Thursday, July 19, 2018

Raising Campaign Cash: Sid Miller

Miller is under water on his financial reports. He is what we in Texas call a Texas sized a**hole. When you are looking for the a**hole of Texas, just look for Sid Miller.

In his last report, Miller raised about $63,000, spent $173,000, and has $136,000 Cash on Hand with a $275,000 outstanding loan. He is underwater.

Since running for Texas Agriculture Commissioner in 2014, Miller has raised $1.7 Million for this state wide race. $550,000 came from a couple of individuals who provided loans. He has paid back about $175,000.
Brad Allen loaned $200,000.
Richard Pedale loaned $100,000.
Tramell Crow loaned $250,000.

Of the $1,250,000 actually raised, $362,000 came from 7 individuals:
$97,000 Richard Redalen
$50,000 Donald McGill of McGill Toyota
$60,000 Tramell Crow
$30,000 Timothy Dunn
$25,000 Robert Patton
$25,000 Trevor Rees-Jones
$75,000 Todd Smith

It is difficult to determine from over 700 entries how much has come from PACs since much of the required information on the financial reports is not provided. Maybe I could dig harder on this in the future. For someone who hasn't had an opponent for the general election in a long while, Miller has spent a ton of money with only $136,000 left and with $275,000 in outstanding loans.

Raising Campaign Cash: Dennis Paul HD129

State Representative Dennis Paul still has a $156,000 loan on his books

Paul only raised $31,400 this last reporting period. This includes $6000 out of state and $15,900 out of district. PACs amount for $25,000 and individuals provided just $6400. For a sitting representative his fund raising is lagging.

Last quarter Paul, who owns Paul Engineering, took $5000 from James Dannebaum. Dannebaum who also owns an Engineering firm, was raided by the FBI. From the Express News:
Dannenbaum Engineering has stirred a lot of controversy as it has grown into one of the dominant engineering companies in South Texas over the past 30 years. On April 26, the FBI executed a broad raid of its offices across the state, including in San Antonio, to gather records related to the company’s pursuit of infrastructure projects in the Laredo area. A decade ago, reports from the El Paso Times and other media outlets linked the company to another FBI corruption probe in El Paso County.
He did not receive a donation from him this time.  Paul has never had to run a general election. He self financed 75% of this primary election and won. Now with a general election opponent he will need to either raise more money or dig deeper into his own pocket. Maybe he should ask David Mays Middleton for a hand out.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Raising Campaign Cash: Ruben Villarreal Texas HD144

Ruben Villarreal is a Hispanic republican running for Texas HD144. Go figure. He beat Gilbert Pena in the republican primary after Pena raised a couple of thousand dollars.

His financial reports do not add up. He lists total loans adding up to $13,088 but only $9140 is documented. His total fundraising equals only $24,850 not including the $13,088 loan. Not including as in he didn't include it in his contributions. About $8740 in loans came from, what appears to be a relative, Roberto Villarreal and $400 came from Ruben himself. His COH is $8076, again not including the $13,088 in loans.

His expenditures total 17,258.

$22,500 out of the $24,850 raised came from 3 PACS, $20,000 from Texans for Lawsuit Reform a front group for businesses in Texas, $1500 from the Hispanic Republican PAC, and $1000 from the State Farm PAC. Only $2350 came from individuals.

It appears TLR is going to finance Villarreal's campaign. He is the Hispanic republican pigeon for the 2018 elections. I would bet this isn't the first time TLR would finance a campaign in fact I remember a race years ago in the same area where TLR heavily financed a Hispanic Women in the Democratic primary. She lost.

Villarreal should be consider funded and dangerous. TLR is a cash cow and has tens of thousands to spend on this race against a current, very successful, representative, Mary Ann Perez.

Spending Campaign Cash: David Mays Middleton

David Mays Middleton raised $1.7.Million for a primary race in Galveston County. 87% of that was his own money, $1.5Million. According to his latest financial report he spent over $1.6 Million for his 7,981 primary votes or $207 per vote.

Here is what he spent his money on:

$460,144 on Campaign Services. This included payments to a few individuals for $66k, $41k, $33K, $31k, $28k, $18k. A total of about 25 individuals were paid for campaign services. That is an incredible amount of money to be paying for "campaign services".

$501,530 on Consulting. How much consulting do you need to reach 7981 voters? Many entire campaign budget for a state race are $500,000 or less. This was just for a primary race.

$153,147 on Marketing.
$49,235 on signs.
$50,990 on billboards
$15,000 on postage
$8,864 on legal services

The entire $1.7Million can be viewed on the Texas Ethics Commission's website.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Self financing campaign with $1.5 Million. David Mays Middleton HD23 Texas

UPDATE: According to his latest report Middleton has raised over $1.7 Million (not 1.5) with $1.5 coming from his own pocket, 87% of his entire fundraising efforts. He has $45,099 COH. $1.7Million to win a primary.

