General Land Office Commissioner (now AG candidate) George P. Bush botches Alamo management, raises concerns how he’d do as Texas’ chief legal officer

Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick appeared at the Alamo in San Antonio on Friday, April 16. The crazed looking individual standing at right is Texas General Land Office Commissioner George P. Bush, who is now running for Texas Attorney General, even though he has practiced law for less than four years.

The Golden Hammer Staff Reports

Austin and San Antonio, June 9 – George P. Bush’s decision to run for Texas Attorney General against venerable conservative incumbent Attorney General Ken Paxton has raised many eyebrows. The Texas Attorney General is a very serious position requiring finesse, wisdom, and, as the primary legal advisor to all state officials and agencies, as well as the source of official Opinions to local officials, someone with a strong legal background.

Bush, who has had a law license for 17 years has spent most of that time with an inactive license with the State Bar of Texas and actually practiced law for less than four years back from 2003 to 2007 after he first got out of law school. He’s quite a contrast with Paxton who has practiced law for 30 years and has led Texas to striking litigation success in state and federal courts during his tenure as Attorney General.

The worst example of Bush’s lack of good judgment came with his repeated failures in his management of the Alamo, the Texas landmark where Texans lost their lives to fight for independence during the Mexican siege which ended on March 6, 1836. “Remember The Alamo!” is likely the most recognizable slogan symbolizing the independence and strength of character of the State of Texas and its people.

Bush, however, seemed to focus during his years as Texas’ General Land Office Commissioner in trying to forget the Alamo and recast its entire story into a “woke” revision of history, which has little to do with strength of character or the will of the people of Texas to be free and independent.

Bush, however, seemed to focus during his years as Texas’ General Land Office Commissioner in trying to forget the Alamo and recast its entire story into a “woke” revision of history, which has little to do with strength of character or the will of the people of Texas to be free and independent.

The Alamo Under George P. Bush

A full timeline of Bush’s work with the Alamo landmark is in order.

Early 2015 – Bush sends General Land Office (“GLO”) employees and IT experts to the Alamo offices of the Daughters of the Republican of Texas (“DRT”) inside the Alamo. The Daughters of the Republic of Texas had maintained and curated the Alamo for 110 years. Bush locked out the Daughters, while the IT people hacked into DRT Computers. The Alamo Mission Chapter of the DRT occupied the Alamo with their Library collection inside the Alamo. The DRT raised the money to build the DRT Library Building with one Daughter donating $30,000 in the 1950’s. This is where part of the Phil Collins Collection (contributed by the Genesis rock star) is currently housed.

May 2015 – George P. Bush “fired” the Daughters of the Republic of Texas (volunteer organization). He claimed the DRT Library Collection as belonging to the state. The DRT filed a lawsuit, claiming the 38,000 items belong to the DRT, and that the GLO unconstitutionally took the property entrusted with the DRT.

Multiple Non-Profit Entities relating to the Alamo were formed with Bush’s name on it.

July 5, 2015 – San Antonio’s five missions were designated as a UNESCO “World Heritage Site.”

July 10, 2015 – The Last Day of DRT custodianship at the Alamo.

October 2015 – The GLO announced a “cooperative agreement” to develop a “new master plan” for the Alamo Complex. The Committee was led by San Antonio city Democrats Roberto Trevino and Sheryl Sculley..

June 2016 – The GLO versus DRT Lawsuit with George P. Bush reached a settlement. The DRT retained ownership of all 38,000 artifacts and property entrusted with them and the GLO reimbursed the DRT $200,000 (of taxpayer money) for legal fees. The DRT Collection is currently on display at Texas A&M – San Antonio.

April 2017 – The General Land Office unveils the Alamo “Reimagine” Plan which included a Relocation of the Alamo Cenotaph. Texans all over the state began objecting to the idea of turning the Alamo into “Disneyworld.” People of Texas made it loud and clear they did not want the Cenotaph relocated from its original location (on the Alamo Battlefield).

December 2017 – The GLO hired Douglass McDonald, a man from Ohio with no Texas History knowledge, to be the “Alamo CEO.” Douglass’ firm, NGOgro was paid $583,000+ of taxpayer money between December 12, 2017, and June 18, 2019.

February 2018 – The State Senate Finance Committee pressured G.P. Bush to step down from the Board of the Alamo Trust due to the appearance of a conflict of interest. An Alamo Audit showed “potential shortcomings and discrepancies.”

