Posts Tagged ‘Texas’

“Wallace Hall Was Right About UT All Along”

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

That’s the headline on this Dallas Observer story by Jim Schutze (who you may remember from my piece on Tom Leppert’s term as Dallas Mayor).

The Hall piece details what members of the conservative Texas blogsphere (myself included) have been saying for over a year: Hall was right, his critics were wrong:

When Hall began to criticize the way UT-Austin was run on strictly administrative grounds, he was roundly denounced as a sort of fifth-columnist for Perry’s assault on tenure. Later when he accused the university of corruption, he was hunted like a witch.

A campaign launched against Hall included impeachment proceedings in the Legislature and a criminal complaint brought to the Travis County district attorney. Even the establishment press turned on Hall, whose greatest sin was doing what the press is supposed to do — ask questions that make powerful people uncomfortable. An unbroken chorus of editorial page shrieking from Texas’ biggest newspapers denounced Hall and called for his resignation.

The dramatic denouement is threefold: Hall has been vindicated of charges he abused his role as a regent. The charges of mismanagement and corruption he brought against UT are all being re-investigated because now people are admitting he was on to something. And finally, Hall’s biggest accusers are starting to look like the biggest rats, the ones who had the most to hide.

In fact it’s hard to recall a case in Texas history where a person so roundly denounced has been so completely vindicated.

More:

Williamson, the reporter at The National Review, said in an email: “The Texas dailies have fallen down on the job covering this story, mainly because reporters perceive this as a confrontation between Rick Perry and the University of Texas, and they are reflexively hostile to Rick Perry.

“I’ve spent most of my life in the newspaper business, and I know bias when I see it: If there were a suggestion that Rick Perry were twisting arms to get family members into A&M, it would be on the front page of The Austin American-Statesman. But when the malefactors are UT administrators and the whistle-blowers are Perry appointees, reporters in Austin, Houston, Dallas and San Antonio become strangely incurious.”

While there isn’t a whole lot new to Schutze’s piece if you’ve been following the story on this and other blogs, the fact that even lefty alternative weeklies now have the same take on the scandal as Michael Quinn Sullivan is a big step forward for justice and transparency, and I commend the entirety of the piece to your attention.

(Hat tip: Push Junction.)

John Bucy III Campaign Claims Lien Was Filed Against John Bucy II

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

The John Bucy III campaign has issued another denial stating that the tax lien issued against 8609 Camelia Ln, Austin, Texas, 78759, was not, in fact, against candidate John H. Bucy III, despite his name being on the lien. But the press release does not go any farther.

However, I have finally received answers from Brent Grady of the John H. Bucy III campaign to questions I sent in yesterday, and he confirms that the lien was against John H. Bucy II, the candidate’s father.

My questions are in italics, and Grady’s answers are in bold:

1. Is it true that John Bucy III is the son of John Bucy II, and works at the latter’s law firm?
John Bucy III is the son of John Bucy II and offices out of 6633 E. Hwy. 290, but John III owns his own company and is not employed by his father.

2. Did John Bucy II live at 8609 Camelia Ln, Austin, Texas, 78759, and was the actual tax lien filed against him?
– Yes.

3. Travis County records show that 8609 Camelia Ln, Austin, Texas, 78759 was sold to John Bucy II on May 30 of this year, and then the lease assigned the same day to “The Jarrett-Simmons Irrevocable Trust,” whose address is the same building that both John Bucy II and John Bucy III show as their respective business offices (6633 Hwy 290
East, Austin, Texas, 78723). Is that correct?

– Unknown. This house does not (and never did) belong to John Bucy III, nor did he ever live there.

4. Does John Bucy II still live at 8609 Camelia Ln?
– Yes.

5. Did the IRS accidentally put the lien as applying to John Bucy III when they meant to apply it to John Bucy II?
The lien was properly applied to John Bucy II. There was just a typo on the form, which put “III” on it, instead of “II,” and we notified the Dale campaign a week ago that it was a typo and not John Bucy III, the candidate.

Thanks to Brent Grady of the John H. Bucy III campaign for helping clear things up. The answers have the virtues of fitting all the facts, and government agencies committing typos are hardly unknown.

Absent any additional information from the Tony Dale campaign that the tax lien is indeed against John H. Bucy III rather than John H. Bucy II, I would consider the matter closed.

