no wrong doing (legally) and that they were are not breaking any ethics rules, just creative in finding loopholes to go around it. But after further contemplation, I could see how this sneaky underhanded tactic is not fair and would have a significant impact on election results. Therefore, I am changing my vote to “foul.”

  • admin

    The “Aye’s” are greater than one standard deviation. The Referees find in favor of putting “Moving Texas Forward” PAC (Treasurer Lashonda Johnson) on the Wall-of-Shame.

  • admin

    Instructions for Referees:
    1) Feel free to request more information.
    2) The measure for a “foul” is whether or not a significant number of voters would have selected a different candidate if they had accurate information.

  • admin

    The NETCTP lists the following as their priorities:

    What We Believe
    Promoting constitutional governance in every precinct in our districts, one voter at a time.
    We believe in…
    Personal responsibility
    Fiscal responsibility
    Limited government
    Rule of law
    National sovereignty
    Traditional two-party system

  • Elizabeth Jensen

    The information above appears to indicate that the NETCTP used religious denomination to decide between two candidates while their organization makes no overt reference to religion, not to mention a specific denomination. An outside observer, such as a voter being handed a slate card from which to vote, will be unaware of the religious denomination portion of the candidate selection process even if they researched the organization prior to voting.

  • admin

    For estimating the effect on whether an overtly Baptist Tea Party would have affected the selection of candidates, here are two sources:
    1) white evangelicals (Baptists) support the tea party by 44% versus 30% of white mainline Protestants (Methodists) [http://www.pewforum.org/2011/02/23/tea-party-and-religion/]
    2) the distribution of these groups in the Tarrant County population is 36% Baptist versus 13% Methodist [http://www.city-data.com/county/religion/Tarrant-County-TX.html]

  • admin

    Can someone check my math?

    If X tea party supporters are voting, it consists of (P*.36*.44+P*.13*.30)f=X, where P is the voting population, and f is the turnout factor among Tea Party voters. If we include the other religions, Catholicism and other, the equation would become:
    X=P*f*(.36*.44+.13*.30+.22*.33+.29*.15)

    An openly Baptist Tea Party would only retain the first probability as responding to the slate cards with unconditional approval.

  • David Mullinax Post author

    Accurate information was missing on the slate card by simply listing names without explaining the reason (religious affiliation of both McCarty and 36% majority Baptist community of NE Tarrant County).

    We caught a glipse of McCarty’s reason on her Facebook page before the post was taken down, explaining how all Methodists are liberal and support “women pastors and gay worshipers” according to her post.

    The fact that she took down her post made it obvious that she might alienate other voters who might share her political views of…
    “Personal responsibility, Fiscal responsibility, Limited government, Rule of law, National sovereignty, Traditional two-party system”
    but yet may not necessarily share her views on religious affiliation. And seems obvious to me that she deliberately didn’t explain this to the voters.

    No reason at all on the slate card on candidate qualification. No drunk driving records, military service, voting background, etc. All that Don had on him was his religious affiliation and McCarty didn’t like it.

    I say foul.

  • Tim Caplinger

    I’m having a difficult time making up my mind about this one. On one hand, it’s obvious from McCarty’s Facebook post that she used religious affiliation as her deciding factor in casting her vote for Cook. (And her deleting it says to me that she realized this was a mistake.) On the other hand, despite it not being stated in the political views of NETCTP, religious affiliation may be implied. I can see where McCarty would want to appear religiously impartial under any official NETCTP letterhead, but privately, as in her own Facebook feed, may hold a completely different opinion. My real question comes down to this: How likely is her opinion to actually change anyone’s vote? Does anyone that’s a member of NETCTP not know that it’s implicitly a religious organization? Or at least that religion is part of its litmus test for political candidacy? Given her Facebook posts, I find it hard to believe that McCarty’s religion isn’t an obvious and important part of her life. Aren’t the people that follow her, at least in private, and if not in public, certainly going to know this?

    Personally, I think it’s a foul, and I’m willing to vote that way, but I very seriously doubt many voters would change their mind based on her organization’s opinion.

  • admin

    NETCTP distributes thousands of the slate cards to voters at the polls who are sympathetic but not members of NETCTP. As the equation above shows, a number of these voters will be from other religious denominations.

