Ah, the consultancy group we at NTTP have helped successfully defeat multiple times has raised its ugly head again. It is now know as Murphy-Nasica, instead of Murphy-Turner. Here is a link to our previous experience with them written up two years ago; read it first. And here’s another article on their efforts against conservatives last cycle.
Bottom line; we had better success than they did in who we chose to support. And, maddening to them, we’re just a bunch of grassroot grunts, spending only our allowed individual amounts of $200 of undirected efforts against the many tens of thousands they are paid for each race. And ALL of our supported candidates DID prove out to VOTE conservative; all ending up in our composite scorecards (HOUSE - SENATE) as either ‘Golden‘ or ‘Silver Medalist‘. Only ONE of the Murphy candidates ended up as a ‘Silver Medalist‘ the rest were ‘Meh!’ on down. We’ve proven to have more success and more reliably conservative choices.
As to their first attempt to make headway, they put together an email from Angie Chen Button, slamming her NTTP TeaApproved opponent Jared Patterson. Our Dallas County Vetting Chair produced the following response:
And the mud-slinging begins anew. Happy 2014 Primary everybody.
A recent release by the Angie Button HD112 campaign via the recently renamed political consultancy group Murphy Turner (now Murphy Nasica) states convincingly:
JARED PATTERSON MISLEADS TEA PARTY
It’s a pretty impressive letter, full of misstatements and comparisons to Barack Obama. Of course the letter doesn’t provide any references or sources for their claims. But that’s okay, because we did our due diligence before we released our endorsement. The Tea Approval process is not just an interview, but a full review of a candidate- their Principles, their Politics and their Policy. Patterson, no matter how good of an interview he gave, would not have been able to single-handedly sway the vetting committee if he’d had a poor record. Our decision was our own. With that said, let’s take the paragraphs one at a time.
“An email circulated by members of the North Texas Tea Party reveals that Candidate Jared Patterson misled Tea Party leaders to attempt to gain their support. Facing tough questioning over his repeated votes for tax increases on the Sachse City Council, Patterson has acknowledged raising property taxes by 25%, but has explained away his votes by saying he was forced to support property tax increases to pay for previously issued bonds passed by his predecessors. The reality is quite different than Patterson’s story.”
1. Patterson raised taxes five times not just two.
2. A huge part of the revenue from the tax increases supported by Patterson was earmarked for general spending, not for servicing of prior–‐passed debt as he told the NTTP.
Bottom Line: Patterson’s tax increase excuses are flat out untrue.
The NTTP’s email was from our core vetting committee stating our endorsement of Jared Patterson. The questioning was tough- the one thing this flier got right- and he did acknowledge his increases.
From the NTTP Tea Approval write-up:
Fiscal responsibility ALSO involves paying off your bills previously accumulated as required. While [Patterson] wasn’t in Sachse when the debt was accrued (a bond for 150% of the city’s annual revenue), he took every step that a fiscally-conservative person could ask for to manage the debt once he was in office. His record shows that he eliminated waste, rebuilt the city’s budget from the ground up and delayed tax increases for as long as possible by splitting the increase in two. And while his votes may look bad on a flier during election season, we feel confident that Councilman Patterson is a fiscal conservative to the core. (It also serves as a tale of warning about the dangers of excessive local borrowing, as clarified in this excellent article.)
His votes for that single increase (split into two parts) were explained during our vetting process. The two increases that were discussed in the write-up were those directly related to the debt issue.
“The spike is entirely on the debt service side of the budget, the result of a $37.9 million bond package that voters passed in 2006.”
So for the two-part increase, the research shows that Patterson’s statements and the facts line up fine. Bottom line: Patterson’s reasoning withstands scrutiny.
In addition to the property tax increases Patterson has already confessed to, the variety and size of the other tax increases passed by Patterson are truly amazing:
We agree- the size of Patterson’s “increases” WERE amazing. So far, adding them all up we get $0- and we checked our math twice.
