Fellow Grassroots Texans:
We’ve included below a supplemental message from Dale Huls regarding this mysterious “United Texas Tea Party” campaign mailer. The long and short of it is that the pro-Dewhurst “United Texas Tea Party” mailer was, as suspected, a fraudulent communication sent out by an agent working for an unnamed donor.
In an earlier message, Dale had represented that the mailer was sent by Tea Party Express, TeaParty.net and a group called “Vision for America.”
Upon further investigation, Dale has determined that:
1. The pro-Dewhurst “United Texas Tea Party” campaign mailer was actually sent out by an anonymous donor.
2. The mailer was NOT supported by Tea Party Express.
3. The mailer was NOT supported by TheTeaParty.net.
BOTTOM LINE: “United Texas Tea Party” is NOT a tea party group. The mailer was NOT endorsed by any known tea party group in or out of Texas.
According to Sal Russo of Tea Party Express:
“…after checking around with Tea Party people in Texas, we found that there was mostly support for Patrick over Dewhurst…we decided to decline it.”
TheTeaParty.net statement reads as follows:
“TheTeaParty.Net had nothing to do with this mailer in any regard. We ask that anyone who has spread this misinformation to send communications correcting the record.”
Dale Huls and his wife Mary did consent to allow their address to be used as the return address on the mailer, but it appears that they were innocent victims of misrepresentation by others. In his words:
“If I had been told that unnamed donors were behind this, Mary and I never would have assisted with the flyer by giving it a Texas return address.”
Dale deserves to be thanked and commended for promptly correcting the record. He claims he honestly believed it was backed by Tea Party Express and TheTeaParty.net, and there is no reason he should not be taken at his word.
We return, however, to critical questions:
What anonymous party sent this fraudulent and deceptive “United Texas Tea Party” mailer promoting David Dewhurst to an estimated 700,000 Texas households?
Did this fraudulent mailer constitute mail fraud? Use of the U.S. Postal Service to mislead and defraud mail recipients can result in serious fines and even prison time. (See 18 U.S.C. 1341)
Did this mailer violate Texas Ethics Laws? If so, that is serious business, as well.
Original message from Dale Huls:
Folks, in the interest of truth and transparency, I wish to provide an update to my earlier email regarding the mailer that has caused such a controversy over the last couple of days. Due to the diligence of one of my tea party friends, she uncovered an issue in my earlier statement regarding the involvement of the Tea Party Express and the TeaParty.Net in the funding of this mailer as stated earlier.
When I was contacted about the mailer, one of the first things I asked was “who is funding this?” In a subsequent phone call, I was told that the Tea Party Express and TeaParty.Net were involved in this effort which I reported in today’s email. However, my friend (who is a Patrick supporter) dug deeper and contacted both groups to verify my earlier claims. What she found out was that they claimed to have no knowledge or involvement regarding the flyer in question. Furthermore, she sent me statements from both organizations verifying their non involvement (see below). My friend gave me time to contact the person who originally approached me to get their side of the story. As it turns out, it was claimed that when I asked who was behind this flyer that he was still talking about organizations that could be involved. Misunderstanding or miscommunication – I don’t know.
So now I know that no national tea party organizations were involved, I asked the question again, “who is funding this mailer?” At this point I was told that unnamed donors were responsible for the funding and he would not reveal their names. So was it the Koch brothers, Karl Rove, George Soros, or the Easter Bunny…who the hell knows because I surely don’t. That is the truth.
I thought I had checked this out beforehand. I Googled the dude and found that he had a Tea Party Express affiliation and just assumed this was legit. For this I apologize. If I had been told that unnamed donors were behind this, Mary and I never would have assisted with the flyer by giving it a Texas return address.
Finally, while the origins of the mailer may be sketchy, I still endorse the slate of candidates it represents. I have no knowledge, proof, or suspicion that any of the four candidate’s campaigns was involved in the manufacture and mailing of this flyer. Do not make any unfounded assumptions…just look at me when I made an assumption.
Again I want to thank my friend for sharing this information with me and allowing me to tell you the truth myself. As a Patrick supporter, she could have certainly ambushed me and attacked my integrity and truthfulness. I don’t lie. Whether you agree with me or not, I tell the truth as I know it. When I make a mistake it is an honest one. I hope my friend understands how much I value her faith in me.
The following are the statements from two tea party organizations regarding this issue:
It has been incorrectly stated that TheTeaParty.Net was part of a group of organizations involved with funding a recent Texas mailer under the banner of “The United Texas Tea Party.” TheTeaParty.Net had nothing to do with this mailer in any regard. We ask that anyone who has spread this misinformation to send communications correcting the record.
Todd Cefaratti, Founder & President, TheTeaParty.net
“[This person] is a fundraising consultant that does help us from time to time. He called around to Tea Party groups to see whether there was support for this, but didn’t find enough support.
So we told him that we were not interested after checking around with Tea Party people in Texas, we found that there was mostly support for Patrick over Dewhurst and even some division in the Christian race… we decided to decline it.”
Founder, Tea Party Express