  • Tori Garibay

    This is definitely a tough one. Do we know what the selection process entails?
    Is the selection based solely on the president’s religious preferences, or are there other factors that influenced the decision? If there were multiple persons in charge of the decision, and other qualities that made Cook the favored candidate, then the personal reason revealed and then retracted by the president had less of an impact on the vote.

    Also, would many voters have changed their vote had religion remained listed as the deciding factor on McCarty’s Facebook page?

  • Elizabeth Jensen

    I’ve thought about Tori’s concerns. Here are two options:
    1) Their slate cards should have an explanation for how candidates judged (then we could inquire documentation that they actually followed their own guidelines should a complaint arise)
    2) I could sent a certified letter requesting all their documentation for how they picked the final candidates in he slate card.

    Which do you guys like better?

  • admin

    Update: the deadlines cannot apply in the particular race under discussion because it is not under competition anymore. There are no other parties nor write-ins in the race. The new deadline is being shifted to two weeks _after_ the election to allow the NETTP time to go through their records.

  • admin

    Note: the NETTP is failing to accept the certified letter. This will automatically default to its being placed on the Wall of Shame as this demonstrates that it fails to accept responsibility in receiving official communications regarding its operations affecting voters.

  • admin

    This PAC is irresponsible. The treasurer either does not live at the address provided to the Texas Ethics Commission or does not accept official mail correspondence relative to his/her duties.

  • Elizabeth Jensen

    I need to recuse myself from this discussion and vote. The “Texas Tea Party Patriots” PAC campaigned against me when I was running for the Lone Star College System Board of Trustees.

  • David Mullinax Post author

    Before I cast my vote, I understand this article is about whether or not the “Texas Tea Party Patriots” PAC have deceived voters and not about political corruption. I want to summarize the facts here and see if I am missing anything.

    As a recap, the commissioner’s court have potentially violated public integrity rules set forth in the Open Meetings Act, which applies to the Commissioner’s Court. There should be a full-scale public integrity investigation led by the district attorney and the Texas Department of Public Safety “Texas Rangers” to see if the commissioners have indeed violated the Open Meetings Act. This will also involve getting those phone records from the commissioners.

    The commissioners used private email accounts to conduct official business, thereby avoiding scrutiny, transparency, and oversight, and should have used the proper channels – a government/official e-mail account. I smell corruption here, and reminded of the Hillary Clinton Email controversy. I understand that private emails are subpoenable. So hopefully when the Attorney General Bret Ligon gets this Public Integrity investigation under way, we’ll know more about these back door deals.

    So a secret meeting took place on the 14th between these special interest groups and an agreement was reached and the court approved on it. So the commissioners were aware of the road bond plan “MOU” and was even brought up during the August 24th Commissioner’s meeting as a foot note but were not allowed to discuss because it wasn’t on the agenda.

    We’ll need more information which is dependent on the district attorney’s investigation (if we even have one).

    Did the court violate the Open Meetings Act?

    Bill O’Sullivan, the Texas Patriot PAC treasurer, sent to the private emails of the court members and the political consultant Marc Devenport that they should be aware of violating the open meetings act, known as the “Chain Quorum.” This would be something that the district attorney should investigate. Did the parties responsible openly admit they were violating the open meetings act? They had full knowledge that they were violating the law?

    Having those email chains and phone records will also help with the investigation, and the Texas Patriot PAC should get a subpoena to release them.

    Since the Open Meetings Act applies to the Commissioner’s Court, did Bill O’Sullivan and Marc Davenport break the law?

    Now for my decision as to whether or not the “Texas Tea Party Patriots” PAC have deceived voters. Did they publish a breakdown of the road bond plan “MOU” on their public website? I sure didn’t see anything other than “We research because you don’t have the time” which seems kind of condescending. It is as if I can trust them to make decisions for me without a public forum.

    I also looked around on their Facebook page. Found this page:
    http://www.texaspatriotspac.com/home/2015/8/26/memorandum-of-understanding

    Seems to break down how the money will be distributed between the precincts.

    So far, I cannot find that they have committed foul as far as deceiving the public. That doesn’t mean that they haven’t broken any laws with the Open Meetings Act, as we’ll hopefully see during a much needed investigation with this email and phone records.

  • Tim Caplinger

    Unless I’m missing something, and please tell me if I am, it would have been impossible for all of these people to have come to an amicable solution without having communicated in violation of The Open Meetings Act, right? Didn’t one person as much as admit to having spoken to the opposition and that they were ready to move forward, despite having to means of doing so that would not have been in violation of TOMA?

