I have avoided commenting on Texas Senate District 22 in any manner since I lost the Special Election. Especially considering I may still be chosen on the November ballot by the district’s County Chairs. They don’t like David Sibley’s lobby ties and Brian Birdwell does not meet the requirements for the seat under the Texas Constitution. So I have tried to lay low. However, Saturday’s events in Dallas are worthy of publication if nothing else to serve as notice that grass-roots, conservative efforts in Texas are beginning to tear away at the foundation of the established RINO’s in this district.
I challenged RINO Kip Averitt from McLennan County for the SD22 seat and lost. Averitt was a 16 year career politician and this was my first crack at public office and I knew it would be a battle, but I never imagined what would happen in this one. Along the way I uncovered a scandal that involved a whole slew of people mainly from the chief county in SD22 – McLennan. The scandal involved the Brazos River Authority and its closure of a hydroelectric dam system at Possum Kingdom Lake in Palo Pinto, Texas. At the root of the scandal was Averitt, our Senator for the district and the Chair of the Texas Natural Resource Committee that oversees all lakes, rivers, and dams in Texas who sat by while the plant closure started killing off economic life in several SD22 counties. Another individual that kept coming into the scandal was current Brazos River Authority President AND SREC for District 22 Chris DeCluitt. DeCluitt also resides in McLennan County.
When I started to uncover the scandal, Averitt “suspended” his campaign and DeCluitt launched the “Re-Elect Kip” campaign to keep Averitt in so the seat remained in McLennan County. DeCluitt wanted the Senate seat through an Averitt in-session retirement and I screwed it up. The McLennan County Machine went into full swing and chewed me alive. Democrat Chet Edwards team called his rolls to get Dems to crossover vote for Averitt (we have open primaries in Texas). The strategy worked and I lost in spite of 25000 plus votes that would have won most primaries. So you begin to understand the full flavor of this county, former President George W Bush’s Crawford ranch is in McLennan County.
One of the key issues in the scandal was why a hydroelectric plant would be shut down by the Brazos River Authority for maintenance issues when literally millions upon millions of dollars had been allocated from bond sales for maintenance. I had proof of bond issuance and wanted to know if the money had been spent on the dam or something else. I broke this story 2 weeks before the March 2 primary. DeCluitt responded with a stumbling, bumbling response that in fact proved a degree of my accusations stating monies allocated over 5 years earlier were set aside waiting the outcome of a dispute. The “dispute” he referred to was a sale of the hydroelectric facilities between the Brazos River Authority and the Brazos Electric Cooperative who had purchased the operations. Problem was that the last bond issue was in 2005 and that “dispute” came over 2 years later. It is a violation of securities and exchange law to issue a bond and not spend the money.
The SEC contacted me in March and asked for my files. To date, this is still under investigation…
Which brings us back to Dallas. DeCluitt was the current SREC Committeeman running for re-election along with new candidates Molly Smith of McLennan County (old guard candidate), Janet Jackson (no not that one) of Bosque County, and Jimmie Kerr of McLennan County. McLennan County has controlled SD22 for over 25 years. Nancy Pelosi’s lap-dog Dem Chet Edwards was the state senator before heading off to DC. David Sibley won the seat in a Special after Chet left and he was from McLennan County. Averitt was on Sibley’s staff before going to the Texas House. Averitt was appointed to Sibley’s senate seat when Sibley left in 2001 during mid-session. DeCluitt had been the SREC Committeeman for 4 years and Molly Smith’s mother had served from 2006 to 2008. McLennan County ran this district and had no intentions of giving up control. Not to my county or any other.
Janet Jackson had lived in McLennan County at one time but moved to Bosque. Janet has been an activist and opponent to the old guard RINO’s for years. She helped form the Hispanic Republican Club in McLennan County and was active in spreading conservatism throughout the district. She is a rash on their radar. Jimmie Kerr was of the same cut – tired of the old guard RINO’s and ready to change his county. These two attended Tea Parties and spoke out against the nonsense in our district. Yep – they are my friends and supported my campaign. When my political bid ended I knew I needed to help them – if for nothing else to make an effort to break the McLennan County death grip on our district.
DeCluitt was running the caucus and had to start the nominations for SD22 SREC. You can run as a candidate, but you must be nominated from the floor of the caucus.First was for Committeewoman. Both Janet and Molly were nominated and gave fine speeches to the caucus, although it was obvious who the talented candidate was. Janet won the nomination with the caucus exploding in delight and it was visible that Mr DeCluitt was shaken up. The nomination for Committeeman was next. He then turned over the caucus to be nominated for SREC again. Jimmie Kerr was nominated as well. Again, there was no question of who gave the better nomination speech, but we were all on needles to see if Kerr would win. When he did by a solid margin, the caucus once again erupted in delight. The old guard has been dealt a huge blow today by the rowdy SD22 caucus in Dallas.
Today proved that if conservatives are patient, willing to wage a fight based on principles, and work their fannies off, results can be achieved.