Update: Response from the Tony Dale campaign:

“Mr. Bucy’s ‘shocked and appalled’ response to the revelation that the IRS filed a $163,000 tax lien against him for unpaid taxes is misdirected. Mr. Bucy is running for public office and is subject to public scrutiny. The federal government believes he has not paid his taxes. If the IRS is in error, he needs to produce proof in the form of the removal of the lien in his name, not ask the citizens of Williamson County to simply take the word of the Democratic Party Chairman or his dad.” -Corbin Casteel

Update 2: Attached find an IRS document sent by the Bucy campaign, but I hardly find it conclusive…

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Democratic State House Candidate John Bucy’s $160,000 in Unpaid Taxes

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

What is it with Democrats and their recurring problems with paying their taxes? Certainly they seem more than capable of passing and raising taxes. But paying them on time? Not so much.

Today’s example of a Democrat not paying his taxes comes from House District 136 candidate John H. Bucy, which a press release from his Republican opponent, incumbent Tony Dale‘s campaign (not yet up on his websites) identifies as owing $160,000 in back taxes to the IRS:

John H. Bucy, III, the Democratic nominee for Texas House, District 136 in Williamson County, apparently failed to pay his taxes for at least 4 years and owes over $160,000 to the IRS. According to the IRS tax lien filed with the Travis County Clerk, Mr. Bucy owes personal income taxes dating as far back as 2008 and as recently as 2011. And there could be more.

The Dale campaign also notes that “In addition to the IRS tax lien, Mr. Bucy has problems with the state of Texas as well. Every single business Bucy has registered with state of Texas has forfeited its existence for failure to pay the required taxes and fees, seven total businesses.” To me, this is not only several orders of magnitude less important than the taxes owed the IRS, it’s not necessarily an issue at all, as it could mean Bucy’s business entities are no longer active and he simply let the registration expire.

I emailed the Bucy campaign for comment about an hour ago, but so far have not heard back from them.

Note: Dale is my own state representative, and I endorsed him in 2012.

Update: The Bucy campaign contends that Dale got the wrong John Bucy:

Mr. Lawrence [sic],

The accusations are false, and John has never had a lien filed against him.

We are aware of the document that the Dale campaign claims to possess, and the “John Bucy” referenced in Tony Dale’s press release is NOT John Bucy the candidate. — Not only is John Bucy (the candidate) not the person to whom the lien attaches, he has also never even lived at the address to which the John Bucy in the lien attaches to.

We spoke to the Dale campaign last week and made them aware of this. — The Dale campaign still chose to move forward. — They clearly do not care to be honest with the voters.

To the other point of John’s companies, John has only been affiliated with 3 companies, and we do not know where the count of 7 comes from.

One of the companies is his current company, which is in good standing, and the other two companies have been closed down properly.

None of this information should be published, as it is false, and we are presently exploring all options to stop these false accusations.

-Brent Grady.
Campaign Manager, Bucy for Texas

Update 1: My update on the still murky issue is here.

Update 2: Bucy campaign claims that the lien was against his father, John Bucy II, which fits the facts in the first update above.

The Late, Not-So-Great Wendy Davis Campaign

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

It’s not been a good month for people trying to pretend the Wendy Davis campaign is actually capable of winning the Governor’s mansion.

First, during a time when Davis desperately needs media attention to have any hope of closing the gap with Republican opponent Attorney General Greg Abbott, the Rick Perry indictment is sucking up all the media oxygen. “It’s very good for Greg Abbott because he’s up by 12-13-14 points on Wendy Davis and he has two to three times as much money as she does to close out this race in the final weeks.”

Next comes word that Wendy Davis is actually polling 10 points behind where Bill White was at this time four years ago. And Bill White, despite running a markedly more competent and professional campaign than Davis has thus far, got slaughtered.

Then it was revealed that Davis was trying to hide her 2013 tax returns, giving partial copies to the media “with the stipulation that the document couldn’t be shared with anyone or published in full.” A look at those returns shows why. Her 2013 tax return itself shows that out of $249,754 in gross income, Wendy Davis actually paid Uncle Sam a grand total of $788 in withholding in 2013. That left her just a wee, tiny bit short of the amount she she estimated had to pay. Namely, $60,000 short. But even that amount (which is what she sent in with her extension form) turned out to be less than the $70,252 she actually owed, which is why she paid $1,246 in tax penalties.

Evidently, when you pull Davis’ string, she says “Math is hard!” in addition to “Abortion is awesome!”

Finally, Davis’ laughable attack ad attempt to link Abbott to problems at the troubled Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas gets slammed by MSM fact checkers. In fact, Jerald Combs, the only person indicted in the now-closed CPRIT investigation, has not donated anything to Abbott.