  • admin

    The Conroe Courier has more details on the consultant (the links above ARE for the correct individual):

    Davenport has become a well-known political consultant across the county with numerous politicians utilizing his services. In fact, according to campaign finance reports from Doyal and Riley, both have paid Davenport for “consulting” services as recently as May. On May 16, Doyal paid Davenport $10,000 for consulting expenses. He also paid $5,000 on May 17 to Stephanne Davenport, Davenport’s wife, for her campaign for county treasurer. According to Riley’s campaign reports, he paid Davenport $10,000 on May 14 along with $5,000 to Performance Marketing on the same day. The report shows the same mailing address for Davenport and Performance Marketing.
    Riley also contributed $2,500 to Stephanne Davenport’s campaign. Montgomery County Sheriff’s Capt. Rand Henderson, who is running against Montgomery Police Chief Jim Napolitano in next year’s election to replace retiring Sheriff Tommy Gage, also has been using Davenport as campaign manager. Henderson also could not be reached for comment.

    Judge candidate, ADA Grant cuts ties with political consultant Davenport amid Open Meetings Act investigation

  • Tori Garibay

    It is probable that the involved parties knew the details of the meeting more than 72 hrs in advance to insure their availability; it was very exacting to wait until the last moment to publish notification. It seems like they were treating the meeting as more of a formality after reaching an agreement previously. Aside from that this defeats the purpose of having an open meeting, if proved to be intentional, this is in definite violation of the spirit of the Open Meetings Act.

    However, I don’t really make any connection with misleading voters. Have we decided if this is still within the scope of our action?

  • admin

    The Bylaws for the PAC state that the purpose is “(1) Increased informed voter turnout, particularly in local elections and (2) Act as a referee by (a) determining an ethical violation has occurred in an attempt to deceive voters, (b) award support to the injured party to correct the misinformation, and (c) publish the details of the unethical behavior and who was responsible.”

  • Wilson

    In regard to certain members of the Texas Tea Party Patriots actions being unethical, I would submit the following:

    1. Due to the appearance of public opposition, a majority of the County Commissioners voted on July 14th against holding the proposed bond election. The TTPP was an active opponent to the bond election and generated significant opposition to the proposed bond election.

    2. Following the defeat of the proposed bond election, negotiations ensued between the TTPP and members of the Commissioners Court both directly and through representatives of the Court.

    3. Apparently a compromise was reached between the TTPP and the Commissioners Court, and the proposed bond election was approved by the Court on August 24.

    Disregarding the question of whether the Commissioners Court violated the Texas Open Meetings Act, and also disregarding the financial support provided to TTPP by certain members of County government, the more important questions are which party initiated the negotiations and why?

    If the Commissioners Court initiated the negotiations with TTPP in order to address their concerns, then the TTPP is simply responding to those overtures and acting ethically. Responsible elected officials should seek input from stakeholders in their communities (preferably before a decision is voted), and a desire for compromise in the name of progress should be applauded.

    However, if TTPP initiated the negotiations after successfully defeating the election proposal, then one must question the sincerity of their opposition to the bond election. If TTPP opposed the election proposal simply to gain future negotiating leverage with the Commissioners Court, then that dishonest behavior would be “an attempt to deceive voters” and therefore unethical.

    Outstanding questions:

    1. Was the TTPP sincere in their opposition to the proposed bond election?
    2. Was it the intention of certain members of the TTPP to oppose the election simply to gain leverage for a future bargain?
    3. Did the TTPP representatives have the approval of their members to negotiate with Commissioner Court?
    4. What did TTPP gain from their agreement with the Commissioners Court? (Priority for certain projects? Guarantee of certain contractors? A reduction in expenditures?)

    It would be interesting to know whether TTPP placed the MOU before their membership for a vote of approval. If so, the results of such a vote would help answer question #1.

    (Not germane to this complaint, but I wonder whether the Commissioners Court negotiated with any other groups in regard to the proposed bond election. Why TTPP and not another group?)

  • David Mullinax Post author

    Wilson, the Commissioners Court did negotiate with other groups.

    “A few others brought into the discussion included: Ken Vaughn, of the Montgomery County Tea Party; former District 15 state Rep. Steve Toth; and The Woodlands Township board member Gordy Bunch, according to O’Sullivan.”