Three Non-Profits existed to support the Alamo Reimagine Plan. Bush is still the President of two non-profits benefitting the Alamo, in what clearly appears to be a conflict of interest.

October 2018 – San Antonio Historic Design Review Commission (HDRC) and City Council granted “conceptual approval” for the Alamo Reimagine Master Plan with their “final approval” to dismantle, repair, and reassemble the Cenotaph in a different location.

October 18, 2018 – A 50-year lease was executed between the City of San Antonio and the GLO for all of Alamo Plaza. The lease EXCLUDED the Alamo Cenotaph. The Cenotaph supposedly came under the jurisdiction of the City of San Antonio. The lease was contingent upon the Cenotaph being relocated, even though they did not have the approved permits. The lease also had a time stamp such that a museum to house the Phil Collins artifact collection had to be built by a certain date. There is currently work on drafting a new lease, which Bush has not yet executed and reveals Bush’s lack of legal skills in drafting legal instruments.

The State of Texas appropriated $105 million to implement the “Alamo Reimagine Plan.” The City of San Antonio appropriated $38 million to facilitate the implementation of the “Alamo Plan.”

March 5, 2019 – G.P. Bush was a no-show before the 86th Texas Legislature’s oversight committees due to “scheduling” issues. Somehow, Bush was able to make it inside the Capitol Building for other events the same day.

May 10, 2019 – The Texas Historical Commission (THC) recognized there is a “Historic Texas Cemetery” within the boundaries located near the Alamo Church in Alamo Plaza. This designation does not affect the allowed uses of the Alamo property.

Summer of 2019 – Lee Spencer White addresses the Texas Historical Commission asking for an Unverified Cemetery Status of the Alamo Grounds. This was denied by the THC.

November 2019 – Human remains of an infant and an adult were found in the Monk’s Nave within the Alamo. The remains were not removed.

December 3, 2019 – Human emains in the remnants of a coffin were located within the Alamo Church by Alamo archaeologists.

December 4, 2019 – Meeting of the San Antonio Historic Design and Review Commission (HDRC) on Phase 1 of the Alamo Plan. They voted to table the issue until December 18, 2019. At the HDRC Meeting, the Alamo Reimagine Plan Consultants told the 2018 HDRC Committee, “There is little documentation of why the [proposed] change in location [of the Cenotaph] had occurred.” The Coppini letters at the University of Texas Briscoe Center for American History revealed ample documentation of why the Cenotaph location was changed in 1937 by the Cenotaph artist, Pompeo Coppini, from the Bandstand area to the current location of the Long Barracks in front of the Alamo.

December 6, 2019 – Alamo Trust Board member James Dannenbaum pled guilty to making illegal political donations in the names of others (employees of his Houston engineering firm).

December 12-18, 2019 – On Twitter, George P. Bush called out those opposing the Alamo Reimagine Plan as “racists.” Dan Patrick responded, “Recently, the GLO Commissioner and a member of his staff have derided anyone who disagrees with the Alamo redesign as a small vocal minority who are liars and racists,” Patrick said. “This is offensive and inaccurate. The 31 members of the Texas Senate represent over 28 million Texans. They are not a vocal minority — nor are they liars or racists.”

December 16, 2019 – Texas Tribune article describing how George P. Bush failed to disclose he has financial ties to eleven companies with whom the state does business.

December 18, 2019 – Meeting of the San Antonio HDRC about Phase 1 of the Alamo Plan; The HDRC approved Phase 1 of the Alamo Plan including the Relocation of the Cenotaph, removal of the Lady Bird Fountain, and removal of the Bandstand. (The HDRC failed to comply with the U.S. Department of the Interior Guidelines for the Treatment of Historic Properties; these guidelines were ignored). The approval vote was 7 to 4.

January 7, 2020 – In the lawsuit the Alamo Defenders Descendants Association (ADDA) against the GLO, the City of San Antonio, and the Alamo Trust, there was a jurisdictional hearing. ADDA claimed the Alamo grounds are an unverified cemetery due to the many burials verified both inside the Alamo Church and on the surrounding grounds. Native American groups have similar lawsuits seeking to stop Bush’s Alamo Reimagine Plan due to disruption of Native American burials.

January 28th and 29th, 2020 – Texas Historical Commission Meeting in Austin. The Alamo Consultants presented their incomplete plans for Phase 1 of the Alamo Reimagine Plan. After a closed-door meeting with attorneys, Chairman Nau and the Commission required the Alamo Plan consultants to submit a new application with new options “closer to the church.”

