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Greg Abbott Campaign Had "Catch An Illegal Immigrant" Organizer on Payroll Into November

by: Katherine Haenschen

Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 11:45 AM CST

Lorenzo Garcia and Greg Abbott

Remember when the UT chapter of the Young Conservatives of Texas planned their offensive "Catch an Illegal Immigrant" "game" on the 40 Acres campus last fall and were met with widespread denunciation?

Remember how the event, scheduled for Wednesday, November 20, was organized by a young man named Lorenzo Garcia, the then-Chairman of the UT YCTs, who was also a Greg Abbott field staffer, per his LinkedIn page?

Remember how when the controversy about the racist, offensive "game" made national news and Greg Abbott's campaign spokesperson Matt Hirsch was asked about Garcia, he told the Dallas Morning News on November 18, "He used to work for us but I think he resigned close to two months ago"?

Turns out, Lorenzo Garcia was on the Greg Abbott campaign payroll well into October, and received his last check from the campaign on November 1, 2013.

The Abbott campaign's statements don't add up to the information on their recently filed TEC report.

More below the jump.

From the TEC report Abbott filed January 15, available in PDF form here, Garcia was paid $7769.93 over the 6 months included in the report, including a monthly staff salary. Here are the dates of payments from Abbott's campaign to Garcia:

Filer Expenditure Amount Date Description
Texans for Greg Abbott, Garcia, Lorenzo 62.15 7/9/13 Mileage to attend campaign event
Texans for Greg Abbott, Garcia, Lorenzo 112.48 7/16/13 Mileage to attend campaign event
Texans for Greg Abbott, Garcia, Lorenzo 44.44 7/13/13 Mileage to attend campaign event
Texans for Greg Abbott, Garcia, Lorenzo 967.11 7/2/13 Campaign employee payroll
Texans for Greg Abbott, Garcia, Lorenzo 1998.44 8/1/13 Campaign employee payroll
Texans for Greg Abbott, Garcia, Lorenzo 1998.44 9/1/13 Campaign employee payroll
Texans for Greg Abbott, Garcia, Lorenzo 1998.44 10/1/13 Campaign employee payroll
Texans for Greg Abbott, Garcia, Lorenzo 588.43 11/1/13 Campaign employee payroll

Lorenzo Garcia was a paid staff member well within the two-month time-frame given by Abbott's spokesperson. In fact, he received what appears to be his final pay check less than three weeks before the "Catch an Illegal Immigrant" event he organized.

It's possible that campaign payroll for the Abbott team is made on the first of the month for the work done in the previous month. In that case, Garcia would have still been working for Abbott at least through the first week to ten days in October, based on the fact that his last check was 29% of his usual monthly salary.

The statements from Greg Abbott's campaign don't match reality -- the organizer of the "Catch an Illegal Immigrant" game was still on the payroll well within two months of the event.

Did Hirsch really not stop to check with his campaign's finance team before he made a statement? Did he realize these campaign finance reports get, you know, filed and become publicly available? And that people can fact-check his previous claims about who did what for the campaign when? For the approximately $6,600 a month Hirsch is pulling down from the campaign -- according to that same TEC report that lists Garcia's salary -- you'd expect him to do a bit better with this sort of thing, right?

Meanwhile, Greg Abbott refuses to clarify his stance on the DREAM Act, and what changes he would propose to the law (if any), leaving thousands of Texas college students in financial jeopardy.

Maybe that's something the media should be asking Matt Hirsch to explain as well.

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