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Sunday, October 6, 2013

Thirty Pieces of Silver


UPDATED 10/7/13:  See response of Jeff Rotkoff at end.

An ancient Arabian proverb says the enemy of my enemy is my friend.  The concept is that two parties, opposed in most respects, unite against a common opponent.  In Texas, it has aligned Steve Mostyn, a passionate liberal and prolific contributor to Democrats, with Debra Medina, a libertarian Republican now contemplating a run for governor as an independent in 2014.

Mostyn began supporting Medina because she opposed Gov. Rick Perry in the 2010 Republican primary.  Mostyn also created the Back to Basics PAC and contributed almost $4 million in 2010 to attack Gov. Perry.

Medina’s political organization is We Texans, a 501(c)(4) corporation focusing on private property, state sovereignty, gun ownership and illegal immigration.  The identities of donors to 501(c)(4) organizations do not have to be disclosed. These organizations can engage in unlimited lobbying activities, and some campaign activity, so long as it is not their primary activity.

In 2010, Medina received 18.5% of the vote and finished last in the Republican primary for Governor to Gov. Perry’s 51% and Sen. Hutchison’s 30%.  Medina has a definite following, but she appears a long way from being able to win a statewide Republican primary.

Medina is currently seeking the Republican nomination for Comptroller.   Medina’s race is not going well, as Sen. Glenn Hegar appears to be uniting the movement conservative and establishment conservative wings of the Republican party behind his candidacy.  For example, he was recently endorsed by Tarrant County Reps. Capriglione, Goldman, Klick, Krause and Zedler; and Ned Holmes is hosting a major Houston fundraiser for Hegar this month.

However, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram Medina “has received millions of dollars in pledges on the condition that she instead run for governor as an independent.”  It doesn’t take a Rice graduate to figure out the source of those pledges.  Steve Mostyn and his wife, Amber, are fervent backers of Sen. Wendy Davis and her gubernatorial campaign.  It is a time-honored political tactic to entice other candidates into a race to siphon votes from the frontrunner, in this case Attorney General Greg Abbott.

Ms. Medina would do well to remember the remorse of Judas after accepting the thirty pieces of silver.  Instead of betraying her political principles, she should wait and run for an office she can win:  The special election for SD 18 assuming that Hegar is elected Comptroller.


Response 10/7/13:

Mr. Miller - 

My name is Jeff Rotkoff and I am a political consultant who works full time with Steve and Amber Mostyn. 

I want to state unambiguously to you that your post claiming the Mostyns have committed financial or political support to Debra Medina -- should she choose to run for Governor in 2014 -- is incorrect. 
 
To be clear, the Mostyns have not spoken with Ms. Medina about any campaign for any office in 2014. Neither they, nor I on their behalf, have suggested that they would provide any kind of financial or political support to Ms. Medina in a 2014 gubernatorial run. Further, I do not believe Ms. Mostyn has ever spoken with Ms. Medina. The last time Mr. Mostyn spoke with her would have been in the form of a passing "hello" while walking through the halls of the Capitol sometime earlier this year. A 5 to 10 second exchange, at best. 
 
I hope you will correct your post. If you choose not to do so, I hope you will acknowledge that your claims are directly disputed by those with actual, direct knowledge as to the Mostyns political activity.
 
Respectfully, 
 
Jeff Rotkoff