FBI Scrutiny in Denton Mailboxes
Did you receive a shiny mailer today in your mailbox that includes a link to a website that claims there is FBI scrutiny in Denton and warning of subversives among us who are practicing civil disobedience and even <gasp> campaigning against the death penalty? Then Yee Haw! Its voting time in Denton!
The mailer linked to the Citizens for Local Governance website where they ask:
On one page of their site, they have the Joey Hawkins recall petition.
It seems the local chapter of Rising Tide is the main boogie man. But I’m also mentioned and I’ve move on from the recent election where Denton voted to ban fracking. I’m no longer Putin’s girl. Now the FBI is after me:
Sharon Wilson, a local organizer for EarthWorks, also was contacted by the FBI after posting online details of her arrest in Washington, D.C. in 2011.
Only, guess what: The FBI has never contacted me. Not ever. So, is it libel or slander when it’s in writing, I can never remember.
There are many links on the site because everyone knows links make it all true. Only reading the linked material actually shows their claims are false.
It took the clever Dentonites no time at all to discover who is behind this clumsy Red Scare nonsense.
Pete Kamp is a former council member and part of the entrenched, establishment robber barons in Denton. I heard a rumor that she recently started a Political Action Committee and, if so, it’s off to a great start. Only, let me remind you what happened last time there was an election and Denton got mailbox propaganda?
There are some things that money can’t buy, even a mega crap-load of money. The opposition buried Denton in deceptive mailers which just made people angry. The mailers at the top with blue banners, those were from Ed Ireland and were not reported in the campaign spending. Even ads during the Cowboy football game didn’t deceive people.
I’ve not weighed in on the Joey Hawkins recall petition. Hawkins is part of the voting block of the four smartest men in the room who want Denton to shut up, sit down and let them make all the decisions because Father Knows Best, by golly. He is not well known for listening to his constituents. It’s not my decision to make, but I thought the recall was a waste of time and effort and had little chance to win.
That’s all changed. Kamp has done Hawkins no favor here.
I don’t believe there is any FBI scrutiny in Denton but there damn sure needs to be.
UPDATE: Please read this article in the Denton Record Chronicle.
Hawkins has received financial help from local real estate agents through their statewide political action committee. He said they have offered to help again.
Brandon Alderete, director of political affairs for the Texas Association of Realtors (TAR), confirmed he is providing the local chapter political advice on the recall campaign. The statewide association endorsed House Bill 40, the state law that nullified the citizens’ initiative to ban fracking in Denton.
You have been warned: Brandon Alderete gives bad advice! The people taking his advice have poor judgment.
Twenty-four hours later, no one has heard a peep from Joey Hawkins. WHERE IS JOEY?
Here is another take on the mailers. I was reluctant to connect the gas plants issue with the mailer but it makes sense because why else would they mention me. I have kept my distance from the whole recall thing.
What the mailers are really about is the establishment panicking because they are loosing power in Denton.
UPDATE 2: This afternoon Joey Hawkins put this statement on his facebook page:
Regarding yesterday’s mailer-
I was aware a Political Action Committee had been formed, in fact the subject of mailers was brought up at the last forum. I don’t have any part in this PAC or what they choose to say. The first time I saw the mailer is when it was posted on Facebook and then received one yesterday in my mailbox.
I am going to continue my campaign and my fight against the petition in the recall effort to remove me from office. I have worked hard on City Council representing District 4 and the City of Denton. I care deeply about this City and I want to continue serving. I ask you to vote NO against the recall.
Astute readers will note that he did not disavow the dirty tactics in the mailer and also note the DRC article linked above showing that Hawkins knew that Austin realtors were giving campaign advice on his behalf. He admits in his statement that he knew there was a PAC.
UPDATE 3: I FOUND THE OUTSIDERS!!! The mailer is focused on outsiders who are trying to influence the Joey Hawkins recall.
But all the people listed in the mailer are:
- a) People who live in Denton.