This is what is wrong with politics in Texas.

State Representative Dennis Paul loaned himself $156,000 for a state house race. Angela Paxton received a $2Million loan from her husband mired in a felony trial, and Kathaleen Wall spent $6Million of her own money in a losing Congressional primary race. 

Then came David Mays Middleton running for State Representative in HD23, the Galveston area. He challenged the current republican, David Faircloth, in the primary and won. Middleton raised an incredible amount of money, over $1.5 Million for a state House primary race!

But....when you look at his financial reports you will find loans and contributions to himself totally $1,485,000, a total of 95% of his entire fundraising efforts. According to his July 2018 report he only raised $74,187, much coming from out of district, and he has only $45,099 cash on hand meaning he has spent about $1.5Million on a State House primary race. 

Much like Dennis Paul, Middleton is buying his seat in Austin. He has spent nearly $1.5 Million of his own money in order to win this primary election. This is wrong. It is un-American. We should not be buying a seat just because you have money to burn.

It is sad that the residents of Galveston do not care enough or are too ignorant to make sure their seat is not for sale. It is. Middleton looks to have bought it. To top it off, according to his website "Mayes recently co-founded the Chambers County Ethical Government Board ". Yeah right.

Next up: Raising Campaign Cash: David Mays Middleton. Then Spending Campaign Cash.

Monday, July 16, 2018

TX Congressman Brian Babin adopts "Fake news" conspiracy theory


From Babin's email to his constituents:
There has been much coverage by the mainstream media about separations at the border – much of it is incorrect, "fake news." They've even resorted to doctoring photos and creating fake narratives. I would encourage folks to learn the facts about this situation.The Department of Homeland Security has worked tirelessly to reunite as many families as possible. 

Babin claims that "As of July 12, 57 of the 103 children covered by the court case had been reunified with their parents." This only includes children 5 years old and under. Thousands are still separated from their families. From the Dept of Fake News, The Washington Post:

Between 1,425 and 1,720 still being held. This number is based on the two specific estimates offered for the number of children separated from their parents. The first was 2,047, a figure given in late June by Azar. The administration has said 2,342 children in total were separated from their parents. (The lighter-colored icons on our chart indicate the difference between those two figures.)

Take a look at the Post's story. It is very detailed. Of course if you buy into the "fake news" stupidity then go to Fox News for Babin's truth. It is so much easier to just yell FAKE NEWS than to be honest with your own constituents. Babin has refused to meet with his constituents to discuss this immoral policy.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Why do you have to be a dick about everything? Louie Gohmert

I've always wanted to start a new series called "Why do you have to be a dick about everything?" dedicated to the elected officials who just act like a bag of dicks. Examples are Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, Donald Trump, and former Congressman Steve Stockman. There are many more but today is dedicated to Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert.

Gohmert embarrassed himself, Congress, and his district once again during the hearing of FBI agent Strzok. Just like a dick, Gohmert made a very personal attack on Strzok during the hearing causing an uproar in the chamber with one Congresswoman yelling "Are you off your meds?". You can watch his dickness on CNN.

In Gohmert's defense, no he is not off his meds. That is who Gohmert is. He is a dick. He acts like a dick. That is Louie Gohmert. A dick. This isn't the first time Gohmert has been a dick about everything. He claimed Mexicans were coming across the border to give birth to "Terror Babies", American citizens who would return 18 years later as a terrorist. He actually wrote a letter to the FBI requesting an investigation into the "Muslim Brotherhood" and President Obama. He nominated Trump for a Nobel Peace Prize for his photo op with Kim Jung Un.

Gohmert represents Texas Congressional District 1 home to Tyler Texas. His constituents must like dicks since he easily wins each election. Instead of voting for him they should be asking Gohmert "Why do you have to be a dick about everything?".

Saturday, July 07, 2018

TX Lt Gov Dan Patrick's screwed up math on metal detectors

Patrick might want to go back to grade school and refresh his math.

According to the Texas Tribune TX Lt Governor Dan Patrick is (partially) donating up to 10 metal detectors to the Santa Fe School District where 8 kids and 2 teachers lost their lives due to gun violence. From the Texas Tribune:
Patrick announced Monday that he’ll donate “up to 10” metal detectors to the Santa Fe Independent School District, a Galveston County district of about 4,700 students. A private metal detector company, Garrett Metal Detectors, has also agreed to donate metal detectors to the district, as well as perform a security analysis and train staff at no cost, Patrick said.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that this is an incredibly stupid idea an a great tax funded give away to metal detector companies. Get your slide rules out and lets do the math. Lets assume each school will need at least 1 metal detector. There are over 9300 public schools and 1200 charter schools in Texas. Each metal detector costs $4000 (not including the training, periodic calibration, and maintenance). So..