    I’m leaning towards “no foul” or “not deceiving their voters” on the part of TTPP. They posted the details of the bond on their Facebook page so there was really no secret and they seemed open about it. The only question I have is what Wilson brings up. Did the members of their organization actually vote on it or was did Osullivan’s make the decision on his own?

  • David Mullinax Post author

    I can find no deliberate wrong doing on the part of TTPP, as they had posted the new bond information on their Facebook page and are not deliberately deceiving their supporters. I am ruling “no foul” since today is the deadline. I am curious, however, if the TTPP members had a vote on this bond, or if O’Sullivan went ahead and approved it without a vote.

    Since lack of new information, I am ruling “no foul.”

  • Wilson

    I agree that there is no evidence of deliberate wrong on the part of TTPP. There is certainly an appearance of impropriety, but no evidence to support any unethical activities at this time. I vote “No Foul”.

  • Tim Caplinger

    I’ve just got to vote no foul, but I really, really want to vote the other way. Damn my sense of objectivity. I sometimes wish I were more emotional and could just say “You know it was a shady as hell way to go about it, and you stayed –just barely– within the confines of the law, but you’re such a jerk, I voted against you anyway, because I don’t like you.” That isn’t my speed though.

  • admin

    The “Nay’s” are greater than one standard deviation. The Referees find against putting “Texas Tea Party Patriots” PAC (President Dr. Julie Turner) on the Wall-of-Shame.

  • Elizabeth Jensen

    I suggest we send a certified letter asking for clarification of the points above. Since early voting begins in a few days, we’ll have to insist on a quick turn-around from the campaign to explain the mailer. Does anyone have any other thoughts?

  • admin

    According to the mailer/website, the critical vote in the minutes was:
    Representative Cook moved to place the following measures:

    on the Major State Calendar for Tuesday, May 26, 2015: SB 575.

    The motion failed by the following record vote:

    Ayes: Representatives Hunter; Cook; Geren; Huberty; King, Ken; Larson; Price (7).

    Nays: Representatives Lucio III; Alonzo; Davis, Sarah; Harless; Johnson; Riddle; Rodriguez, Eddie (7).

    Present, Not Voting: None (0).

    Absent: Representative Giddings (1).

  • admin

    Called the number provided on the Texas Ethics Commission website (below) and was directed by the answering intern’s supervisor, Sara Kenny, to contact Jeff Yates at 832-545-7644. Left a message approximately an hour ago. The phone calls were recorded.

    https://www.ethics.state.tx.us/tedd/paclista.htm

    Conservative Republicans of Harris County Standley, Bart C.
    Account: 00028384 One Greenway Plaza, Ste. 225
    Acronym: CRHC Houston, TX 77046
    Committee Type: General Purpose (713) 526-3399
    Files Reports: Semi-Annually
    One Greenway Plaza, Ste. 225
    Houston, TX 77046
    (713) 526-3399
    Filing Status: Active
    Starting Date: 5/31/94
  • admin

    Begin forwarded message:

    From: Ed Hubbard
    Date: February 15, 2016 at 4:23:59 PM CST
    To: [deleted]
    Subject: HCRP Does Not Endorse in Primaries & Condemns ‘Pay-to-Play’ Slate Endorsements

    Harris County Republican Party
    [deleted] —

    We have received numerous inquiries asking if the Harris County Republican Party has endorsed candidates in the 2016 Republican Primary. The simple answer is NO: per its bylaws, the Harris County Republican Party does not endorse any candidate in contested Republican Primary elections.

    We have also heard concerns from voters and candidates about various endorsement “slates” that appear to be Party endorsements in the Primary. In response to these concerns, this is to reiterate the Party’s official policy condemning the practice of so-called “pay to play” endorsements.

    The Harris County Republican Executive Committee last year overwhelmingly resolved that use by endorsement “slates” of Republican symbols and the Republican name “confuses voters as to whether such endorsements constitute the official recommendations of the national, state, or county Republican parties” or their auxiliary organizations.

    ​Therefore, the Harris County Republican Party Executive Committee condemned all “pay-to-play” endorsements, by which “supposedly independent individuals, groups, or organizations request, solicit or require any fee, payment, or contribution as a condition of making or publicizing said endorsement.”

    The resolution was adopted in September 2015 and can be found on HCRP’s website at this link.

