Top Trump Donors In The Houston Area

A firestorm erupted recently after Rep Joaquin Castro(D-TX) shared on his tweeter feed the names of prominent Trump donors who come from his home city of San Antonio, Texas. Republicans swiftly fired back at Rep Castro, accusing him of among other things, endangering the lives of the said Trump donors given the fact that emotions in Texas are still raw after the racist El Paso shooting. Sen John Cornyn(R-TX) led the assault on Rep Castro lashing out with this angry tweet.

Naturally, Rep Castro’s move left Yours Truly wondering. “Hmm–I wonder who are Trump’s biggest donors from the Houston, Texas area”. A simple google search led Yours Truly to this October 9, 2018 Houston Business Journal piece aptly titled, “See which Houstonians have donated the most to Trump’s 2020 campaign.” The Houston Business Journal piece has a slide listing some 25 prominent Houstonians, their business ties, and the dollar amounts they have contributed towards Trump’s 2020 campaign–excellent work.

It would be an exercise in redundancy to go through all the names listed in the slide and Yours Truly will certainly not do that. However there are some very prominent Houston personalities that deserve a separate mention chief among them, Jeffery and Melinda Hildebrand of Hillcorp Energy Company. Businessman Farouk Shami, a Palestinian-American and a staple in Houston’s hair products industry also caught Yours Truly’s attention. James Brookshire of S & B, one of the largest construction companies in the world is also on the list. As the article correctly points out, Ivanka Trump visited S & B’s offices in Baytown, Texas in September 2018 as part of her initiative to promote industrial craft training (a testament to S & B’s clout in the construction industry). Last but not least, Jim Flores, a big name in Houston’s oil and gas industry also caught Yours Truly’s attention.

It is fair to assume that because Rep Castro was severely criticized for sharing the names of Trump’s San Antonio donors, Yours Truly will also face similar criticism. For the record Yours Truly totally agrees with the reasoning given by Team Castro when defending their actions. Team Castro correctly pointed out that this is already public information that can be easily accessed on the FEC website so nobody is being “outed”. Yours Truly is further insulated from attacks by the fact that he is simply referencing a Houston Business Journal article that has been out there since 2018. If nobody raised an “outing” issue with the Houston Business Journal piece, then nobody should raise similar issues with this blog post.

Aside from the fact that this is already public information and therefore no donor is being “outed”, reasonable people will also agree that the Trump Presidency has led to the rise of hate groups–especially White Supremacy groups. Some of these groups have openly expressed support for Trump. Reasonable people will also agree that Trump has not done nearly enough to totally disavow the kind of politics that divides Americans along racial lines. As a matter of fact several paid TV pundits have come out and openly accused him of running a presidential campaign based on racism. It is therefore very important for people, certainly Houstonians, to know who is funding his campaign. Whether the people funding his campaign endorse the attendant racism is a different question altogether. The point is, it is in the public’s interest that people know who is funding him.

Bottom line as we approach 2020 the public needs to know where this President stands in regards to these hate groups. Unless and until he comes out and forcefully condemns these hate groups both in his deeds and his words, then the list of prominent Houstonians who continue to send him large donations will remain a topic of great interest and they will quite frankly be viewed by many as sponsors of hate.

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Why Trump’s Impeachment & Removal From Office Is Very Real

After recent developments in the Southern District of New York (SDNY) case involving longtime Trump attorney Michael Cohen, the mainstream media is rife with stories about how the fallout from the Cohen case could expose Trump to criminal liability and possible impeachment proceedings

Almost all the reporting from the mainstream media seems to indicate that by directing Michael Cohen to pay hush money to adult film star Stephanie Clifford(aka Stormy Daniels) and Playboy model Karen McDougal, Trump’s only criminal liability is felony campaign law violation. This idea that Trump is only looking at campaign law violations in regards to Michael Cohen has become so prevalent that the usual Trump defenders have already crafted a defense for him–the “intent” defense. 

Trump’s defenders are already out there making the argument, a very credible one, that in order to convict on a campaign law violation, the prosecution will have to prove intent–in this case, that Trump ordered Cohen to make the hush payments for campaign purposes. Trump’s lawyers will obviously counter that he ordered the payments to shield his family, especially his wife Melania from embarrassment–a very good defense, albeit untrue. 

Remember in criminal cases in order to obtain a conviction, the prosecution has to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. Here any reasonable person would agree that Trump’s lawyers can create enough reasonable doubt as to his intent in ordering the hush payments, to beat the case. This is precisely why Trump loyalists are already downplaying his potential campaign law violations.  

What is shockingly left out of the mainstream media coverage however, that should greatly worry Trump loyalists is the fact that in regards to Michael Cohen, campaign law violations are Trump’s least problems. Trump’s real criminal liability in regards to Michael Cohen come in the form of bank fraud, money laundering and wire fraud–all very serious felonies which if New York prosecutors can present evidence of, will almost certainly lead to his impeachment and removal from office. You don’t have to take Yours Truly’s word for it, just listen to what former FBI Assistant Director for Counter Intelligence Frank Figluzzi said on MSNBC’s Deadline White House show. The full Deadline White House segment is available here but the relevant clip is below.

