Image: Students at Top Mark High School in Kawangware, Kenya, enjoying the tax dollars with which Montgomery County’s Craig Doyal, the County Judge, wants to support them. (Source: Educational Outcomes.)
Conroe, November 24 – As Montgomery County Judge Craig Doyal sees his political career crumbling into dust as a result of his anti-citizen, pro-special interest, actions, his behavior is rapidly descending into the more bizarre. As an example, Doyal tucked an ultra-liberal income redistribution program onto the secretive “consent agenda” to receive a $20,000 community development block grant from the federal government through the Montgomery County government for a social justice welfare program that mostly supports low income individuals in Kenya, Syria, and Turkey.
Doyal wants $20,000 of tax dollars to go to Educational Outcomes: A Global Development Charity, which primarily supports education and social justice programs in Kenya, Syria, and Turkey. Educational Outcomes also supports GED programs for low income individuals in Montgomery County.
One of the problems with giving funds to this bizarre organization is that, by doing so, the County government’s Community Development Block Grants program takes away limited funds from organizations whose focus is to help the needy of Montgomery County. Those organizations include the Montgomery County Homeless Coalition, Meals on Wheels, and Children’s Safe Harbor.
Conservative Republican political activist and GOP Precinct Chair Ginger Russell has said about the proposed Doyal program, “Why would the taxpayers of Montgomery be on the hook for a refugee social justice welfare program partnered with Syria and Turkey? This is outrageous and needs to be de-funded immediately. When will the spending stop?”
Doyal and the members of the Commissioners Court who voted for the Fiscal Year 2018 Budget, which are all members of the Court other than Precinct 4 County Commissioner Jim Clark who is very much an “against-the-establishment” reformer who voted against the Budget on September 5, clearly are willing to take limited tax funds and use them for political favors.
With these nonprofit organizations, which receive favoritism from the County government, Doyal and pro-spending colleagues are forcing taxpayers to contribute to charitable causes. Under the tax reform plan which has passed the United States House of Representatives and is now pending before the United States Senate, what that means is that Montgomery County citizens must use non-deductible local property tax payments (as we’ll lose that deduction under the Kevin Brady-authored tax bill) to support charities, when individual charitable contributions would, in fact, still be tax deductible.
Now, it’s important to be fair to Educational Outcomes: A Global Development Charity, even though their intent is to force taxpayers to give them money using their political connections. Doyal’s proposed community block grant to Educational Outcomes: A Global Development Charity will be $20,000.
Under Housing and Urban Development regulations, especially 24 CFR Part 570.208 (which probably comes to the mind of most readers of The Golden Hammer), those funds should primarily go to needy individuals in the geographic jurisdiction of the local government, i.e., Montgomery County. Nevertheless, there are convenient ways to get around those rules, and Educational Outcomes: A Global Development Charity has actually contracted with Doyal already to take advantage of one of those methods to use CDBG funds to support programs outside of the United States. Specifically, the $20,000 will receive an allocation of $15,000 to pay for the salary of the “Program Director” and $5,000 to pay for “Program Supplies.”
In other words, the block grant which Doyal has proposed to Educational Outcomes: A Global Development Charity will cover general overhead of the organization, which, of course, has a focus of supporting educational programs in Kenya, Syria, and Turkey. In fairness, Educational Outcomes: A Global Development Charity does provide some educational services to Montgomery County as well.
This block grant and the County government’s forced charity upon the citizens of Montgomery County are both abusive and also a financial practice that is very unsound.