It doesn’t seem Republican HD 94 candidate Tony Tinderholt is able to handle the pressure or minimal expectations that come from being a political newcomer.
Tinderholt, a staunch Tea Party candidate advocating for more fiscal responsibility from the government, doesn’t seem to have any fiscal responsibility of his own. Not in his professional life or when managing his campaign funds.
We previously reported in October how Tinderholt’s campaign inexplicably lost $15,000 dollars in loans based on his financial reports released last month. This time again there is the same problem, but only much worse — Tinderholt’s current financial report doesn’t account for how his campaign has now lost over $33,000 in loans.
For your viewing, you can examine and compare his reports here, here, and here. His outstanding loan information can be found on page two. According to the Ethics Commission, all candidates must provide a corresponding entry highlighting the amount, date and individual paid for any loan reduction.
Yet, Tinderholt seems to think he’s above these rules. Or, perhaps, he’s simply trying to make his campaign seem more successful than it is — knowing that the Ethics Commission will not conduct an investigation on his reports until after the election is over on Tuesday.
Which brings to question: Do voters in Arlington really want to send someone like Tony Tinderholt to represent them at the Texas Legislature?
Tinderholt’s problems are not just his known history of fiscal irresponsibility. Tinderholt is the same candidate who wants to invade Mexico, wishes to impose his reproductive beliefs on all Texas women, doesn’t want to invest a dime more on our children’s education, wouldn’t vote to restore previous educational cuts, and doesn’t want Texans to have access to adequate healthcare. He is the same candidate who has lied about his employment history; who previously allowed a minor to drink, drive and cause an accident while Tinderholt was manager at a bar. He is the same candidate who had to file for bankruptcy after a child care business he invested on became insolvent, because it was found out his wife and at least one more child care provider were consuming illegal drugs, including crack cocaine, which Tinderholt knew about.
Still not quite convinced about Tinderholt? Here is a video by The Texas Observer of Tinderholt advocating for violence as a solution to immigration, among many other things he wants to do if HD 94 voters in Arlington send him to Austin:
“I don’t care who watches this video and I don’t care who’s watching me and listening,” says Tinderholt. “I’ll tell you this: If you get in my way of trying to stop people from trying to come across the border, I’m rolling over the top of you, period.”
Tinderholt’s alarming comments are not just a concern to Democrats. The Democratic candidate in HD 94, Cole Ballweg, has received the endorsements from local groups that previously supported former state Rep. Diane Patrick, moderate Republican ousted from office by Tinderholt during the GOP primaries. These local organizations and groups are just as concerned about Tinderholt being elected to office as everyone else, and are supporting Democrat Cole Ballweg despite previously having supported a Republican.
One of the latest polls showed Ballweg and Tinderholt virtually tied. Earlier reports by Ballweg showed him having more cash at hand than Tinderholt. Given how competitive this race has become, it is no wonder Tinderholt’s biggest fans, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz and state Sen. Dan Patrick, were seen block-walking for Tinderholt earlier in the race.
Tinderholt is a concern to any credibility left in our Texas Legislature after twenty years of Republican governing. Progress Texas adequately called Tinderholt possibly the “worst Tea Party candidate running for office in Texas,” and compared him to electing Rush Limbaugh to the Texas Legislature.
These remarks would be a whole lot funnier if Tony Tinderholt wasn’t perhaps only a couple of days away from being elected to the legislative body that produces the State Budget.
Follow Omar on Twitter at @AraizaTX.