Public Allegation of For Sale Endorsement by Link Letter

This public allegation was made by James Le Quynh, who is a respected member of the Vietnamese Republican community, was instrumental in helping Al Hoang to win a position on the Houston City Council, and who was helping his son run for State Representative in House District 149.

The allegation came over the weekend during the attacks by Mr. Lowry on HCRP Chair candidate Ed Hubbard. I waited for confirmation that Mr. Le would stick by his allegations before publishing them. Here is the original Facebook entry that Mr. Le left Mr. Hubbard on Sunday, March 7th:

Mr. Hubbard, you have spelled out the fact of whom Terry Lowry really is! He has shown my son, Bryan Le (a 21 years old candidate, who truly wanted to be a public servant), a trashy-side of politics – “Pay-for-Play” tactics! I wonder what is really the value of the LinkLetter? TL asked $10,000 for an ad, which we did not have the money to pay, … See Morein exchange for his endorsement. He said he would not endorse anyone in D-149 race at our first ever meeting at the La Madeleine in Town & Country Mall! But then, Mr. Jack O’Connor name was in the LinkLetter’s “Sample Ballot” … Endorsement should be based on merit, not on a bag full of dollar bills! Our Republican Party shall be united by our common conservative values and principles! I do support Jared, and I also see an honorable man, a true Leader in you to lead our Party in Harris County! Let’s be fair to Mr. Woodfill. You both have your own merit and leadership styles. On the issue about TL, I am on your side! We need to weed out those media groups who practice “Pay-for-Play” tactics to win votes! I believe those candidates, who are spending the dollars to receive this kind of endorsement, might not be the “CHOICE” candidates that deserve anyone support! Good luck with your runoff. Sincerely yours, James Le

I asked Mr. Le the following via Facebook Messaging:

Do you have anything more to add to your story about Terry Lowry offering to endorse Brian for $10,000? Date? Place?

To which he responded:

David,

It was an early morning (9-10am) meeting at La Madeline in Town&Country between Terry, me and Bryan! I can go back to my phone record to find out the exact date! We were introduced to Terry by Mr. Burt Levine and was excited to receive an interview with Terry for the possible endorsement! He did interview Bryan. Then he talked about his publication. And Terry asked us to pay $10,000 for a full page ad in his LinkLetter, and he would endorse Bryan also if we placed the ad, but we did not have the money! I will ask Bryan if he took notes during that meeting! You can call my son, Bryan, to find out more about the meeting with Terry.

In the response to Mr. Hubbard, I have told the truth. I think you must also call Terry up and talk to him about the meeting to hear from his side of the story, too. If he is a Christian, a gentleman, and a honorable person, he will tell you the truth!

Well, I think people have to make a living anyhow, and it is a cost to the publisher to print 56-page newsletters, postage and other costs … It is nothing wrong of asking candidates to pay for the ad, but simultaneously grant an endorsement under that condition, I would question the value of the “Endorsement”!!!

Please, call me at xxx.xxx.xxxx if you have any question! My 2-cent thought for now is … “I am a conservative Republican, and I am trying to bring the Vietnamese American voters out for this November election and vote Republican. I hope you, me and all Republicans can put our differences aside and UNITED as a stronger voting block for our Republican’s candidates in November and future elections! Sincerely, James Le

I will note that the Link Letter didn’t make it to 56 pages this year – it came in at 48. And that the Mr. Lowry’s eventual candidate, Jack O’Connor, was leading the pack after the March 2nd primary and will be in a run-off with long-time Republican activist Dianne Williams. And it only cost him $5,000.

Obviously, I attempted to contact Mr. Lowry via the only method that has been successful for me in the past (yeah, I know I’m not some big shot Chron reporter). I sent Mr. Lowry a Facebook Message:

Mr. Lowry,

Please call. This is a courtesy that I extend to anyone when I put out information such as I will later when I cannot verify it. I have someone on the record stating that you did offer your endorsement for a price.

I will allow you to respond, without commentary from me, if you wish. Ask Jared or any number of other people, there is one thing that I want, and that is truth. Nothing more. If you have not done this, I would appreciate it if you would call me and tell me.

David Jennings

281-542-3189 (note, I use Google voice, so you have to state your name, sorry, just the way it works)

I sent that message approximately 12 hours ago. And I do mean it – if Mr. Lowry wishes to respond, I will still print his response verbatim because it really is the truth that I am after.

Why do candidates continue to give money to Mr. Lowry and others? Because they are very successful. During this cycle, only one of Mr. Lowry’s chosen candidates, Rachel Palmer, lost. Mr. Lowry has stated that he mailed out 140,000 copies of his publication.

The only way for Republican voters to get back into control of their party is to reject the candidates put forth by these publications. These guys are market driven. If they clean up the “whiff of pay-to-play”, they can still sell advertisements in their publications. Perhaps not as profitably but my guess is that their revenue would be about the same after the first cycle because in the end, it is more about getting that “ballot” into the hands of as many voters as possible rather than the “endorsement”.