Texas Republican Party Chairman Steve Munisteri was elected to his position in 2010. "I'm humbled and honored that the delegates to the convention of the Republican Party of Texas have elected me," he said at the time.
But Chairman Munisteri hasn't always been filled with humility and honor. Far from it.
From 1997-2000, Munisteri managed the boxer Ikemefula "Ike" Ibeabuchi. In 1997, when Munisteri became Ibeabuchi's manager, the Nigerian national kidnapped his former girlfriend's son, stuffed him in his car, and crashed the car into a concrete pillar. The boy was severely injured and still cannot walk properly. The court determined that Ibeabuchi was trying to commit suicide with the boy in his car, giving him a meager 120 days of prison time and forced him to pay the boy's mother $500,000 in a civil settlement.
This terrible crime did not deter Munisteri from continuing to manage Ibeabuchi. "Ike has no criminal charges against him, no serious charges ended sticking, just a misdemeanour,' Munisteri, also a practicing attorney told the Vancouver Sun in 1999. "He had an incident with the law, it's resolved and we move on." "Just a misdemeanor" in which Ibeabuchi kidnapped and partially disabled a child.
"I planned his comeback," Munisteri boasted in a 2006 boxing blog interview. "After the Tua fight, and the injury to the child; he was incarcerated, and no one would touch him. He dropped out of the rankings." No one except for Munisteri that is, who was concerned only with making a buck by pushing Ibeabuchi's career forward.
Texas Republican Party Chair Steve Munisteri must have felt like Paul Revere when he sounded the alarm on Battleground Texas. The letter his office recently sent out reads more like Alex Jones than the Chair of the party that holds every top seat in the state. The piece is cynical, but cleverly worded to literally scare the money out of people with an apocalyptic fear of our President.
At every opportunity Munisteri cranks up the fear machine characterizing the Politico.com article with Jeremy Bird as Battleground Texas being "exposed by a major national newspaper," and stating that the, "article uncovered their plans." He warned Texas Republicans that "Barack Obama's 'Battleground Texas'" was a "clear and present threat to you and your family," and that they are coming to "take away your guns," "confiscate more of your paycheck" and "hijack your rights and freedoms."
The Chairman used blatant double-speak with no regard for the intelligence of potential moderates or otherwise informed election volunteers. He wrote that "Obama's team have become masters of the slimy "dark arts" of campaigning: creating a massive database; collecting detailed information on every voter and non-voter." On the very next page he writes, "Your gift will be used to help me identify thousands of Texas conservatives."
The letter -- which could honestly be mistaken for an April Fools joke -- contained several gems including: "When we say the Second Amendment gives us the right to own guns, they say we want to see more school children massacred," "Obama and his allies have an unquenchable thirst for your tax dollars," and "we simply cannot allow Obama-style politics to invade Texas."
Other claims were just outright false. The TRP Chair said Obama had "virtually double[d] our national debt," which by "virtually" I assume he means "didn't". He also said the President failed to "create any new private sector jobs" which is also not true.
Read more of the Texas GOPs fear-mongering below the jump.
It's time for the Friday Wrap, where your Burnt Orange Reporters comment on all the news that fits in a blockquote.
It was a great week for consumers as Senator Elizabeth Warren attended her first Senate Banking Committee hearing. The gentlewoman from Massachusetts had a few questions for regulators that were long overdue. Upworthy has the video:
Senator Elizabeth Warren, y'all!
Below the jump, get caught up on Ted Cruz, Jerry Patterson, Annise Parker, Steve Munisteri, and religious fervor in Texas.
The Republican Party of Texas is making it their mission for Republicans to hide from voters and refuse to debate. We know all about Rick Chicken Perry -- take a look at all the ads around BOR if you don't. But Republicans have decided to refuse to debate up and down the ticket now, only ensuring that their candidates will be seen as cowards who are unwilling to face the voters and talk about the issues.
Judy Jennings and Rebecca Bell-Metereau are fighting back. From their press release earlier today:
"Republican nominees for SBOE Marsha Farney and Ken Mercer have a lot of questions to answer, and they should come out of hiding and answer them. Are they going to participate in a fair debate, moderated by a respected non-partisan journalist, or are they going to follow the orders of their partisan boss? Texans are tired of the State Board of Education being Republicans' political football, in which the school children of Texas get kicked around - this is supposed to be about quality public education, not political gamesmanship," Cook said.
Both the Democrats have notified the League of Women Voters that they will participate in the League's debate, and cautioned their opponents not to duck voters by failing to participate.
"I am honored to participate in the debate and to share my views with voters on how the State Board of Education can do much better for Texas school children. If my opponent respects the voters whose support she seeks, she will accept the offer to participate in this debate as well," said Judy Jennings.
"I'm pleased to accept the opportunity to let voters know my priorities if they elect me to the SBOE, and I'm equally pleased about the chance to inform voters of what my opponent has already done as an SBOE member," said Rebecca Bell-Metereau. "I urge him to participate in the debate, because he has some explaining to do regarding his priorities while in office," she said.
The policy of the Republican Party of Texas to simply ignore voters and skip public forums speaks volumes of who they believe matters in this race -- and it's not you. It's not the parents, teachers, or children of Texas who care about public schools. It is themselves.
Up and down the ballot, whatever the race, Republicans are in it for themselves while Democrats are in it for Texas.