Figliuzzi told Deadline White House host Nicolle Wallace; “…He[Trump] was directing this activity allegedly and the activity is far more Nicolle than simply trying to keep women quiet that you had an affair with. We are talking about directing things like bank fraud, money laundering, wire fraud……” Folks, if the Southern District of New York prosecutors can present evidence that Trump either did or directed Cohen to commit bank fraud, money laundering or wire fraud, serious felonies often associated with organized crime, you can rest assured that GOP Senators Collins, Rubio, Sasse, Murkowski and others will join the Democrats in removing him from office. Given the fact that Cohen has been cooperating, there’s a very good chance that SDNY prosecutors already have evidence of bank fraud, money laundering and wire fraud. 

Bottom line folks, contrary to the characterizations you are hearing from the mainstream media, this Michael Cohen story is deadly serious and is about much more than campaign finance violations. Trump faces a very real possibility of impeachment and removal from office because of potential bank fraud, wire fraud and money laundering cases that can be made against him as a result of Michael Cohen’s cooperation with SDNY.

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Desperate Ted Cruz Campaign Resorts To Mail Fraud


In a recent post Yours Truly made the argument that given the stolen user information Ted Cruz’s campaign obtained from Cambridge Analytica, plus the fact that the campaign potentially received money funneled through the NRA by Russia, Ted Cruz was literally running an illegal campaign.


Well turns out we have yet another illegal conduct to add on to the Cruz campaign’s rap sheet and that is mail fraud.

It appears the desperate Cruz campaign has resorted to scaring Texas seniors into sending them donations. The campaign is apparently sending Texas seniors a letter that purports to be a court summons. Scared Texas seniors fearing this is a court document requiring them to make the payment then send the money to the Cruz campaign–an out and out scam.


Bottom line the Ted Cruz campaign is already engaged in borderline illegal conduct given the Cambridge Analytica and NRA scandals. It is about time the Beto camp and the mainstream media took the Cruz campaign to task about its borderline illegal tactics.

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As Speaker Ryan Dithers, Russia Has Already Targeted 3 2018 Campaigns

This week in one of the most disappointing episodes in U.S. Congressional history, GOP House Republicans, fully cognizant of the Russian threat to the 2018 midterm elections, voted down a measure that would have helped states bolster their election machine security. Under any other previous U.S. administration this callous disregard for such a serious threat would have been cause for mass resignations for the members of congress involved, especially given the fact that this involves national security. In the Trump era however, this is just another scandal to be explained away by the GOP as not important because “the base loves Trump”–a sad state of affairs indeed.


In the same week, we now find out according to Microsoft that Russians have already targeted three 2018 campaigns. This means that  while Speaker Paul Ryan and his House GOP members of congress keep dithering over whether to shore up election machine security, the Russians are already on the attack.


Bottomline Dems must not accept this dithering on election security by Speaker Ryan and his House GOP goons. If possible, they should push for another vote given the fact that Russia has targeted 3 2018 congressional campaigns already. Force Speaker Ryan and his GOP to vote down election security measures even after learning of the latest Russian attack. Now that will be the quintessential treason!!

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Rebekah Mercer Ted Cruz And The Cambridge Analytica Connection

Data firm Cambridge Analytica has made headlines in recent weeks after news reports surfaced that among other things, the data firm harvested user data from social media giant Facebook without the users’ consent, and later used the harvested data to create psychological profiles of voters for political campaign purposes. The public’s outrage following revelations of this massive invasion of privacy by Cambridge Analytica has seriously hampered its business operations with the latest reports suggesting that the data firm is shutting down. A lot of the outrage has also been directed at one of the data firm’s top executives, Rebekah Mercer because she doubles up as a GOP Super Donor. The daughter of Billionaire Hedge Fund Manager Robert Mercer, Rebekah was the major financial force behind then candidate Donald J. Trump’s presidential campaign. A lot of the public outrage has therefore been directed at Rebekah Mercer in regards to the tactics Cambridge Analytica  may have employed in the Trump campaign.



The Mainstream Media has paid little attention to the fact that prior to supporting the Trump campaign, Rebekah Mercer and her Cambridge Analytica were solidly behind then presidential candidate Ted Cruz. An interesting March 20, 2018 piece by The Dallas Morning News however has raised questions about the role Cambridge Analytica played in Ted Cruz’s Presidential Campaign. In the article members of the Texas Democratic Party blasted Cruz’s ties to Cambridge Analytica saying Cruz benefited from a “Massive invasion of privacy” and “deceitful activity”. Texas Democratic Party’s Deputy Executive Director Manny Garcia added, “Ted Cruz will stop at nothing to weasel his way into power, even if it means weaponizing stolen information to manipulate people to like him….Cruz’s campaign exploited personal information to create psychological profiles on millions of Americans. All to keep lining the pockets of Cruz’s billionaire super PAC donors — like Robert Mercer, who funded this propaganda machine.”

