UPDATE: Local Grassroots Conservatives Offer to Fund Entire Senatorial Convention, but HCRP Never Returns Calls
For most recent update, scroll to bottom of this post. –rhl
It all began:
On Monday, April 9, 2012, on behalf of the Kingwood and some other TEA Parties and 912 groups, we contacted Elizabeth in the HCRP office and offered to sponsor the entire cost for the HCRP convention on Saturday, April 21, 2012. We thought this was a reasonable offer since the HCRP would not be charging candidates to speak this year and they would be short funds for the convention. We did not ask for any control of any function of the convention, only that we sponsor the event solely and be recognized for doing so. We made the offer because we believe in the importance of having an open forum between voters and all candidates including those who represent our TEA Party core beliefs.
Elizabeth promied to contact Jared and ask that he call us to arrange how to get the money to the party. Jared never called, and Elizabeth quit taking my calls for the rest of the week. I am very sorry to have to report to you that our efforts seem to have been for naught. Today, we took the money off of the table because we can only assume that HCRP and Mr. Woodfill do not want our money or any association with our TEA Parties. We hope that their own fund-raising activities allow them to sponsor a fair and open forum for all the candidates, and we look forward to participating in that effort.
Submitted by Gus Faris, KWTP Secretary & Director, 4/16/12 on behalf of Harris County Grassroots Conservatives.
UPDATE: Thursday, April 19, 2012
by Gus Faris, KWTP Secretary & Director
It is important to note that Kingwood and Clear Lake TEA Parties both posted the report below on their web pages. It was picked up by several TEA Parties around the area and ended up in lots of hands. Consequently, Jared finally called today. He asked if we were still interested in sponsoring the convention. I told him that I wished he had called last week when the money was still on the table. But that we knew that he had gathered other donations and that we did not want to mix our funds with theirs.
He asked if we would still donate if he used the funds he has for other purposes, and again I declined. He said he would have called last week if he had known about our offer, but that he had not known and had been busy moving his office. Personally, I don’t know how the chair (regardless of his outside responsibilities) of an organization as large and important as the Harris County Republican Party has a communication breakdown like that between the chair and the only paid employee the organization has. (I know that I speak to my managers every day, but hey, that’s just me.)
He did inform me that HCRP now has enough donations to fund the convention. And as before, we hope that their own fund- raising activities allow them to sponsor a fair and open forum for all the candidates, and we look forward to participating in that effort.
Jared did mention that he has some projects planned for after the convention that our TEA Party consortium might wish to fund or take over. I told him that I would be happy to look at the list and present it to our membership. We agreed to meet after the convention.
UPDATE: Monday, April 23, 2012
by Gus Faris, KWTP Secretary & Director
Today, someone named John Griffing posted several claims on a blog called “Texas Patriot Statesman.” He claimed that our offer to fund the convention was made by a shill for Paul Simpson. Then he claimed that the Kingwood TEA Party was acting as a shill for Simpson. Then he claimed that we were all shills for Randy Kubosh, calling us all liars engaging in willful deception against Jared Woodfill.
WOW! Talk about conspiracy theories! Mr. Griffing has run amok!
Here are the facts.
I made the offer just as outlined in my comments posted on KWTP’s web page and in this article. I had no money promised from anyone outside the TEA Parties that I discussed this with and another conservative group that shall remain unnamed unless they choose to step forward.
Furthermore, I do not know Mr. Kubosh. I have never met him or talked to him either directly or through advocates. I would like to though. (We seem to have a lot of common acquaintances.) Since I don’t know him, and since I do know all the people who promised funds, I can clearly state that he had nothing to do with my offer.
Furthermore, Paul Simpson had nothing to do with it. He was an innocent bystander because he showed up to speak at KWTP on the same night that I ended the offer to fund the convention, 3 days before Jared got around to calling me back and 8 days after it was made. Secondly, I don’t act as a shill for anyone. The Kingwood TEA Party will never act as a shill for anyone or any organization as long as I and my fellow Directors are board members there. That is what Mr. Griffing and bad lawyers do.
