Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick horrified the country with his Sunday morning tweet:
Reminiscent of Jerry Falwell’s delusional tirade post-September 11th, when he reminded us that “God would not be mocked”—
I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way — all of them who have tried to secularize America — I point the finger in their face and say “you helped this happen.”
—Patrick seemed to be responding to the news everyone else was responding to Sunday morning, the unfathomably terrible massacre in Orlando. And he responded in the way many of us would expect him to respond. But the blow-back proved too much.
Several hours after the tweet went out, it came down, an apology of sorts offered in its place at 12:18pm.
Later, at 1:43pm, a more thorough defense and explanation went out, delayed, he explained, because he was “on an island.”
If you review Patrick’s twitter feed, you will see that his team regularly, though not always, posts a bible verse (generally branded with Patrick’s campaign logo) at 7am on Sunday mornings. His claim it was pre-scheduled seems reasonable.
But why post this bible verse on this day?
Some lectionaries and bible study guides do suggest a verse from Galatians for June 12th, but they specify chapter 2, verses 15-21. I cannot find one that links the fourth Sunday after Pentacost to Galatians 6:7. I do find, however, plenty of discussion, though perhaps not exegetical scholarship, of Galatians 6:7 and homosexuality.
Dan Patrick, it seems, picked a bible verse often used to pick on the GLBT community, something he does often. He just happened to pick it on a day when a horrible hate crime was perpetrated, and no one was surprised.
Here are people who really should not be surprised. Here are the individuals, the people who, with enormous sums of money, seeded** his campaign and planted him in the soil at Congress and 12th Street in Austin:
Thomas Dan Friedkin, $768,000
Billionaire Chairman & CEO of Gulf States Toyota and appointee to the Texas Parks & Wildlife Commission.
Marcus D. Hiles, $150,000
Per the Dallas Morning News: “One of the largest donors to Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick pleaded guilty two years ago to a domestic violence charge that included an accusation he choked a woman into unconsciousness.” And real estate developer.
Tilman J. Fertitta, $138,057.83
Wildly successful restauranteur and Las Vegas gaming investor who is sometimes rumored to oppose efforts to expand gaming in Texas. As does Dan Patrick.
Thomas “T.” Boone Pickens, Jr., $136,089
Energy tycoon and Patrick appointee to a board that advises on energy. (And a man who seems to be honing in on the one thing that comes out of Texas dirt more valuable than oil or gas—water.)
Julianna Hawn Holt & Peter M. Holt, $100,000 each
Julianna currently heads up the San Antonio Spurs organization as Chairman & CEO, taking over after husband Peter, who is still involved with governance of the largest Caterpillar dealership in the US (which also employs one Rick Perry as a consultant).
Trammell Simonton Crow, $100,000
Son of Dallas real estate magnate Trammell Crow, who was himself a donor to Patrick and other Republicans before he died. The enigmatic environmentalist invited global climate change-denier Patrick to participate in Earth Day.
Richard W. Weekley, $100,000
Houston home-builder, philanthropist, and co-founder of Texans for Lawsuit Reform.
Darwin Deason, $100,000
Arkansas farm boy turned Monte Carlo-going yachtsman who made his fortune in computers and might or might not have done something a little squirrelly with some stock options.
James Douglass (Doug) Pitcock, Jr., $100,000
Head of Williams Brothers Construction, a company that has been in the business of building roads since Eisenhower created the interstate highway system.
K. Alan Hassenflu, $100,000
Houston-area real estate investor who has dabbled in municipal politics himself.
George (Brint) Ryan, $100,000
A “tax consulting mogul” who also ran for office once. Or, at least, someone with the same name or a name that is really similar did. (It was confusing.)
Kenneth A. Troutt, $100,000
Forbes bills him as “Billionaire Kenny Troutt Founded America’s Most Indulgent, Most Successful Youth Basketball Team.”
Trevor D. Rees Jones, $100,000
Dallas philanthropist and wildcatter who helped Abbott and Patrick fund the 2015 inauguration festivities.
Charles John Wilder, $100,000
“Driven and demanding” energy company investor and turnaround specialist.
Trey Cook, $100,000
Low-profile retail investor who isn’t afraid to put “Soho-chic style” on offer in west Houston.
Elizabeth Cegelski, $100,000
Daughter of Mattress Mack who has both become involved in the family business and taken on a spokesperson role for the International OCD Foundation.
Drayton McLane, $100,000
Former Astros owner … when the team was in the National League.
I wonder if any of them, reflecting on the bitter harvest Dan Patrick has become, regret their investment? Or if any reflect upon the fact that the rest of Texas has to reap what they’ve sown when it comes to Dan Patrick’s policies and posturing?
**This was just one list of Dan Patrick donors, and a little out of date at that. Some have given more since the data was compiled, putting them over the $100,000 cut-off, like Buc-ee’s head beaver, Arch Aplin.
Photo by Gage Skidmore modified under Creative Commons license.