March 2020 – Covid-19 outbreak delaying Texas Historical Commission Meetings regarding the Cenotaph.

April 27, 2020 – The City of San Antonio tore down the Bandstand in Alamo Plaza and the Lady Bird Fountain to prepare for Relocation of the Cenotaph.

May 2020 – The Alamo Cenotaph suffered a graffiti attack by Noah Benjamin Escamilla. His trial date is September 13, 2021.

May 31, 2020 – George Floyd protests; online threats are made to “burn down” the Alamo. The Alamo is successfully defended by citizens and police to prevent damage to the property. Other structures near the Alamo were damaged during the riots that took place this day. Bush’s lack of willingness to speak in defense of the Alamo contributed to the mayhem.

June 2020 – Texas Historical Commission mets via Zoom to discuss DNA testing of remains at the Alamo. GLO/Alamo Trust used a federal law to justify Native American consultation in their Remains Found protocol. The THC ruled against DNA testing.

June 2020 – The THC approved a GLO application to designate the Alamo Church as an Unverified Cemetery (due to many more remains found inside the Alamo church). A similar application to the THC for the same designation was requested months before by ADDA, because human remains were found on the grounds in and outside the church over the years. Their application was denied.

September 22, 2020 – The Texas Historical Commission holds a one-day meeting dedicated only to the issue of Relocating the Cenotaph. The Cenotaph is a State Antiquities Landmark (SAL). Because of this SAL designation, the Texas Historical Commission followed the Texas Administrative Code, Title 13, and Section 191.054 of the Texas Natural Resources Code. Bush, the Alamo Reimagine Plan Consultants, and the City of San Antonio failed to abide by the regulations. Relocation was not an option under the “Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties.” As an SAL, the Cenotaph is treated as a Historic Property as much as the Alamo itself.

The Texas Historical Commission DENIED the permit to relocate the Cenotaph. One of the Commissioners, Laurie Limbacher stated, “As I understand the Secretary Standards, it would be a violation to contemplate moving this. I have received correspondence indicating there certainly are precedents where relocating structures in accordance with standards, but my understanding those are some conditions as we heard in the testimony earlier today where a building or a structure is threatened. So lets say a lighthouse where the sea is getting ready to take over the support of the lighthouse; the lighthouse might be moved to protect it. I’m not sure we have the same circumstance here. So I am really troubled by the notion that we are on the verge of not valuing the importance of the history of the Cenotaph along with the importance of the history of the entire Alamo site and feel like our charge should be to encourage people to embrace value and interpret that as part of the history and the story of the site as well. So I won’t be able to support the motion.”

September 30, 2020 – Douglass McDonald “retired” as Alamo CEO for Bush and GLO.

October 12, 2020 – Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick requestsed an audit of the $140 million of taxpayer money appropriated for the Alamo Plan by the Texas Legislature.

January 2021 – The State Auditor released the audit requested by the Lieutenant Governor. It concludes there was no wrongdoing, but the audit failed to examine wasted funds due to poor decisions and legal errors over the six year period when Bush was overseeing the program.

March 1, 2021 – San Antonio City Councilman, Roberto Trevino was removed from the Alamo Management Committee that he chaired. Mayor Ron Nirenberg replaced him with Councilwoman Rebecca Viagran.

March 16, 2021 – G.P. Bush was again a no-show in front of the 87th Texas Legislature oversight committees. He sent attorney Jeff Gordon to speak on behalf of the GLO. Gordon said Bush is “out of town.” A Texas Public Information Act request revealed that Bush’s schedule showed no GLO business on the day of his absence.

March 24, 2021 – Former HEB grocery store executive Kate Rogers became the new Alamo “Executive Director.” Roger’s twitter history revealed her affiliation with the Texas Democratic Party. She “follows” Barack Obama, Wendy Davis, and Cory Booker on her Twitter account.

April 16, 2021 – A new exhibit of an 18 pound cannon (which was not an original) was unveiled on the Alamo grounds with George P. Bush, Mayor Nirenberg and Lieutenant Governor Patrick present at the ceremony. The exhibit is “temporary”, but no reason has been given to why the exhibit is temporary.

June, 2021 – Roberto Trevnino lost his San Antonio City Council seat in a runoff election.

At present, Bush’s plans for the “Reimagine the Alamo” include a large exhibit on the role of slavery at the Alamo and honoring Mexicans who died at the Battle of the Alamo.

 

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