Colorado Model, meet Harris County

The Chron Houston Politics blog passes along today's press-release news that the Texas Democratic Party has amended its lawsuit against the Green Party to include local grassroots tea-party group King Street Patriots.

The King Street Patriots' voter-integrity project True the Vote, of course, made news earlier this year in exposing potential vote-fraud efforts by Houston Votes, a Dem-activist-dominated "nonpartisan" voter-registration group.

King Street Patriots has also been active in inviting candidates and newsmakers to informational meetings, and their audience's affinity for certain candidates* has led to today's countercharges from progressive "ethics" front groups of possible campaign ethics violations**. Interestingly, reporting*** by an "independent" news organization is cited as part of the basis for the complaint, which is also then reported by the "independent" news organization. Circular (and "coincidental") enough?

The cherry on top is Matt Angle today announcing his support of the Democratic Party lawsuit because, in his words, "The King Street Patriots is not a legitimate nonpartisan or nonprofit organization. It is the most extreme and intolerant arm of the Harris County Republican Party."

Of course, Matt Angle features in The Blueprint, a fine piece of political journalism that describes how a handful of committed millionaire progressives managed to flip formerly reliably Republican Colorado to the Dems over a few election cycles, through strategic funding of down-ballot political races, creation of a loose network of "independent" news organizations and "ethics" groups to pound targeted opponents, and liberal use (no pun intended) of the legal system to tie up ostensibly conservative organizations. Angle all but promised to bring the Colorado Model to Texas, in the form of his Lone Star Project (and associated groups).

And if you begin to connect the dots locally -- as Cory Crow also does -- you can see elements of the Colorado Model at work, right here in Harris County. Now, There's nothing illegal or unethical per se about the model. In many ways, The Blueprint is a great political novel that just happens to be true. However, given the state political media's occasional interest in the influence of big money in politics (when it happens to be a donor like, say, Bob Perry), it would be nice to see that same interest extend to progressive big money and the machinations of nominally "independent" front groups.

*It's probably no coincidence that Jim Murphy's visit to the King Street Patriots attracted the attention of Matt Angle and affiliated progressive organizations. Murphy's effort to reclaim his old seat in HD-133 from progressive (and former ACORN) darling Kristi Thibaut makes Harris County, in some ways, Ground Zero for conservative efforts to beat back the Colorado-style onslaught in Texas.

** The accusations and lawsuits are everything, of course. Even if the charges -- as repeated by friendly "independent" media organizations -- ultimately have no merit, they work their way into mainstream coverage (since our state's political media reveals itself too frequently as an incurious, non-analytic lot), create doubts among the less informed about King Street Patriots, and generally occupy time and effort that the organization might otherwise put into its mission.

*** Straight news reporting usually offers some semblance of balance, at least a quote from the people being attacked.

Posted by Kevin Whited @ 10/18/10 06:28 PM | Print |

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