Fighting for Transparency & Fiscal Responsibility in Local Government

Should We Care About the 2018 RPT Convention?

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Last week 7961 delegates and 1964 alternates* from around the state attended the 2018 Republican Party of Texas (RPT) State Convention in San Antonio. Was it worth the time and treasure spent by those 9925 individuals? Priorities were set for the legislature, but there is no guarantee they will listen. No actual bills were passed. Was this just an exercise in futility, or was it a chance to establish a new brand, a new marketing campaign for the RPT?

For some the convention is a chance to network, socialize, connect with elected officials from around the state, and enjoy the party part of the Party. Others come to try their hand at legislating and navigating Roberts Rules of Order. Many come to just watch and learn.

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Election Integrity and the RPT Platform

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The Republican Party of Texas State Convention is upon us. This is the party’s opportunity to decide where they stand on issues across the board, including election integrity.

In the past few election cycles, our elections have been revealed to be far less secure than we would hope. From vote harvesting, to attempted voter fraud, to foreign nations admitting they’ve tried to interfere in our elections, threats are at an all-time high. Read More

Another Judicial Candidate in Hot Water, Again

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The spotlight is on Kimberly Fitzpatrick, candidate for District Judge, once again, for violating the law. This time it is for illegally accepting $2,000 in campaign contributions from a corporation.

Last month Direct Action Texas filed a complaint on Fitzpatrick with the State Commission on Judicial Conduct concerning an illegal endorsement. We also filed a complaint on Probate Court Judge candidate Catherine Goodman, this time with the Texas Ethics Commission (TEC). Our complaint was affirmed, Goodman took an improper donation of $10,000 from a husband and wife. Then, just yesterday, we called attention to Patricia Cole, candidate for Probate Court Judge, for her reporting of a campaign contribution from a corporation. Now we have found that Kimberly Fitzpatrick has violated Texas Election Code 253.091 as well.

On her May 15 filing, Fitzpatrick lists an in-kind Contribution of $2,000 from Chamas Do Brazil, otherwise known as HLQ, Inc., a corporation. Section 253.094 of the Election Code lists this offense as a third-degree felony. Punishment for a felony of this type is 2 to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

Former Mayor and Attorney Kimberly Fitzpatrick did not know the law or ignored it. Either way, is this someone that should be the next Tarrant County District Court Judge for District 342? The District 342 Court handles civil cases with judgements that can reach up into the millions and higher. The judge for that court must be someone with integrity and an attention to detail, not someone who has come under legal scrutiny twice during her campaign.

We must hold our judges and judicial candidates to a higher standard. We must know that our judges have the utmost integrity and would not violate the law for financial gain, to win an election, or for any other reason. We must also know that our judges are knowledgeable. There is no room for error when people’s lives and livelihoods are on the line. Tarrant County deserves judges that take the time to study the law and not make potentially criminal mistakes. Tarrant County has a chance to choose on May 22nd. Choose wisely.

Dallas Mail In Ballot Arrest – What Happened?

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Last year Dallas made tons of headlines and nightly news reports with voter fraud stories tied to their city council races. At one point Dallas elections claimed they were investigating over 1,200 ballots – in a city council race! Dallas District Attorney, Faith Johnson, came out and promised to prosecute these crimes aggressively.  The stories were great, with undercover audio recordings, leading to a man being arrested.

The man arrested is Miguel Hernandez, who allegedly forged ballots under the fake name of Jose Rodriguez. Dallas arrested him for having forged 766 ballots. Faith Johnson and Ken Paxton even held a press conference to tell us how serious Dallas was about the issue.

YET HERE WE ARE and year later and nothing has happened.

Faith Johnson put an assistant district attorney by the name of Andy Chatham in charge of the voter fraud cases. From the beginning Chatham has been hostile and non communicative to anyone involved or anyone offering help. If you attempted to get an update on the case…nothing.

At one point a different law enforcement agency offered to assist, pointing out that given the current DA race in Dallas, that office is conflicted in the case. Chatham stated it would be a cold day in hell before he allowed any other agency in to help.

That made me think – why is Chatham not acting? Why is Chatham hostile to help? I decided to do some digging. You see Chatham ran for judge as a democrat in 2014.

Immediately upon review of Chatham finance reports I find he hired none other than Terri Hodge as his consultant!! He paid her a hefty $2,500…now everyone knows Hodge’s only expertise is harvesting mail in ballots. Several other names on Chatham’s report pop out as known harvesters to DAT. It immediately became clear to me why the Dallas case, one of the most clean cut cases we’ve seen, has gone no where. Where is Faith on this issue? In just the last few days it appears the case was assigned away from Chatham…after more than a year.

Dallas voters should be asking Faith Johnson for accountability on this case. Why did she assign the case to a man clearly conflicted in this matter? Why has she let this case sit stagnant? What is she doing to ensure the integrity of our elections?

Lack of prosecution is why election fraud continues to occur. Where are you Faith?

Why Can’t Tarrant Judicial Candidates Follow the Law?

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Will our Tarrant County 2018 Probate Judge candidates please quit breaking the law?

If you remember the story about Catherine Goodman, candidate for Probate Judge, she took an improper donation of $10,000 from a husband and wife.   This was a violation of the Judicial Campaign Fairness Act.  The Texas Ethics Commission called her out, Goodman returned the amount in violation, and while she is still exposed to civil liability, it is over.

Now we have something different.  We have Republican Probate Court Runoff candidate, Patricia Cole who has broken a much more serious law.  Cole has accepted contributions from corporations.  This is not an ethics violation, but a criminal violation! Read More

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