- He voted to increase city sales taxes via ballot referendum also by 25%.
Sales tax via ballot referendum: Patterson voted to allow Sachse voters to decide whether to vote for a one-time quarter cent increase of the sales tax to provide for additional street repair. They decided by a 3-1 margin to implement a 4-year ($1.2 million) tax increase that automatically expires in 2017 in order to fix their streets from effects of the 2011 drought, an issue that several area cities are also facing.
It is hypocritical to us to say that giving the citizens a vote on funding their infrastructure is a bad thing- after all, Rep Button voted for SJR1, HB4 and HB1025 which put proposition 6 on our ballot just a week ago, spending $2 Billion out of the rainy day fund for water projects.
Further, the ad in question doesn’t say whether or not Patterson even supported the local tax, but it makes the claim and lays the end result at his feet.
Patterson increased taxes by: $0
- He voted in a 7% Hotel Occupancy Tax.
Book a room at a hotel in Sachse, and we’ll pay for it. Can’t find one?
That’s because there are no hotels in Sachse. It’s a 9 sq mile city with a tiny part of the 190 corridor touching its border. The 7% tax is already authorized by the state of Texas, the local municipality just has to approve it. Link: Hotel_Taxing . Most cities already charge it, and this looked to us like Sachse was just crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s. This was a non-factor in our decision.
Patterson increased taxes by: $0
- He re-instated a “goods in transit” tax that the Texas legislature would have discontinued if not for the local vote override.
The goods-in-transit tax exemptions were originally passed in 2006 (the 80th legislative session) as HB 621. This legislation effectively gave local control to municipalities over the goods-in-transit tax. Patterson voted with the council to not end this tax, but to continue it within the city.
Can you guess how much tax revenue Sachse realized by voting to retain this tax? We’ll give you a hint. It costs the same as a 5-star hotel room in Sachse. That’s right. Zero dollars.
Patterson increased taxes by: $0
During the 82nd legislative session, SB1 added section 11.253(j-1) which removed exemptions from HB 621. Rep Button voted to approve SB1 during the 82nd, while several conservative legislators voted against it. This vote was effectively a tax increase on businesses that had enjoyed tax relief from the original HB 621. But, because this change clarified the original intent of the bill, the NTTP gave Rep Button the benefit of the doubt and did not hold this against her as a tax increase during our vetting research. Rep Button, a self-proclaimed champion of small business, voted for a bill that raised taxes on certain small businesses. Based on her own attacks, was the NTTP wrong to apply logic and common sense to our analysis of SB1?
But we digress.
None of these increases were about paying prior debt.
Thank you for at least getting that one right. None of the other zero-dollar-‘increases’ were about prior debt. The only actual increase was the one that the tax payers voted for and was a continuing obligation (roads).
But now, more than four years later, Jared blames his predecessors for his own tax increases. Record taxes and spending and still blaming someone else five years later? Where have we heard this before?
For Tea Party members who have watched Obama and his big spending over the same years, all the while blaming George W. Bush who left office almost five years ago, this is an all too familiar story. Obama would have loved to raise taxes by 25% but the Tea Party would never let him get away with it. Will they let Jared Patterson get away with his frequent tax increases and untrue excuses?
This conclusion is pure garbage. Patterson is not even in the realm of Barack Obama, and to suggest that a Tea Party organization like the NTTP was either mislead into this endorsement or that we didn’t check our facts is pure hot air. We are not cheerleaders for anyone’s campaign; in this case Rep Button’s advertisement called our intelligence, our thoroughness and our integrity into question, and it required a response.
We encourage those that want to challenge our decisions in a fair and straight-forward manner to do so. Understand that the value of our Tea Approval process is that we put in thousands of man hours per election cycle weeding through the rhetoric and approving those candidates that live and breathe the five principles of the Tea Party movement.
The NTTP stands by our decision. We would encourage everyone to research your candidates thoroughly before making your own decisions – and to never to rely on a politically-motivated hit piece to decide Texas’ future.