Back when Dr. Steve Hotze released his slate of candidates under the banner of “Conservative Republicans of Texas”, I made note of it and commented on it. So it’s only fair that I do the same for the little fella that puts his out under the banner of “Link Letter“, Terry Lowry. Right? I mean, fair is fair.
First off, let’s just admit up front that no matter how short he is, he knows how to make money off of political candidates. Here is a table of the payments made to him in this election cycle, limited to candidates that have to report at the state level. There is more money than this in his pocket from federal and county candidates but we’ll save that for after election analysis.
|Dean, Sherill Y.||The Whats Up Program,||$5,000||10/25/2013||voter registration and pecinct chair recruitment advise and information|
|Flowers, Melanie W.||The What's Up Program,||$10,000||1/03/2014||Campaign Ads|
|Franklin, Alicia||The Link Letter,||$10,000||1/10/2014||Print ad|
|Friends of Barry Smitherman,||The What's Up Program,||$50,000||1/17/2014||Campaign Advertising Expense|
|Friends of Barry Smitherman,||What's Up Program,||$4,950||9/27/2013||Campaign Advertising Expense|
|Friends of Barry Smitherman,||What's Up Program,||$4,830||12/19/2013||Campaign Advertising Expense|
|Friends of Paul Bettencourt,||The Link Letter,||$10,000||1/06/2014||Print Advertising Placement|
|Friends of Paul Bettencourt,||The What's Up Program,||$3,000||12/11/2013||Electronic Media Placement Radio|
|Harris County Republican Party (CEC),||Whats Up Program,||$5,000||10/10/2013||Pct. Chair Recruitment Program|
|Hegar, Glenn A.||The What's Up Program,||$4,950||10/14/2013||campaign radio advertising|
|Hinde, Daniel E.||The What's UP Program,||$10,000||12/27/2013||Advertising|
|Lloyd, Russell T.||The What's Up Program,||$5,000||11/01/2013||Print Advertising|
|Miller, Sid||What's Up Radio,||$2,415||1/07/2014||Radio ads|
|Opiela, Eric C.||The What's Up Program,||$50,000||1/16/2014||Advertising|
|Opiela, Eric C.||The What's Up Program,||$4,950||11/22/2013||Radio Advertising|
|Paul, Dennis R.||The What's Up Program,||$10,000||1/14/2014||Advertisment in LINK Letter Voter Guide Edition|
|Paxton, W. Kenneth||The What's UP Program,||$50,000||1/17/2014||Campaign advertisment in campaign mailer|
|Phillips, John F.||The Whats Up Program,||$10,000||12/18/2013||Political Ad|
|Pratt, Denise V.||What's Up Radio Program,||$10,000||1/04/2014||Political Advertising|
|Prine, Charley E.||What's Up Radio Program,||$1,000||10/02/2013||Advertising|
|Prine, Charley E.||What's Up Radio Program,||$10,000||12/18/2013||Advertising|
|Riddle, Deborah A.||The What's Up Radio Program,||$5,000||1/22/2014||Advertising in Publication|
|Riddle, Deborah A.||The What's Up Radio Program,||$5,000||12/03/2013||Advertising in Publication|
|Schmude, Harold John||What's UP Radio Program,||$2,100||1/07/2014||Radio Advertising - 60 Second Political Ad|
|Schmude, Harold John||What's UP Radio Program,||$10,000||1/02/2014||Full Page Ad - Link Letter|
|Schofield, Michael||The Link Letter,||$5,000||1/16/2014||Print Advertising Placement|
|Simpson, Paul F.||What's Up Program,||$5,000||12/12/2013||Initial (50%) payment for full page ad in March 2014 Link Letter|
|Sitton, Ryan||The Link Letter,||$50,000||1/16/2014||Print Advertising Placement|
|Texans for Dan Patrick,||The Link Letter,||$50,000||1/16/2014||Print Advertising Placement|
|Texans for Dan Patrick,||The What's UP Program,||$4,830||12/19/2013||Radio Advertising|
|Texans for Dan Patrick,||The What's UP Program,||$4,950||9/27/2013||Radio Advertising|
|Walker, Meca L.||The What's Up Program,||$10,000||1/06/2014||Full-Page Advertisement|
|Walker, Meca L.||The What's Up Program,||$2,100||1/06/2014||Radio Buy|
|Wallace, Jim||What's Up Program,||$10,000||12/19/2013||Advertising|
|Woodfill, Jared R.||The What's Up Program,||$1,575||9/16/2013||Radio ads|
|Woodfill, Jared R.||The What's Up Program,||$5,100||1/22/2014||Print ad|
|Woodfill, Jared R.||The What's Up Program,||$7,000||1/21/2014||Print ad|
|Woodfill, Jared R.||The What's Up Program,||$1,500||8/16/2013||Radio ads|
Whoa boy, I told you that little fella knows how to rack in the cash. The total of those payments is $450,250. Not bad for seven months. Remember, we still have a reporting period to go, plus add in those federal and county candidates and we might be talking serious money by the time this primary is over, no?
Mr. Lowry insists that he doesn’t sell his endorsements. And some people believe him. I mean, why else would Harris County Republican Party chair candidate Paul Simpson tell him that he was okay with his system and hand him Ed Emmett’s $10,000? I think Paul had to be under the influence at the time if he truly thought he was going to get Lowry’s endorsement but that’s just me.
The thing that stood out to me as I reviewed Lowry’s “endorsements” was the color of the candidates he “endorsed”. No, I didn’t say they were green, but you might get that picture from this chart:
Those are races in Harris County where at least one of the candidates is a minority. We’ve been pushing the party to allow minority candidates to participate for years but when they do, this is almost always what happens. Not just with Lowry, but with the voters. But since we’re talking about the little fella, let’s stick to that.
First off, notice that every single one of his “endorsees” paid him. Nothing illegal about that, he runs a private business and candidates can spend their money however they want. Did he “sell” his “endorsements”? No way to know – he says he didn’t so we have to take his word for it.
Second, notice that he didn’t “endorse” a single minority candidate. Are the white folks that much better? I know these candidates and I don’t think so. What then? Did the minority candidates refuse to pay? Well, no, both Melanie Flowers and Judge Meca Walker paid in the 247th race. Judge Walker has an exemplary record on the bench and is very accomplished in the legal arena, especially compared to Lowry’s “endorsee”, who is a good man but has very limited legal experience. So what could it be?
Mostly I’ll leave it to you to speculate but I will say that both Judge Walker and Flowers suffer from the same delusion as Paul Simpson. The idea that a guy that does this and this to extremely qualified applicants for precinct chair would endorse a single black woman with no children who admittedly voted for Barack Obama over a married white guy that has two children,
and dopted a child has a story about an attempted adoption that will make any religious person cringe, and has made an issue of the Obama vote is ludicrous. It was never going to happen and was a waste of $12,100. The very competent judge showed very poor judgment in this case. As for Flowers, well, she’s been (gasp) divorced, contributed to Democrat Ron Reynolds, and voted for Barack Obama – trust me, none of her other accomplishments trumps those “errors”. Delusional.
When will Harris County Republican Party candidates learn? How many years do I have to keep pointing this out?
Terry Lowry has every right to run his business as he sees fit and can hate anyone different than himself all he wants but candidates have the right to just say no. And until they exercise that right and use their money to educate voters about the pay-to-play slates, we’re going to be stuck with this system.
And Harris County Republican Party voters better learn fast that we cannot keep a system in place that discourages minority candidates from participating in our party.