Sunday, March 6, 2016

CCR 03-06-16 Freedom To Purchase?

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

"Freedom to Purchase?"

   For full disclosure purposes, no member of the CCR staff is an ambulance chaser attorney.  And for that, our mom was extremely proud.

   However, if we were practicing law, we would file briefs with the US Supreme Court (the Calvin Klein variety might best suit SCOTUS perfectly) to demonstrate how wrong they were in the assumption and ruling (Citizens United) that donating humongous train-loads of bucks into political campaigns is considered protection of the First Amendment right for "political speech."

   Wrong, wrong, wrong!  In essence, SCOTUS established a new First Amendment addendum of: freedom to purchase sleazy politicos.
   Anyone who has listened to or watched a presidential debate recently surely must realize they were not hearing political speech which needed protection.  Lies and  unattainable promises seemed to be the order of the day.  And certainly, more lies were spewed to make the promises seem genuine.

   Debate observers were also treated to: Vulgar personal insinuations; Character assassinations; Lies; Spin; Failure to answer questions asked; Lies; and Plans for progress, which could place all citizens below the poverty level by funding those programs and the federal bureaucracy, if implemented.
   The presidential debate scene was as if a horde of wealthy weasel oligarchs had purchased their personal political clown and was having them audition for the presidency of the United States.  To join in the festivities, the debate moderators all wore red noses.

   And this brings us back to the root cause of how crooked wealthy weasels can have a forum to pander for your vote…MONEY.

   Among reasonable men and women, of unbiased political persuasion, there is a long held belief if money certainly is the ‘mother’s milk’ of politicians and campaigns, then all the super funded presidential candidates, who are not lactose intolerant, should begin each campaign speech by wiping their white mustache as they raise their glass to intone, "Got Milk?"

    By now, many dear readers of the CCR are wondering how, or why, this should really concern Irving when most city elections might draw 6,000 fairly interested voters in a good year.

   The answer to why Irving voters should care is: a rather malignant political cancer has been diagnosed for the campaign financing scene and is lurking in Irving.  And the cancer is spreading quickly.  

   And while this metaphor of cancer appears to be rather drastic, the effects the metastasizing of the political cancer is having on Irving campaigns is the same as the results being witnessed on the national and state political turfs…clowns are being financed by wealthy weasels with "Dark Money."

   In Irving, an unknown number of donors and amounts are being given to an Irving domestic non-profit corporation known as Irving Opportunity Council.
   (BTW: This "council" does not hold public meetings or divulge any of its activities.  Can you spell: secret organization?) 

   As previously noted in past CCR reports, Irving Opportunity Council has three directors: former Irving mayor Marvin Randle; Irving car wash owner Joe Mapes who was the recipient of $25,000 in economic development funds which are generated from city property tax collections; and Austin ambulance chaser attorney Scott Yeldell who has also worked with other Austin money changers to create, promote and pimp "Dark Money" funding activities.

   What makes the operation of Irving Opportunity Council and the influx of "Dark Money" into the Irving political scene ironic and hypocritical is that the same individuals, who vigorously campaigned to elect QueenB VD due to the funds collected, reported and utilized by the previous mayor in the two mayoral campaigns he lost, are leading this money laundering operation of secret and hidden contributors.  

   Previously, the queen’s two mayoral campaigns were based on (wait for it): full disclosure, elimination of cronyism, transparency, and the city’s ethics code being revised.
   (If she was a major league batter, QueenB VD would now be: 0 for 4.)

   Today, QueenB VD — along with her Sugar Daddy handler, single source developers, special interest groups, cronies, and with the aid of her "Dark Money" conspirators — is plunging Irving campaign finance spending deeper and darker into an abyss of possible political corruption greater than has never been witnessed in the city’s history.

   The political ‘sins’ which QueenB VD and her sycophant followers campaigned against have now overshadowed any political or campaign finance issues ever noted in any previous mayoral election.  The queen has elevated the campaign contributor venial ‘sin’ category to the unforgivable level of mortal sin.  

   Simply stated, the queen’s potential political money trail has grown dark and the public light is not even allowed to shine on the buyers of influence and votes. 
   (While grossly obscene, the campaign financing of the previous mayor was at least documented on campaign filing reports for voters to observe who had chunked money into his political cookie jar.) 

   And for those still naive enough to believe campaign donations do not buy influence or votes, isn’t it time to wake up to the reality of what is currently transpiring in Irving?  