    Sincerely,

    Ed Hubbard
    HCRP Legal Counsel
    http://www.harriscountygop.com/

    Harris County Republican Party · 7232 Wynnwood, Houston, TX 77008, United States
    This email was sent to [deleted]. To stop receiving emails, click here.
    You can also keep up with Harris County Republican Party on Facebook.

    Created with NationBuilder, the essential toolkit for leaders.

  • T. Caplinger

    Not seeing where ‘single-handedly’ is justified. Is it one of those fluff phrases that people can legally use because everyone knows what they mean? I think I remember Papa John’s getting into a lawsuit over just such a thing a few years back.

    It’s definitely misleading on that front, but this mailer is obviously designed to appeal to more conservative voters. I can’t quite call it a foul on that alone.

    Is there any information about what the criteria for euthanasia against the wishes of the family actually are?

  • E. Jensen

    So to break this down, it appears that there are 3 issues here:
    (1) the euthanasia interpretation
    (2) the claim that she sided with 4 democrats to run out the clock on the no-insurance-for-abortion bill
    (3) an overall inference that she was the lone republican to defeat the no-insurance-for-abortion bill (is the inference present?)

    Am I missing anything else?

  • admin

    Spoke with Yates’ employee regarding the issues with the mailer and recorded the conversation. Explained that they had a Friday deadline. They failed to provide documentation of their candidate vetting process and therefore Mr. Standley and Dr. Hotze are UNRELIABLE and IRRESPONSIBLE. The recordings will be posted soon (need to address a technological issue).

  • admin

    Begin forwarded message:

    From: Ed Hubbard
    Date: February 15, 2016 at 4:23:59 PM CST
    To: [deleted]
    Subject: HCRP Does Not Endorse in Primaries & Condemns ‘Pay-to-Play’ Slate Endorsements

    Harris County Republican Party
    [deleted] —

    We have received numerous inquiries asking if the Harris County Republican Party has endorsed candidates in the 2016 Republican Primary. The simple answer is NO: per its bylaws, the Harris County Republican Party does not endorse any candidate in contested Republican Primary elections.

    We have also heard concerns from voters and candidates about various endorsement “slates” that appear to be Party endorsements in the Primary. In response to these concerns, this is to reiterate the Party’s official policy condemning the practice of so-called “pay to play” endorsements.

    The Harris County Republican Executive Committee last year overwhelmingly resolved that use by endorsement “slates” of Republican symbols and the Republican name “confuses voters as to whether such endorsements constitute the official recommendations of the national, state, or county Republican parties” or their auxiliary organizations.

    ​Therefore, the Harris County Republican Party Executive Committee condemned all “pay-to-play” endorsements, by which “supposedly independent individuals, groups, or organizations request, solicit or require any fee, payment, or contribution as a condition of making or publicizing said endorsement.”

    The resolution was adopted in September 2015 and can be found on HCRP’s website at this link.

    Sincerely,

    Ed Hubbard
    HCRP Legal Counsel
    http://www.harriscountygop.com/

    Harris County Republican Party · 7232 Wynnwood, Houston, TX 77008, United States
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  • E. Jensen

    Great! So to repeat the previous message, there are basically 3 issues present meaning each needs its own vote:
    So to break this down, it appears that there are 3 issues here:

    (1) the euthanasia interpretation

    (2) the claim that she sided with 4 democrats to run out the clock on the no-insurance-for-abortion bill

    (3) an overall inference that she was the lone republican to defeat the no-insurance-for-abortion bill (is the inference present?)

  • David Mullinax Post author

    (1) the euthanasia interpretation
    I don’t see how this one was misleading. No foul.

    (2) the claim that she sided with 4 democrats to run out the clock on the no-insurance-for-abortion bill
    Even though they left that information out about the other Republicans that voted for it, I say not misleading as far as their constituents are concerned. Therefore, no foul.

    (3) an overall inference that she was the lone republican to defeat the no-insurance-for-abortion bill (is the inference present?)
    I don’t see anywhere that the add says that she was the “only” Republican to vote against it. The add carefully reads “Republican pro-life legislatures.” I’m on the fence with this one, but I’m voting “no foul.”

  • admin

    The “Fouls” are greater than one standard deviation. The Referees find in favor of putting the Valoree Swanson campaign (Treasurer Norma Jeter) on the Wall-of-Shame.

  • Elizabeth Jensen

    No materials referenced in the article could be obtained. Attempts to contact Ms. Falkenberg and Ms. Davis received no response. This complaint is closed.