Friday, June 13, 2014

CCR 06-13-14: Adieu L H-B…dieu merci

the   Controversial  Committee   Report
“We don’t raise sacred cows...we just butcher them.”

     When not reading a good novel, staff of the CCR really enjoys kicking back the La-Z-Boy® and indulging in a blistering and scathing report related to an errant Irving politico.

     And just imagine the joy we recently received while reading the Texas Ethics Commission’s report (SC-31008259) detailing all the information relative to the findings for Linda Harper-Brown’s campaign fund reporting...or lack thereof.  Sure, the report is lengthy and uses a few weasel words to make it appear ‘gross’ violations did not occur, but the conclusion in the findings was Harper-Brown, had indeed, creatively filed her reports over an extended period of time related to campaign “loans.”  And her creativity resulted in a $5,000 penalty for not properly noting all of the detail concerning the “loans” to her campaign treasure chest which was reported as being over $450,000.

     Without going into great detail, staff of the CCR has previously noted in numerous reports that Harper-Brown’s campaign reports required greater scrutiny, didn’t reflect the settlement of loans and questioned just how much it might cost to buy a state legislator.  In Harper-Brown’s case, the cost was very high, but her Sugar Daddy contributors, lobby groups and special interest concerns always made sure the skids were well greased and the strings firmly tied to her voting arm.

     Let’s consider this CCR report as the final ode to a state representative who had a slew of folks fooled for a fairly long time.  Even when caught driving her “provided” Mercedes-Benz as she juggled her campaign financial reports, the staff of the CCR grew weary of kicking this same cat over and over again.  For all practical purposes, this politicat is now dead...and long live dead politicats.

     However, to reflect some of the more interesting aspects of Harper-Brown’s self-service, a short trip down the CCRs memory lane might be helpful.  Even though these items are from 2008, very little, if anything, ever changed in the mode for the representation of Irving as she parked on her Austin throne all those years.

CCR 05-19-2008:  “In the July issue of Texas Monthly, this legislator was given Dishonorable Mention status in the Worst legislators in Austin for the 2007 legislative session.”  Could it be any clearer than that for what Irving had to endure?

CCR 06-04-2008:  “And her Bag Man, who is also the Puller-in-Chief of the strings attached to her voting arm, also helps sate her need with his thousands upon thousands upon thousands in personal ‘loans’ for her coffers.  By the way, has anyone seen any reports or repayment documents supporting the repayment of these loans?”  Until 2014, no one seemed to care!

CCR 09-30-2008:  “Also, she claims that unidentified individuals are attempting to ‘smear’ her.  Again, this is ludicrous.  Since when is reporting the truth about her voting record, affiliation/love affair with PACs and Special Interest Groups, and campaign finances considered to be a smear?  Perhaps, she is confused...she just doesn’t like the fact that her money-grubbing political bubble is being exposed.”

CCR 10-17-2008:  “Professing to be a conservative Republican, she racked up the largest travel bill of all her colleagues (Irving city council).  As a matter of record, she spent $68,741 in a three year period.”  Irving may witness a new champion in this arena with QueenB VDs activities.  When time permits, the CCR will delve into what the queen has been racking up on Irving’s tax payers tab.

CCR 10-17-2008:  Remember Harper-Brown’s campaign mailing in 2008 when she blatantly stated: “I’ve never catered to the Austin lobbyists and special interest.”  Folks, look at her prior campaign reports and you’ll still be laughing at this brash, hypocritical statement.  It was, after all, PAC and special interest money -- until this past election -- that kept her in Austin all those years...along with the support of a significantly high number of low information voters.  This was true except when she won by a 19-vote margin a few years back.

     Nostalgia...sometimes, you just have to live with it -- even if it turns your stomach!

     Finally, as the self-anointed Grand Dame of Irving Transportation and transit concerns all those years, just how did the proposed new state HWY 183 toll road manage to zip all the way through Irving without an exit ramp in the city?  Did other special interest funds trump her special interest bucks?  Perhaps, the Dallas and Fort Worth representatives had stouter lobbyist in their corner?  (Maybe, as the red-headed step-politico of Dallas and Fort Worth, Harper-Brown really didn’t carry all the water for Irving she had folks believing she did.  While her campaign water well was always overflowing, the city often seemed to be on water restrictions due to her representation.)

     As staff of the CCR bids adieu to Harper-Brown, we do so with unmixed emotions.  After a large slug of low information voters finally pulled back Oz’s curtain, they realized it wasn’t even Harper-Brown in the booth, but a bevy of PACs, Special Interest Groups and Sugar Daddy contributors pulling all the levers on Irving’s representation.  And this, dear reader, is what caused her recent re-election trouncing.

     To be sure, Irving’s yellow brick road was never paved with gold by Harper-Brown’s service, but rather covered with a thin veneer of pyrite (fool’s gold for still struggling low information voters).  

     Just another optical allusion of her service to Irving while she roamed through the fantasyland of representation in her mind. 

………………………...Mark Holbrook 

Ed. Note:  After completing this report, a frightening political thought occurred to staff of the CCR.  Is it possible that Harper-Brown has an evil twin sister that was separated at birth?  Think about it and look at the comparisons.  Harper-Brown had a vicious ogre (Sue Richardson) working the political trenches on her behalf -- QueenB VD has the Mother Superior of Flying Harpies.  Both Harper-Brown and QueenB VD served as city council representatives.  Both Harper-Brown and QueenB VD like to travel extensively on the tax payers dime.  Both Harper-Brown and QueenB VD have the same campaign Sugar Daddy financial supporters (Simon and Ellis) and also rely heavily on special interest group funds.  While we now know the earlier story behind Harper-Brown’s Mercedes-Benz, just wondering if there might be any similarities with vehicles driven by QueenB VD?  But then, why should we worry?  

     Many District 105 Irving voters were a parody of Einstein’s theory whereby they elected the same calibre of representative over and over, again and again while wondering why they kept getting the same results each time with Harper-Brown.  MH