Editorial: Thinking about Charlie Riley

Editorial: Thinking about Charlie Riley

Image: Precinct 2 Montgomery County Commissioner Charlie Riley (center) watched election returns on May 22, 2018, the evening of the Republican Runoff Election with his campaign manager Kristin Nichole (left).

Eric Yollick, The Golden Hammer

Charlie Riley, the Precinct 2 Montgomery County Commissioner, and other politicians need to understand that thinking conservatives don’t follow politicians on blind loyalty. Over the past few weeks, Riley has presented difficult factual circumstances for conservative voters in Commissioner Precinct 2 (southwest Montgomery County).

Is Riley really a Republican?

The Montgomery County Republican Party Victory 2018 Steering Committee has campaigned very hard for Riley for the November 6 General Election. Riley is on the popular GOP Victory 2018 push cards which hundreds of block-walkers have delivered to several thousand doors of homes in Precinct 2. Riley appears on both of the mailers of the Montgomery County Republican Party Victory 2018 Committee as the Republican Nominee for re-election to his position as an elected servant.

Riley, however, has shown no magnanimity towards the hundreds of volunteers who have worked thousands of hours for him as part of the Victory 2018 Steering Committee’s efforts. To the contrary, Riley contributed money to a competing unauthorized group that has actually tried to take funds and volunteers away from the official Montgomery County Republican Party effort. Riley and one other elected Republican were the only two who made that terrible decision.

At the same time, Riley declared war on two major groups largely identified with the Republican Party. He’s made it clear that he does not support Montgomery County’s law enforcement community. His voting record on the Commissioners Court is the worst of all of its five members on law enforcement issues. Riley has also declared his opposition to the majority of the Republican Party Precinct Chairs in Commissioner Precinct 2, the very people who lead the volunteer effort to re-elect him as a Commissioner.

Riley and his campaign manager Kristin Nichole have formed a fake “Republican organization” called “Republican Voters of Texas PAC” which has actually campaigned openly for democrats during the November 6 General Election cycle. Please see “Riley’s Anti-GOP Attitude Overwhelms His Supporters, As Their Fake ‘Republican’ PAC Spins Into Pro-Democrat Group,” The Golden Hammer, October 31, 2018. Riley’s closest supporters have campaigned for the democrat running for Montgomery County Judge and for Robert Francis O’Rourke, two ultra-liberal democrats. Riley has never endorsed any of the other Republicans running as the Party’s Nominees in the November 6 Election.

Riley has a terrible voting record on the Montgomery County Commissioners Court.

As far as his being a Republican, the one positive one might say for Charlie Riley is that he at least claims he’s a “Republican.” His opponent is an openly anti-Trump democrat who is far more focused on the democrat party’s liberal causes (pro-illegal immigration, pro-union, anti-business) than on securing the freedom and liberty which are the bedrock of American society.

Where the pending criminal proceedings fit in all of these concerns?

Riley is under indictment for allegedly violating the Texas Open Meetings Act. That case is pending before the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals and is likely to come back to Montgomery County’s 221st District Court for a jury trial some time in 2019. If convicted, Riley would suffer removal from office.

Riley now also faces a new criminal investigation into allegations from officers in the Sheriff’s Office and employees and former employees of Commissioner Precinct 2 that Riley has abused his public office as a County Commissioner by taking and using County government property, services, and employee time for personal and political gain. The Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office and the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office are investigating the allegations, which the Sheriff’s Office initiated, and will likely proceed to begin to present evidence to a Montgomery County Grand Jury as early as next week.

It’s important to remember that the United States is a nation of laws and does not act “upon the whims of men.” Under the United States and Texas Constitutions, Riley is innocent unless he is found guilty in a court of law. Montgomery County is not Senator Charles Schumer (d-New York) who convicted Judge, now Justice, Brett Kavanaugh of attempted rape and sexual harassment before even hearing the testimony before the United States Senate Judiciary Committee.

Screen shot of Riley’s campaign manager Kristin Nichole’s comments on his behalf.

Yesterday, November 2, Riley’s campaign manager Kristin Nichole tried to defend the Commissioner on Facebook. Her defense is always welcome, but it does raise some questions:

  • Why doesn’t Riley speak for himself ever?
  • Why is a campaign manager making statements on behalf of a County government official about County government employment actions? That’s reminiscent of JP James Metts’ claiming that corrupt local political boss Marc Davenport was his “sworn deputy” and allowing Davenport to act as the “spokesman” for the Justice of the Peace Court.
  • Why didn’t Riley respond to each of the allegations?
  • Susan Kelly made a good point that each of the fired County employees were given and took the option to resign instead. Why didn’t Riley respond to Susan Kelly’s point that “being forced to resign and being fired are one in the same”? Why didn’t Kristin Nichole press the Commissioner for the full story?
  • Two individuals have informed this newspaper that the actual owner of the horse trailer was his grand-daughter, the daughter of Riley’s daughter? Does that really make a difference?
  • One individual, who still works in Precinct 2, informed this newspaper that Riley uses the boat but, of course, that doesn’t mean the boat is titled in Riley’s name. Does that make any difference?

Riley should have responded when this newspaper reached out to him for comment. Riley should have responded after this newspaper published the article, if he wanted to respond.

Elected servants should serve and not hide.

As voters vote on Tuesday, November 6, they’ll need to consider all of these facts.





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