This morning, Cahnman's Musings received an e-mail from a political consultant who specializes in Texas House races. The message highlighted plagiarism among lobby candidates running against Tea Party candidates in Texas Legislative races. One of the plagiarizers is running against Dr./Senator Donna Campbell, an endorsed candidate of Cahnman's Musings.
Mike Novak is one of Donna's opponents in the Republican primary race in SD-25, consider this passage on pro-life issues from his website:
I will always stand on the side of life. PERIOD!Contrast Novak's statement with Skip Ogle, running against Matt Schafer in HD - 6:
I will always stand on the side of life. PERIOD!Mike Novak on Economic Growth:
While the Texas economy continues to lead the nation we have thousands of people moving here everyday from California, New York and other liberal places. We have to make sure we continue to hold down spending, keep our regulatory environment predicable and limit government intrusion in our lives.Skip Ogle on Economic Growth:
While the Texas economy continues to lead the nation we have thousands of people moving here everyday from California, New York and other liberal places. We have to make sure we continue to hold down spending, keep our regulatory environment predicable and limit government intrusion in our lives.Mike Novak on the Second Amendment:
I will always fight to protect our most sacred rights. I am a member of the National Rifle Association and Texas Rifle Association.Skip Ogle on the Second Amendment:
I will always fight to protect our most sacred rights. I am a member of the National Rifle Associationand Texas Rifle Association.Mike Novak on Public Education:
Restore more control to our local communities. A one-size-fits-all approach does not and will not work in a state as big and diverse as Texas.Skip Ogle on Public Education:
Restore local control to our local communities. A one size fits all approach will not and does not work in a state as big and diverse as Texas.Mike Novak on State Sovereignty:
I will fight the Obama Administration and Battleground Texas. Texas is unique and big and that is why the Obama Administration and his political operatives are moving into Texas to turn it blue. As Texans we need to wake up to this unprecedented encroachment and fight them at every turn.Skip Ogle on State Sovereignty:
Texas is unique and big and that is why the Obama Administration and his political operatives are moving into Texas to turn it blue. As Texans we need to wake up to this unprecedented encroachment and fight them at every turn.The groupthink among Austin's business as usual crowd has always astonished us, but we never realized they were (literally) reading from the same script.
Update: Empower Texans has a LOT more, including the unsurprising Joe Straus connection:
Now, it is certainly a possibility that Mr. Ogle decided on his own to plagiarize the statements from Mr. Novak’s website. But the odds of the lobbyist-turned-candidate in East Texas choosing to crib from a San Antonio politician’s website or vice versa seem pretty slim. It is more logical to suggest that the two candidates share a consultant who lazily used the same website language for both of them. This is where the connection to Team Straus comes into play.
A WhoIs search of the two websites shows that Ogle’s website was originally registered by Skip Ogle Homes, a business owned by Ogle. But Novak’s website was registered by Austin political consultant Bill Bragg. Logic suggests that since Bragg did the website work for Novak, he probably did the work for Ogle as well. Bragg has received $79,883.36 in payments from Texans for Joe Straus, the political action committee controlled by liberal House Speaker Joe Straus. Bragg has also received big money from moderate Attorney General candidate Dan Branch and notorious pro-abortion Republican Sarah Davis of Houston.
But that’s not all. Bragg’s company, Bragg Consulting Group (whose crony-baiting website urges visitors to “be prepared to work with government” if they want to be “competitive”) lists an address at 1801 Lavaca, Suite 106 in Austin. That’s the same address as the office of liberal consultant Bryan Eppstein’s associate, Keats Norfleet.
The issues page from Novak and Ogle’s website is also shared by Midlothian School Board President and candidate for House District 10 Duke Burge. Burge does, however, rearrange some of the statements and removes the “Period!” from his statement asserting (less strongly, we guess) that he is “Pro-Life.”
So what does this say about Ogle, Novak, and Burge? First and foremost, it shows that they aren’t concerned with what their political operatives will say on their behalf in order to get them elected. Voters want to know where candidates stand on the issues and want to know what motivates them. If candidates are willing to let their political operatives crib their statements from another candidate’s website, it seems clear that the only thing they really believe in is telling the voters what they want to hear.
But more importantly, the connection between the three candidate’s sites demonstrates a connection between all three candidates and House Speaker Joe Straus. There are serious implications of the sitting House Speaker targeting a conservative House incumbent. Voters in Tyler need to determine whether they want strong conservative representation, or a representative recruited to run by the Austin political establishment.
More concerning, though, may be the House Speaker’s decision to dispatch his team to aid a challenger to his incumbent Senator. Relations between Straus and the Senate have often been brittle. His decision to have his team rattle swords with his own State Senator will tend to make the relationship even more toxic.