Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts

We had a unique funeral in Decatur.

  • We've got a Liberally Lean™ exclusive:
    • Remember back in the Spring during the Decatur ISD school board elections when a mass marketed text message followed by a flyer went out? Eyebrows were raised because the flyer was paid for by a mysterious PAC named Decatur ISD Parents Unite. It even was the main subject of a Messenger article. The text, which focused on "woke" being within Decatur schools, also upset the Superintendent.  And the whole thing became even a little more uncomfortable when . . . 
      Above, from the Update 
      The text message

      The flyer

    • Well, we have finally learned about who was the major funder of the PAC.  A required campaign filing with the Texas Ethics Commission for the PAC shows that "Printed Materials," "Direct Mail," and "Digital Communications" was paid for by Montgomery Bennett of Dallas. He commonly goes by Monty Bennett. 

    • So who is he and why is he contributing to a PAC involved in a couple of obscure school board races for Decatur ISD?  

    • Bennett is a very wealthy man who invests in hard right politicians and/or PACs. By doing so, he gets engaged in culture wars at the local level even though he may have no direct ties to the community. He's kind of like the West Texas Oil Men but on a smaller scale. 
    • Bennet has thrown money in other flashpoint school board races in North Texas as well. In the last election, in addition to donating in Decatur, he supported PACs or candidates in the following (larger) district school board races . . . 
      • Keller ISD ($20,000),
      • Plano ISD ($15,000),
      • Northwest ISD ($7,500),
      • Eagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD ($2,500),
      • McKinney ISD ($10,000), 
      • and Grapevine-Colleyville ISD ($5,000). 
    • Sidenote: He's not limited to school boards. He recently donated  $20,000 to Tim O'Hare, the new right wing Tarrant County judge. He's also donated $1.1 million to Trump.
    • He also was mentioned in a a recent Texas Monthly article 

    • He also can get a little testy. Described by D Magazine as "a wealthy hotelier named Monty Bennett who was near the steps of the Capitol on January 6 and has said the insurrection was overblown by the mainstream media," he sued a publication called the Dallas Weekly and lost.

    • He also became front and center in the controversy surrounding the PPP during COVID -- even getting mentioned by then candidate Joe Biden. 

    • So is there anything illegal or unethical about this guy getting involved in Decatur school board politics to help a couple of designated candidates? Of course not. It's not illegal to be rich or illegal to use that money in any campaign you choose.  But it's a wild development that as "culture wars envelop schools" in North Texas, they seem to have made inroads into Wise County by way of a big Dallas wallet. But the question remains: How in the world did Bennett end up getting connected to Decatur? 
  • Quick hits on other news:
    • We've got an an arrest of a Jacksboro teacher on an "improper relationship" charge. 
    • Lots of charges being dropped in Tarrant County based upon a couple of headlines in the last 24 hours. 

    • Last night, the judge in Trump's January 6th case ordered a hearing be held this week regarding what should have been a routine protective order. It will be the first time the actual federal judge in charge of the case will speak face to face with the lawyers. Trump's arraignment was handled by a magistrate. 

    • I wonder about this, too.

    • KERA has bought the Denton Record Chronicle. Seems like a big deal. 
  • The first USA Today/Coaches poll for college football has been released.