   "Dark Money" is attempting to gain political control of the city and promote QueenB VD for whatever ego inspired political future she might envision in her self-interest dreams.  The agendas being purchased are unknown to citizens, just as the wealthy weasels who are attempting to buy influence and votes are unknown.

   But, don’t just take the word of the CCR staff.  The following are thoughts from individuals who are deeper in the trenches and more informed of the dangers and perils of "Dark Money" than staff of the CCR:
Dave Jones, President, Clean Elections Texas: "We must get the corrupting influence of dark money out of our elections.  Voters should insist on it."

John Palmer, Founder of Take Back Our Republic: "Disclosure is important and fair.  If we want to get people away from their cynicism, let them know everything."

Denise Roth Barber, director of National Institute on Money in State Politics:  "…calls it a "shell game,’ with donors giving anonymously to one group that contributes to other organizations so that the original sources never appear on campaign finance filings."

Dallas Morning News, Editorial, February 16, 2016: "In the absence of reform, spending not only has increased but has become harder to track. This is not our idea of how a democracy is supposed to work."  
   "Big-dollar checks are seldom written without strings. We deserve to know who has their hooks into a candidate and why."

   While the current State legislation for domestic non-profit corporations reflects contributors and expenditures are not required to be made public (thanks in large part to the votes of Irving State representatives Rodney "Bogus-gate Complaint" Anderson and Matt "Squeaky" Rinaldi who voted against mandating disclosure), the law does not state that those controlling the "Dark Money" slush funds cannot elect to do so…if they so choose.

   If the purveyors of Irving "Dark Money" were truly interested the welfare and betterment of the city, shouldn’t the participation and activities of their wealthy weasel contributors be known and recognized?  Why not explain the reasons and amounts for the secrecy of the "Dark Money" wealthy weasels who are contributing to Irving Opportunity Council?
   (Remember, Irving "Dark Money" funds  don’t spring from just Irving residents.  Funds can also be accepted from wealthy weasels living throughout the state or nation.)  

   To clear the political stench "Dark Money" caused in a previous Irving election, every voting citizen of the city should petition, call, write and demand those associated with this political cancer of "Dark Money" voluntarily publish — at least one week before any election cycle closes — all the contributors with their amounts and all expenses utilized in any local campaign. 

   Voters should wait and see if Irving Opportunity Council attempts to utilize "Dark Money" funds in the upcoming city council election.   

   Even if funds are not utilized in this election, then, the Irving "Dark Money" political slush fund should be completely shut down by its directors!  Irving deserves better.

    (Voter Alert: Be sure and pay attention to any political mailings, robot-calls and newspaper advertisements this election season which might be funded by "Dark Money" from the Irving Opportunity Council.  The benefits of this action could accrue to Loren Byers and Tom Spinks’ election efforts.  Byers has already related he is not concerned or worried about "Dark Money" funding in campaigns and Spinks is attempting to create a new image/resumé by reinstating himself as a Pet Rock for QueenB VD after his last disgraceful council loss.) 

   To assist in the endeavor of shining a bright light on Irving’s "Dark Money" secrets, the following represents those individuals who basically hold the key to ensuring Irving voters are aware of who is attempting to buy politicos and elections with "Dark Money" in the city.  Staff of the CCR is certain they would enjoy hearing your comments and concerns regarding this issue:

Marvin Randle   (972) 570-5500

Joe Mapes   (214) 596-9195

Rodney Anderson   (214) 679-4106

Matt Rinaldi
(Apparently, Rinaldi doesn’t care to hear from the ‘common folks’ of the district.  He utilizes an Irving P.O. Box number and an Austin address for mailings.  Additionally, he doesn’t publish a personal e-mail address which would ensure he is aware of all contacts and concerns noted by the individuals he is supposed to be representing.  One could only assume or guess his "true believers" — Red Meat TEA-carnivores and special interest concerns — have him on speed dial and Instant Messaging.)  For those not in Rinaldi’s posh political circle, you’ll have to make do with:  (972) 247-8994

Beth Van Duyne   (972) 898-7500

 The time is now, today, immediately, to let the purveyors of Irving’s "Dark Money" political slush fund know: Voters are tired of white mustache-politicos suckling the ‘mother’s milk’ teat of influence, venality and cronyism…especially in Irving.

   Are you going to do your part in assisting to make Irving’s politicos completely lactose intolerant and eliminate the purchase of local officials by cronies, single source developers, special interest groups and wealthy weasels?

   Got grit? to become involved?  After all, it’s your city, too!

……………………………Mark Holbrook