- b) People, like me, who have had zero involvement in the Hawkins recall. (I had no involvement until I was dragged into it by this silly mailer.)
So I read the DRC article linked in the first update above and went looking for the real outsiders who influence Denton elections and, in this case, the recall. I found Brandon Alderete, director of political affairs for the Texas Association of Realtors (TAR), who admitted he is advising the campaign. Alderete has nicely laid out in a fancy presentation demonstrating how TAR’s “Political Affairs” division in Austin, Texas meddles in the local political affairs of cities.
Here’s what TAR does:
- Identifies prospective candidates in local areas through candidate interviews that “ensure candidates are friendly or receptive to our issues.” (Note: passing HB40 was one of TAR’s issues.)
- Establish a relationship.
- Train them in TAR’s Candidate Academy for the rigors of a Texas political campaign
- Supports them in many ways…
Please view the fancy presentation demonstrating how TAR’s “Political Affairs” division in Austin, Texas meddles in the local political affairs of cities. I think we might expect robocalls and such as part of their influence peddling in Denton politics.
Whew! Now we finally know who the outsiders are behind that ominous curtain. But I think this is a more illustrative picture.
P.S. TAR is or has been an ALEC supporter.
Texas Association of Realtors, “Trustee” level sponsor of the 2014 ALEC Annual Conference[
And another thing… I cannot find Joey Hawkins listed as a licensed–current or expired–real estate agent in the state database or the Denton County database. Can anyone else find him? If he is not a licensed real estate agent or broker, there is only one reason TAR would support him so fiercely: The need him to do their bidding.
Controversial Flier Stirs Concerns
Mailer suggests group trying to gain control of Denton City Council
By Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe
Published: 18 April 2016 10:26 PM
UPDATE 5: Forget all this stuff. There is a new threat to Denton: HugGate.
UPDATE 6: Ho boy! The Denton HugGate scandal deepens with another installment: It’s not my PAC or the cheese has slipped off her cracker
About Sharon Wilson
Sharon Wilson is considered a leading citizen expert on the impacts of shale oil and gas extraction. She is the go-to person whether it’s top EPA officials from D.C., national and international news networks, or residents facing the shock of eminent domain and the devastating environmental effects of natural gas development in their backyards.
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The FBI is tipping off others, on who they are watching? Wow, sounds like the FBI should be going after who ever made those mailers, for disclosing surveillance details.
Thanks for these insights Sharon. I attached this article to mine over at Denton Doings
Jennifer Lane says
Recall of Hawkins, if successful, means that Denton could have a better councilor in District a whole year sooner if not more. Hawkins seat would normally be up for election cycle in 2017. Now it is up in 2016. If recalled, City can wait till November 2016 to hold an election to replace him or, according to its Charter, can (and is supposed to) hold a special election. City doesn’t follow its Charter much lately in anything (city auditor, public votes on new utility infrastructure, and now elections). Recall has also totally energized the public. Another recall petition was filed against another of the group of four in the voting bloc, Kevin Roden. Roden has said recalls would discourage good people from running for local office. Whether successful or not, the Denton recall petitions have had the opposite effect. There are five people running for Place 5 and two running for Place 6. Several are in the wings waiting to campaign for Hawkins’ seat the minute he is removed. And the best part? None of those running against the incumbents seem to be doing it for anything but genuine public interest. All except the incumbents are in favor of an ethics ordinance that prevents the sort of misuse of power that has been going on in Denton for decades.
Jeezuz H. Christ
I know, right? This mailer was a huge mistake. And they shouldn’t have included me in it because it only made me curious about what is happening behind that curtain.
This is but one example of corporate meddling into political affairs. Obviously the Oil and Gas industry have similar structures to further their goals. Grass roots organizations are no competition for the deep pockets these industries provide to their people.
I’m sure TAR is also part of the larger influence peddling leviathan known as ALEC
Larry recently posted..A Niemöller Nightmare
They are a sponsor of ALEC