Even after Russell chides them, Keough, Montgomery County Commissioners Court proceed to gift $1.6 million of taxes to state agencies, politically-favored charities

Conservative Republican Precinct Chair and political activist Ginger Russell urged the Montgomery County Commissioners Court not to vote in favor of gifting almost $1.6 million of local tax dollars to the charities of the politicians’ choice. The Commissioners Court completely ignored Russell.

The Golden Hammer Staff Reports

Conroe, September 29 – Despite serious criticism from conservative Republican Precinct Chair and political activist Ginger Russell, the Montgomery County Commissioners Court voted unanimously, without discussion or deliberation, to approve almost $1.6 million in charity of tax dollars, which the County government is giving away to state agencies and politically-connected nonprofit organizations on Tuesday, September 28, 2021, during a Regular Commissioners Court meeting.

Russell told the Commissioners Court at the beginning of the meeting:

“I was going to do a Bible Study today but then I realized you have on your consent agenda $1.5 million that you’d like to allocate to the charities of your choice. There’s a word for this: it’s called ‘socialism.’ You’ll see it all over the news today. Taking other people’s money and distributing it to those charities you choose to give to is wrong. That’s wrong; it buys votes for you. As a pastor [pointing to County Judge Mark Keough], I’d like for you to show me where in Scripture it says government is supposed to take my money and give to charities that you choose.

“One of the charities is called Family Promise that somehow made contact with my church. I caught wind of it. George Soros is behind it. The Rockefeller Foundation is behind it. It used to be called the Interfaith Dialogue. They house families and it doesn’t matter if they’re heterosexual or homosexual. It’s a social justice nonprofit…

“It’s disturbing to me that this Court would approve giving our taxpayer money to another nonprofit social justice entity.

“I was here a couple of months ago and the Democratic Chair got up and praised you for giving yourselves a big raise. You make among the highest paid salaries in the State. Then you turn around and take taxpayers’ money to fund charity.

“It’s wrong. You have to do better. This is what the Democrats do.”

Despite understanding that their actions were “what the Democrats do,” the five allegedly Republican members of the Commissioners Court immediately approved the $1.6 million proposal as part of the super-secretive “consent agenda” without any discussion, deliberation, or open explanation of their actions.

Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough, who promised when he ran for office that he would clean up the corruption in the Montgomery County government, has done little more than attempt to hide it. To that end, Keough placed his proposal to spend $1,573,398, on local nonprofit organizations, always very controversial because it constitutes forced “charity,” on the Tuesday, September 28, 2021, “consent agenda,” the super-secret portion of the Commissioners Court agenda, which they don’t discuss but merely approve without any consideration or deliberation.

Keough’s predecessor, former Montgomery County Judge Craig Doyal, would never place an item on the “consent agenda,” if it involved expenditures in excess of $50,000. Keough’s placement of the nonprofit funding on the secretive portion of the Commissioners Court meeting may be the largest “consent agenda” item in the history of the Montgomery County government.

Keough’s proposal forces County taxpayers to give charity to State agencies, which already receive their funding from tax dollars. Those agencies include the Texas Parks and Wildlife Service, Tri-County Behavioral Healthcare, and the Soil and Water Conservation District.

Rather than requiring several nonprofit organizations from having to raise the funds directly from private donors, Keough has picked and chosen his favorite nonprofit organizations to whom he would give forced contributions of tax dollars. Montgomery County has hundreds of nonprofit organizations, which are worthy of contributions, but Keough has selected eight (8) politically-connected nonprofits to receive County government largesse.

Since Keough placed the item on the secretive part of the meeting, there was no public discussion.

The full list of favored State agencies and charities follows:

Access Builds Children, $20,000, promotes families and visitation for children.

Tri-County Behavorial Healthcare, $211,525, provides mental health treatment for patients from Liberty County, Walker County, and Montgomery County.

Veterans Memorial Commission, $150,000, for construction of a city park, which has displaced homeless veterans and which honors current elected officials, former Montgomery County Judge Jimmy Edwards, and any veteran who pays to receive the “honor” in the park.

Children’s Safe Harbor, $200,000, works to provide safety for children in Montgomery County.

Meals On Wheels, $269,844, works to provide meals to the elderly in Montgomery County.

Crisis Assistance Center, $219,124, works to provide crisis assistance in Montgomery County.

Family Promise, $50,000, helping homeless people.

Montgomery County Youth Services, $407,905, helping youth.

Montgomery County Soil and Water Conservation District, $15,000, State agency, duplicates responsibility of San Jacinto River Authority by providing soil conservation services.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Service, $5,000, State agency, provides game wardens in Montgomery County and elsewhere.

Montgomery County Women’s Center, $25,000, provides family protection services to women and their children.

 

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