Wednesday, November 6, 2019

#TXLEGE: In newly competitive district, genius Texas Republicans nominate Worst Possible Candidate

"When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice;
But when a wicked man rules, the people groan."
Proverbs 29:2

Oh no:
A Democrat and a Republican are advancing to a runoff in a nationally targeted special election for a previously Republican-held Texas House seat.

With all vote centers reporting Tuesday night, the sole Democratic candidate, Eliz Markowitz, finished first with 39% of the vote, according to unofficial returns. Republican Gary Gates was the runner-up at 28%.
Gates, who has run for a myriad of elected positions in previous elections, including railroad commissioner in 2016 and state senate in 2014, but failed to come out on top each time, was largely self-funded. He loaned himself a whopping $445,000 in the last reporting period alone.

Markowitz, the lone Democrat, garnered support from liberal special interest groups, and fellow Texas Democrats like former State Senator Wendy Davis, former presidential candidate and congressman Beto O’Rourke, and an array of sitting Texas House members.

She significantly outraised her Republican competition.
We didn't realize Gates was even running until this morning.  There's pretty much no candidate more poorly suited to a competitive environment.  Hoo boy.


Seven Time Loser:

From last time Gates ran for office:
His record of losses is complicated. Gates first sought a seat in the Texas House. He lost. He tried again. And he lost again. He ran for the Texas Senate. And lost. Then he tried again for the Texas Senate. And lost. Along the way, he twice ran for a local school board seat. And he lost both times.

It’s tempting to label such a record as “sad.” But “pathetic” seems more appropriate.
Gates went on to lose the election in question.



Ought oh:
HOUSTON — In his run for a seat on the Texas Railroad Commission, Gary Gates has campaigned heavily on his business credentials, noting that he built a sprawling real estate company from scratch with his own sweat and dollars.

Gates, who has run for public office several times but never held it, suggests that his experience shaping and leading companies that now employ 350 people and own roughly 5,500 apartment units qualifies him to join the three-member commission that oversees the state's oil and gas production, natural gas utilities and mining operations.


Gates said that most of the apartment complexes he buys are considered “Class C,” typically older units that need rehabilitation and are rented out relatively cheaply.

He said he bought the Deerfield Apartments out of bankruptcy in 1987, just as his business was getting off the ground. The city of Houston later lent him $1.12 million to rehabilitate the property.

“It was in a real difficult area,” he said. “That’s kind of my specialty — buying very difficult properties.”

And that complex did present challenges.

In 2007, Houston sought to shut down the Deerfield Apartments for a year. In a lawsuit, the city alleged that his companies — APTDF and Gatesco — tolerated the rampant crime on the property. The lawsuit documented 55 offenses on the property over a two-year period, ranging from prostitution and drug offenses to sexual assault and capital murder.

“Defendants have made no reasonable attempt to abate the criminal activity at Deerfield Apartments, and should be enjoined from maintaining a common nuisance,” Houston argued.

Houston’s lawsuit followed complaints from fearful residents. At a city council meeting in August 2006, for instance, Councilman M.J. Khan discussed an email from a constituent who reported being jolted awake one morning by six rounds of automatic gunfire — and hearing more shots while police dispatchers told them they had no one to send out.

The resident said such violence had persisted for years in the neighborhood and wanted Gates to hire a security guard to patrol the area and to replace a fence that had been torn down, according to council meeting minutes.

Earlier that year, Gates’ companies faced a similar lawsuit after 9-year-old Jose Luis Briones was shot in the back and severely injured during a 2004 robbery at the Deerfield complex. Briones’ family levied similar neglect allegations and ultimately received a $3,500 settlement from Gates' company, according to court documents.
It gets better:
In the midst of his seventh run for public office – this time for the Texas Railroad Commission – new documents are coming to light showing that Houston real estate investor Gary Gates defaulted on a loan of over $1 million from Bayou City taxpayers.

On April 29, 1998, the City Council of Houston passed Ordinance No. 98-330 entering into a loan agreement with Gates’ company, APTDF, Ltd.

The loan was for $1,120,000 for rehabilitation costs in connection with Gates’ Deerfield Apartments located at 10001 Club Creek Drive. The interest rate for the taxpayer-backed loan was set seven percent annually. Gates personally guaranteed the loan.

The loan matured on November 28, 2000, but Gates defaulted.

Full employment for (the worst) campaign consultants:

Again, from last campaign:
Campaign consultants keep taking Gary Gates to the cleaners as he desperately seeks one office after another. His reckless spending seeking Tuesday’s Texas Railroad Commission race demonstrates that even a big pile of money cannot make a bad candidate more attractive to voters.

Gates has no professional, educational or life experiences that would qualify him for a seat on the commission that has regulatory jurisdiction over the state’s oil and gas industry. As we have previously written, Gates merely wants to hold office but has been rejected in every single effort.

The Texas Tribune reports Gates spent $1.9 million in the race, which resulted in getting 28 percent of the vote.


Gates’ chief campaign adviser is disgraced State Rep. Jim Keffer (R-Eastland).
From Gates' most recent campaign finance report:

That's only one payment to Murphy-Nasica.  Gates had dozens more.  The only reason we didn't screenshot all of them is because this blog post has already gotten long.

Easily $250k(+) to Murphy-Naiscia.  Just one finance report.  Just one election.

Learn more about Murphy-Nasica here.


Allegations regarding children and "the A word":

We have no specific comment about them.

We weren't there.

But only a fool would overlook them.

Learn more here.


Old White Dude:

Obviously, you don't want to make candidate decisions based upon identity politics.  In any given election, you're looking for the best candidate.  But that's not to say it's irrelevant.

Over the past decade, a lot has been written about how Ft. Bend County is now the most demographically diverse in the country.

There's nothing inherently wrong with running an old white dude.  It does, however, bring an additional set of challenges.  That being said, when the specific old white dude has the baggage listed doesn't take a genius to see where this goes.

The other two credible Republican candidates were both female and less than a zillion years old.


Bottom Line: For any other candidate, this runoff would be a slam dunk.  But for a candidate with this much baggage...who knows?!?  Way to go.

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