In a state as deep red as Texas, Democrats were always going to need a string, spotless candidate running a flawless campaign to have any hope of beating Abbott. Davis isn’t, and she hasn’t.

Texas vs. California Update for August 25, 2014

Monday, August 25th, 2014

Another look at how Texas stacks up to the no-longer-so-Golden state:

  • Problem: Those lousy taxpayers get pension reform passed. Solution: CalPERS uses “99 categories of ‘special pay’” to go on a pension spiking orgy.
  • What are some of those 99 categories? “Clerks who type well. Cops who shoot straight. Librarians who are “assigned to provide direction or resources to library patrons.” I’m too scared to check if “Teachers who don’t rape their students” is an actual category or not…
  • Governor Jerry Brown is sending mixed signals on the pension spiking issue.
  • Who actually owns the CalPERS gap between actual funding and what they’ll need to pay out? “CalPERS can be risky (and it has been) with no consequences. The taxpayers have all the responsibility, but none of the control.”
  • So how much payroll and pension did Stockton trim in their bankruptcy? Zero.
  • There is no California comeback. “Personal income-tax revenues fell by 11 percent in the first quarter of this year and more than 6 percent through June.”
  • California cities are among the slowest to recover from the recession.
  • The only way California can get pensions under control is through a constitutional amendment.
  • Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is asking for more money. They’re also asking Angelinos to overlook their high salaries and lack of accountability.

    City leaders are battling with DWP’s union, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 18, to release financial records of a nonprofit trust, run jointly by labor- and management-appointed trustees, that has run through $40 million in ratepayer money. Brian D’Arcy, IBEW Local 18’s business manager, has refused to turn over the trust’s financial records, and DWP executives have said they don’t know how the money was spent.

  • California voters get to weigh in on a 7.5 billion water bill in November, which seems to have considerably less pork than a previously delayed $11 billion bill.
  • So how does bankrupt San Bernardino plan to climb into the black? Cutting back on outrageous pensions? Ha, you must be high! “Help us, weed, you’re our only hope!”
  • I know this is a shock, but California’s High Speed Rail Authority is behind schedule on buying land for it’s doomed boondoggle.
  • Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Koretz opposes ride share programs like Uber and Lyft. Strangely enough, he’s also received $11,000 in campaign contributions from the taxi industry. Quid pro, meet quo.
  • YTexas helps companies relocating to Texas connect with local businesses.
  • LinkSwarm for August 22, 2014

    Friday, August 22nd, 2014

    Just making it to Friday coming back from vacation to Texas in the middle of August seems like it’s own victory condition…

  • The Great Obama Meltdown.
  • Ferguson is the Great Society writ large because the Great Society convinced, and then reassured, black people that they were victims, taught them that being a victim and playing a victim was the way to go always and forever.”
  • Maureen Dowd is never so readable as when she’s slamming Democrats for their personal failures. This week: Obama:

    His bored-bird-in-a-gilded-cage attitude, the article said, “has left him with few loyalists to effectively manage the issues erupting abroad and at home and could imperil his efforts to leave a legacy in his final stretch in office.”

    (snip)

    The extraordinary candidate turns out to be the most ordinary of men, frittering away precious time on the links. Unlike L.B.J., who devoured problems as though he were being chased by demons, Obama’s main galvanizing impulse was to get himself elected.

    (snip)

    The sad part is that this is an ugly, confusing and frightening time at home and abroad, and the country needs its president to illuminate and lead, not sink into some petulant expression of his aloofness, where he regards himself as a party of his own and a victim of petty, needy, bickering egomaniacs.

  • Russia is very upset street artists are turning Bulgarian monuments to the Soviet Union into American superheroes.
  • Enlightened, peaceful members of Temple University’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine call a Jewish student a “kike” and punch him in the face.
  • Convicted felon Brett Kimberlin bitchslapped by the court to the tune of $600 a week.
  • “Every major American church that has taken steps towards liberalization of sexual issues has seen a steep decline in membership.”
  • Washington Post: “Libertarians silent on Mo. shooting.” Except for all the ones who weren’t.
  • Rick Perry grand juror was an active Democratic Party delegate during indictment proceedings.
  • Mike Ditka stands up to the PC police.
  • Saturday Night Live announcer Don Pardo has died.
  • A tiny bit about Robin Williams.
  • Adventures in Badly Targeted Ads

    Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

    I hit Instapundit this morning, and guess who the banner ad was attacking?

