Conroe, February 25 – In the March 6, 2018, Republican Primary Election, Montgomery County voters have received numerous voter guides by mail and by hand at polling places. Most of the guides are available online as well. Since Montgomery County is one of the most conservative communities in the United States, all of the guides claim they are “conservative.” Several of the guides claim they represent “Republicans.” The most ubiquitous and reliable conservative voter guide in Montgomery County is that of the Texas Patriots PAC, which carefully interviews candidates, follows a formal procedure for endorsements and recommendations, mails the voter guide, and has well-organized volunteers who hand them out at the election polls.
The completely fake guide that has surfaced in this Republican Primary Election is the “Conservative Republicans of Texas.” While that group is the real fundraising organization of two Houston politicians, the Montgomery County version of their endorsement list is nothing but a “pay to play” political advertisement for which Precinct 2 County Commissioner Charlie Riley paid $12,000 (and possibly more). Riley paid for that group to endorse him, to call him a “conservative,” and to endorse Riley’s choices in the Primary Election, according to two individuals in Riley’s County office and one individual in Riley’s campaign who have requested anonymity. Riley’s Campaign Finance Reports reflect the payments of $2,000 per month to a political consultant in Houston who is the consultant who organizes the “Conservative Republicans of Texas” mailer.
It’s not surprising that Riley would engage in such a deceitful and underhanded strategy. Riley and Montgomery County Judge Craig Doyal won election in 2014 by creating a complete fake “tea party” organization to confuse voters at the polls about which “tea party” organization was the real one handing out the real “tea party” voter guide. Riley would not have won the 2014 Republican Runoff Election without the deceit and confusion he created.
There is an excellent Guest Editorial in today’s edition of The Golden Hammer, Montgomery County’s leading daily newspaper, by renowned conservative leader Jon Paul Bouche in which Bouche discusses some easy litmus tests to determine if a voter guide is fake. Please see”Guest Editorial: Jon Paul Bouche, ‘Help! How do I tell if I’ve received a fake voter guide?’,” The Golden Hammer, February 25, 2018.
There have been five prominent voter guides which Montgomery County voters have received. The following chart analyzes each organization with the following questions:
Does the group interview candidates before endorsing?
Does the group use the Republican Party of Texas Platform planks as criteria in candidate evaluation?
Does the group accept money in advance of endorsements to buy endorsements, i.e. “Pay to Play”?
Does the group accept money from candidates after endorsements?
Does the group have regular public meetings?
Is the group local?
Montgomery County Voter Guide Comparison
Texas Patriots PAC. Financially and organizationally, the Texas Patriots PAC is the most robust Tea Party organization in Montgomery County. In fact, they’re one of the most successful Tea Party organizations in the United States. They have strong leadership in Dr. Julie Turner, retired attorney and oil and gas executive Jon Bauman, and Montgomery County’s “Sage” Bill O’Sullivan. They have regular meetings for members and the public.
Montgomery County Tea Party. This organization conducts a very elaborate vetting process and provides an encyclopedic wealth of data after completion. They adhere to the Republican Party Platform more closely than the other groups. They don’t follow the “Buckley Rule,” however, which is to endorse the most conservative candidate who actually has a chance of winning. Sometimes that results in endorsements of minor candidates. Additionally, their Voter Guide has a wealth of information but is difficult to read. This group is very sincere and has some of the most dedicated and hardworking conservative activists you’ll ever meet.
Freedom & Liberty Conservatives PAC. This group is a small group of grassroots conservatives who recently formed to back a “Reform” group of conservative candidates in the Montgomery County elections. According to the group’s Treasurer, they haven’t received any funds from candidates and don’t intend to do so. They have not had public meetings yet. That group’s voter guide only covers certain races.
Linkletter. The Linkletter is conservative Houston radio talk show host Terry Lowry’s voter guide. Lowry consults with local conservative leaders before issuing the Linkletter’s endorsements. It is not a “Pay to Play” voter guide, but the Linkletter does accept candidate advertising after completing its endorsements.
Conservative Republicans of Texas. On a state level this group actually does some good, but they use local elections to raise funds for their statewide efforts. Riley paid $12,000 for the group’s endorsement, which is really just a Riley-Doyal advertisement for the two embattled Montgomery County incumbents. Riley and Doyal hate Precinct 4 County Commissioner Jim Clark, so they’ve endorsed his challenger James Metts.