We tried to do a good deed for the Harris County Republican Party. In return, we were ignored, dismissed, accused of malicious deeds, accused of hiding our true identity, called names, and generally libeled. What is going on here? What are these people so afraid of? Maybe their organization needs a little more scrutiny. Hmmm…
UPDATE: Tuesday, April 24, 2012
by Gus Faris, KWTP Secretary & Director
REF ARTICLE: Simpson, The Party’s Savior?
Well, Mr. Griffing has struck out again. His new conspiracy theory is as bad as his last one. He claims that KWTP made the offer to fund the convention with the caveat that Ted Cruz speak at lunch.
That is wrong on two points. KWTP did not make the offer; I did. And I never tied any requirement to it except that we be the sole sponsor and be recognized for it. (“We” are some TEA Parties and other conservative groups.)
When Jared finally called back 8 days after the offer was made and we had a chance to talk, he mentioned the caveat that Mr. Cruz speak. I told him then that I had never said or implied anything like that and asked where he heard it. He said he got that information from Jeff Yates. I asked if he talked to Elizabeth Dillon and added that she is the person to whom the offer was made. Then I added that I don’t know Jeff Yates. I have never talked to him, and I did not know where he would get any information like that. Jared then said he never talked to Elizabeth. So this requirement is a pure figment of somebody’s imagination, sort of an outright lie.
What was illicit and inappropriate was when Jared offered to take our money and use the other donations for other activities. I told him clearly that we wanted nothing to do with that. This was not a petulant position as described – we just did not want to participate in any activities that we thought might be illegal.
We did talk about other activities and possibilities for cooperation. We agreed to talk after the convention to explore those. We do have funds that might be used for some of those purposes, whatever they are, should they foster cooperation between HCRP and conservative groups – just like we attempted to do with our original offer. However, Mr. Griffing’s continuing attacks are taking a toll on our friendly attitude and desire to cooperate with all conservative Republicans defeating liberals in the upcoming elections.
UPDATE: Tuesday, May 1, 2012 – John Griffing’s Retraction (sort of, as it was never offered to us directly and I couldn’t find it anywhere on the Patriot Statesman site, while the offending article is still there.
Posted by Robin Lennon, KWTP President, Co-founder
Mr. Griffing’s Retraction (from Something Fishie, Felicia Craven’s Blog
The following is a formal retraction of the claims made in a piece entitled, “Simpson, the Party’s Financial Savior?” The aforementioned piece was based on faulty information which proved to be incorrect.
Reference Article (with no retraction linked that I could find): “Simpson, the Party’s Financial Savior?”
Here are the facts as I now understand them:
Randy Kubosh was not involved with the introduction or passage of the speaker fees resolution.
Kubosh is not “Democrat-leaning,” is a member of the Republican Leadership Council, President of the Pachyderm Club, and tireless party supporter for many years. The Kubosh family has been engaged notably in conservative efforts to stop red-light cameras, thereby protecting the privacy rights of Houston residents, and have financially supported numerous conservative candidates and causes.
As far as it is known, the Kingwood Tea Party did not condition funding of the HCRP Senate convention on the admittance of Congressional contender Ted Cruz to speak The offer was made without restriction other than acknowledgment of donation. Printing this without multiple sources of corroboration was irresponsible.
Paul Simpson is not in fact causally linked to the resolution governing speaker fees, and the hasty connection of Simpson to this resolution on the basis of faulty information provided to me by Richard Dillon and Bill Kneer, is not a conclusion that is valid short of certain additional information. Both of these individuals provided the information underpinning much of my piece. I can only accept responsibility for my part. I do not wish to participate in a he said, he said form of mudslinging.
For those who briefly viewed an earlier draft of, “Simpson, the Party’s Financial Savior?”, it must be noted that since I was not in attendance at the HCRP Executive Committee meeting in question, it is imprudent to discuss what did or did not take place between specific individuals. I withdraw those comments. And I do sincerely apologize to anyone I offended.
What was written in the referenced piece is entirely uncharacteristic of my typical modus operandi as a writer and a journalist. It is my sincere hope that all parties concerned will overlook my honest factual error.
Posted on April 17, 2012, in elections, Harris Co. Republican Party, Harris County Republican Chair Forum, Harris County Senate District Conventions, Pay to Speak at Convention and tagged 2012 Harris County Senatorial Conventions, Jared Woodfill. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.