    Screen shot 2014-08-19 at 8.11.56 AM

    That’s right: An anti-Greg Abbott, pro-Wendy Davis ad on Instapundit! That’s some mighty fine use of targeted advertising, Wendy Davis campaign!

    Next up: A Jewish Defense League fundraising appeal on Al Jazerra…

    Perry Indictment Slammed as Ridiculous On Both Left and Right

    Monday, August 18th, 2014

    More and more commentators, on all sides of the political spectrum, have weighed in on the risible nature of the Rick Perry indictment:

  • Respectable lefty attorney Alan Derschowitz (who has maintained an admirably consistent commitment to civil liberties throughout his career) condemns the Perry indictment: “Everybody, liberal or conservative, should stand against this indictment.”
  • Patterico provides extensive legal analysis and notes: “Words truly fail to describe what an outrageous and unsupportable abuse of prosecutorial power this is.”
  • “’You can’t pay me enough to vote for Rick Perry, but this indictment is a totally corrupt use of criminal law,’ said David Berg, a Houston attorney and contributor to Democratic candidates. ‘It is clearly political, vindictive and unsupportable.’”
  • Sarah Palin notes that frivolous lawsuits to derail a Republican’s national electoral chances are now standard operating procedure for Democrats.
  • Lefty journalist Jonathan Chait says:

    They say a prosecutor could get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich, and this always seemed like hyperbole, until Friday night a Texas grand jury announced an indictment of governor Rick Perry…The theory behind the indictment is flexible enough that almost any kind of political conflict could be defined as a “misuse” of power or “coercion” of one’s opponents. To describe the indictment as “frivolous” gives it far more credence than it deserves.

  • Even MSNBC says that “it’s hard to imagine sending a governor to jail for talking about why he issued a veto.”
  • In other news, check out the #IStumbleWithRosemaryLehmberg tag…

    Rick Perry Indicted for Acting Like a Governor

    Saturday, August 16th, 2014

    Friday Rick Perry was indicted for using his constitutionally enumerated veto powers, namely carrying through on his threat to veto $7.5 million funding for the Travis County Public Integrity Unit last year unless Democratic District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg resigned over her DWI.

    To call it weak sauce is to give the false impression that there’s any sauce there whatsoever. This is pure political hackery by a Democratic prosecutor looking to “get Perry,” since Democrats have been completely unable to do so at the ballot box. As Powerline notes:

    The Travis County district attorney’s office has long been a cesspool of corruption. It was that office, controlled by the Democratic Party machine, that infamously indicted Tom DeLay for nothing. It took years before DeLay could finally clear his name, and his career was ruined.

    Conservatives should respond to this indictment by rallying around Perry. The indictment is a bad joke, intended simply to generate negative publicity. As with the bogus DeLay indictment from the same source, years may go by before it is finally proved baseless. In the meantime, conservatives should stand behind Perry and denounce the politically-motivated machinations of Texas Democrats.

    Eugene Volokh notes that in a previous case (Wurtz vs. Risley) the court ruled that “Coercion of a lawful act by a threat of lawful action is protected free expression.”

    Even Think Progress think the Perry indictment is weak. Another sign of that weakness is the fact they released the indictment late Friday, the traditional “bury the story” dumping ground.

    I suspect Rick Perry will come out of this just fine. The real loser will be Lehmberg, when a whole new national audience gets to see her drunkenly scream “Call Greg!” all over again…

    Texas Election News Update for August 14, 2014

    Thursday, August 14th, 2014

    With all Obama’s manifest incompetence at the national and international level, it’s easy to neglect Texas election news, so here’s a small update to tide you over.

  • Even liberal MSM fossil Paul Burka says that the governor’s race is over and Wendy Davis has already lost. (Shhhhh! Don’t tell her national liberal donors! Let them keep tossing dollars down the hole…
  • Abbott wants to reform Texas occupational licensing schemes, noting that an EMT only requires 33 days of training, but cosmetologists and barbers require 350 days of training.
  • Lt. Governor candidates Dan Patrick and Leticia Van de Putte will be having debate in September.
  • Brandon Creighton wins special election for state senate.
  • In the Texas House District 136 race (my district), Democratic challenger John Bucy claims to have raised more money than Republican incumbent Tony Dale. But that’s only true by counting Bucy’ spersonal political expenditures as contributions, contrary to state law, counting his volunteer campaign manager’s non-existent $22,018.70 “salary” as a contribution, and counting a bunch of other in-kind contributions.