MY CHECKBOOK – I am trying to help the economy of Pennsylvania, and you, as a patriotic Texan whose word is your bond, should, too. I am sending a donation to our beloved state lite guv, Dan Patrick, the Official State Demagogue, in yet another case of our leaders making Texas the laughingstock of the nation. If you have been applying to be the Texans coach and missed the news, Patrick proclaimed that he would pay $25,000 to $1 million in reward money for proof of voter fraud. This benevolence came after Donald Trump and his followers, including Patrick, constantly charged there had been massive voter fraud that cost Trump his re-election. The accusation must have included Texas because Gov. Greg Abbott has long declared that voter fraud in the Lone Star State is “rampant.” Experts, vote officials and snoopy journalists -- always looking for a good scandal -- found such violations virtually non-existent, but we’ll cut Abbott some slack since he’s busy deciding which ballot box in Dalhart that Texans will use in the next election.
Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, a Democrat, obviously, took his counterpart up on the challenge. Fetterman trotted out the case from September in which a Pennsylvania man was charged with forging the name of his deceased mother to get an application for an absentee ballot. In November, Pennsylvania police filed criminal charges against a man who they say cast a ballot, then returned to the polling place 45 minutes later, this time wearing sunglasses and claiming to be his son. The police charged a man they say cast a ballot in the name of his long-dead mother. All three fraudulent voters tried to vote for – don’t get ahead of me – Trump! So Fetterman wants $3 million. He says he’ll donate the proceeds to food banks in the form of gift cards. He added, Patrick is “just such a Trump simp, it’s just pathetic.” He said he first noticed Patrick in March when Patrick appeared on Fox News during COVID-19 lockdowns and suggested grandparents might be willing to sacrifice themselves to reopen the country. Many suggested Patrick, age 70, lead by example.
Our Lite Guv -- honorary chairman of Trump’s campaign in Texas -- responded to Fetterman in a tweet that read: “Faith in the electoral process is a serious issue. Transparency is critical. PA Dems brought this on themselves w/ last minute changes to election laws and counting ballots behind closed doors. Respond to the reports. Answer the questions. Stop the snide put-downs and #getserious.” Patrick totally ignored the challenge. Fetterman is particularly upset with Texas because his state is one four that our attorney general, Ken Paxton, who co-chaired Lawyers for Trump, unsuccessful sued to have the U.S. Supreme Court overturn results of the presidential race. Fetterman called it “that pile of hot garbage lawsuit.” News reports kept saying and writing “Texas is suing…” and “Texas has brought a lawsuit against four other states.” Then there is the matter of the taxpayers’ money. Paxton hired two Washington lawyers and said they were to work “at no cost to the state,” but it did cost Texans for $11,940.03 for “printing.” Huh? When it comes to legal matters, Paxton should have his own hands full: he’s under indictment for securities fraud, and the FBI is investigating him for bribery.
East Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert added to Texas’ luster by filling a lawsuit arguing that Vice President Mike Pence has the conditional power to decide which states' Electoral College votes to count. A Trump-appointed federal judge in Texas dismissed the suit. Seventeen Texas Republican members of Congress participated in an attempt to, in effect, overturn the Nov. 3 election. On the day Trump supporters held a rally outside the White House, the President and his son, Eric, called on protesters to march on the Capitol. Who was there on the stage with them? Atty. Gen. Ken Paxton who said, “What we have in President Trump is a fighter. And I think that’s why we’re all here. We believe in what he’s accomplished over the last four years. Because we’re here today, the message goes on. We will not quit fighting.” And they didn’t quit fighting. The next day Paxton did an about face and took to Facebook, writing: "Those who stormed the capitol yesterday were not Trump supporters. They have been confirmed to be Antifa. Violence is not the answer."
Seventeen Texas Republican members of Congress participated in an attempt to, in effect, overturn the Nov. 3 election. Our own U.S. junior senator, Ted Cruz, was the fire-brand leader. (Even our other U.S. senator and ardent Trump follower, John Minion, uh, Cornyn, refused to join the gang.) Cruz made thunderous speech after Fox interview pushing the fraud theory, always identified as “the senator from Texas.” (His campaign sent out a fundraising message as people were sieging the Capitol.) He claimed to be “leading the fight to reject electors.”
After the attack on the Capitol, Cruz caught hell. There were calls for his resignation, and he also suddenly did an about face. He tweeted: “The attack at the Capitol was a despicable act of terrorism and a shocking assault on our democratic system. We must come together and put this anger and division behind us.” Asked if he bore any responsibility for the attack, Cruz replied: “Not remotely.”
One last note. As a Houston businessman, Dan Patrick went bankrupt. He landed as a sports anchor on Channel 11. One night on the air he got himself painted Oiler Blue by two Oilers cheerleaders. Well, Belo Co. in Dallas, owner of the Dallas Morning News, WFAA-TV, etc. had just bought Channel 11, and the top two executives of Belo, having concluded the deal, were relaxing in their Houston hotel suite when they turned on the TV and saw the painting, or a re-play. One Belo boss turned to the other and said, “What have we done?” Texas voters, what have we done?
Ashby riots at email@example.com