1x10500x$4000= $42,000,000 for just 1 detector per school. Assuming we average a total of 3 per school and you have a $126 Million price tag which does not include the cost of training, periodic calibration, maintenance, technical support, onsite personnel. $126 Million.

Beside the $126M initial price tag, this isn't a solution to the problem. How will metal detectors protect the Band kids as they practice in the parking lot? Or the football players on the field? Or those gathering in front of the school waiting for it to open?

How will metal detectors in Sante Fe protect our families from a gun nut at a concert? At a church? At a night club? At a movie theatre? On the streets? Only a moron would think this is a good idea. This is nothing but a Dan Patrick gimmick as he heads into an election season with teachers lining up against him. Patrick needs to go back to school and learn some math. 

BTW in 2010 there were nearly 30,000 churches in Texas. Do the math.

Friday, July 06, 2018

Movie Review: Ant-Man and the Wasp

I've have a simple rating system:

  1. IMAX it. Go see it before it leaves the IMAX theatre. It is that good!
  2. Date night it. Go see it. Its good for an evening movie on the weekend.
  3. Matinee. Go see it but at half price.
  4. DVD. Wait for it to hit Redbox or On Demand.
  5. Skip it. Wait for it to hit Redbox. Get a free coupon. Rent the movie. Give it to your neighbors. As they are wasting their time watching that crap, steal their lawnmower. You will at least get something for your time.

So..Ant-Man and the Wasp is a solid IMAX movie. It was fun. Great puns. Michael Pena picks up where he left off with his wild stories and snappy lines. If you liked Ant-Man, you will love this one. Stay for the after credits, both of them. Lots of references to other Marvel movies. The special effects were great and the story line was more than the trailer suggested.

Ant-Man and Wasp. Go see it in IMAX. 3D if you like 3D.

Monday, July 02, 2018

Brian Babin in support of privatizing Social Security and Medicare

Just like trump, you can't believe a damn thing coming out of his lying mouth. From his Facebook post to constituents:

It was an honor to receive the Guardian Award from the 60 Plus Association on Wednesday. Protecting and improving Social Security and Medicare is an issue I take seriously, and I will continue working hard to assure health and retirement security for senior citizens in Texas and across the country.

There is just one problem. The 60 Plus Association is a far white wing organization which pretends to be for the protection of Medicare and Social Security when in fact they want to privatize both. It is an organization funded by the Koch brother and other far white wing organizations. From Fact Check:
60 Plus advocates the permanent repeal of the estate tax (which it refers to as the “death tax”), opposes the Affordable Care Act, and supports creating personal retirement accounts within Social Security.
Babin is about as dishonest as trump. He has realized that lying to his constituents works and he will continue to do so. Can you imagine the hard on Wall Street has to get ahold of your Social Security account? And imagine what the insurance industry is thinking about charging an arm and leg for health care for the elderly?

Friday, June 29, 2018

Gun Nut rally in Santa Fe misfires

From the Houston Chronicle
Oh this wasn't what they expected. From the Houston Chronicle:
Organized by the San Antonio-based This Is Texas Freedom Force, the “Carry For Our Kids Rally” featured several speakers who presented arguments for arming teachers across Texas schools. 
“It’s a really good message,” said Denise Jaimes, 53. “They’re hitting it right on point. It’s just that there’s nobody listening.”
About 8 showed up. EIGHT. I think they were expecting hoards of gun nuts toting their favorite assault rifle. Unfortunately assault rifles are expensive and very few people, even in Santa Fe own them. The few who bothered to take their time to support their rights to walking around with a loaded weapon in public right after 10 students were killed at Santa Fe High School did so with style, and a dog. A little dog.

Only 35% of Texans own guns. Of those a very small amount own assault weapons. One of these days the other 65% will stand up and demand common sense gun measures.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

MJ Hegar: "You're sitting in my seat!"

One of the best quotes of the convention came from MJ Hegar at the Lady Bird Breakfast event:
“I know with the people in this room, I can go back there [Congress], kick that door open and say, ‘You’re sitting in my seat."
MJ is a Veteran who served 3 tours in Afghanistan as a rescue helicopter pilot. She came home and lobbied Congress for changes to the laws barring females from combat roles. Take a moment to watch her video. She is an excellent candidate for this congressional seat in Texas CD31.

I'm Mike Collier.

Mike Collier is our nominee for Texas Lt Governor against Dan Patrick. His video below is really good. At first I thought the sound was not synced with the visual. It took me a bit to understand that I'm Mike Collier.