Cruz Campaign Spokeswoman Catherine Frazier responded to the attack by Texas Dems saying, “They[Cambridge Analytica] assured us the claims made in the press were false” adding that the Cruz Campaign relied on Cambridge Analytica’s assurances that “all data used by them were obtained legally, that they would conduct their operations ‘in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations,.”

The fact of the matter however is we now know through numerous subsequent revelations including by whistleblowers that Cambridge Analytica did indeed engage in very questionable and potentially illegal conduct and that Ted Cruz Campaign benefited from it. In a July 7, 2015 Politico piece for example, Ted Cruz campaign spokesman Rick Tyler is quoted as marvelling at the services of Cambridge Analytica during the Iowa Caucus saying “I’ve seen their product, and it’s better than anything I’ve ever seen.”

The same Politico piece also says that Cambridge Analytica sent its staff to work at Cruz Campaign Headquarters in Houston, Texas meaning some of Cambridge Analyica’s questionable tactics were also applied to Texas voters who use Facebook.

The response by Cruz Campaign Spokeswoman Catherine Frazier therefore, that they relied on Cambridge Analytica’s assurances not to invade people’s privacy does very little to answer the central charge levelled by Texas Democrats–that Cruz campaign benefited and is still benefiting from improperly/illegally obtained data. Nobody is faulting the Cruz Campaign for relying on Cambridge Analytica’s assurances. The fact of the matter is the data firm improperly/illegally acquired people’s data from Facebook and used it for the campaign’s benefit. This is now a proven fact not a supposition.

Even more troubling is the fact that Cruz Campaign may still be benefiting from this improperly/illegally obtained data in the U.S. Senate race against Democrat Beto O’Rourkeessentially running an illegal campaign. The Texas Republican Primary was held on March 1, 2016(Super Tuesday). At that time Cambridge Analytica was still in Cruz’s corner as he tried to fend off then candidate Donald Trump from scoring an upset victory in Texas.

Any reasonable person would therefore conclude that Cambridge Analytica did indeed harvest Texans’ Facebook data to help Cruz beat Trump in the Texas GOP Primary. It strains credulity to suggest that the Cruz Campaign is not using this information in their current heated battle against Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke for the U.S. Senate seat

Bottom line, a very plausible argument can be made(in federal court) that Ted Cruz’s previous ties to Cambridge Analytica render his current campaign for the U.S. Senate AN ILLEGAL CAMPAIGN borne out of, as Texas Dems put it, “A MASSIVE INVASION OF PRIVACY.” The DNC/Texas Dems should really explore a federal lawsuit against the Cruz Campaign. If such a venture were ever to materialize (Dems winning lawsuit), the DNC knows what to do, send Yours Truly a check for handing Dems the biggest prize in Elections 2018 (a coveted U.S. Senate seat from Texas) without ever casting a vote.

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Did Russia Funnel Money To TeamTrump Through The NRA?

One of the biggest obstacles for Democrats, especially in the battle for control of State Legislatures has been the powerful gun lobby group National Rifle Association(NRA). Unlike other powerful lobby groups that influence both the Republican and the Democratic Party, the NRA literally has a stranglehold on the Republican party. NRA’s stranglehold on the GOP is so bad, even President Trump recently had to ask GOP Members of Congress not to be “afraid of” the gun lobby group when discussing sensible gun control proposals. Marion Hammer, a powerful NRA lobbyist in Florida for example is so feared by Florida State GOPers, that she’s dubbed “The Real Gov of Florida.” Such is the power the NRA wields over the GOP

https://youtu.be/L6I0zp-lAeo

The troubling news therefore that the FBI is investigating the NRA as a possible vehicle for funnelling Russian money to help Trump in the 2016 elections should be of great concern to Democrats. New York Times Columnist Frank Bruni said on CNN’s Outfront with Erin Burnett that the NRA spent a whopping $30M to help Trump get elected, which is more than they spent the last two Presidential cycles combined. A Russian banker Alexander Torshin who has ties to Putin is an NRA life member and the key suspect in the alleged funnelling scheme. Torshin apparently wanted to create a “back channel” between the Trump Campaign and Russia and one of his associates reportedly told a Trump campaign staffer that “Putin is deadly serious about building a good relationship with Mr. Trump.”(see YouTube video from 14:00 onwards)

Under normal circumstances this would be just another questionable daliance between a powerful U.S. gun lobby group and a foreign financier. However against the backdrop of an ongoing Special Counsel investigation into U.S. election meddling by the Russians, this strange relationship between the NRA and the Putin-allied Russian financier has become a much more serious issue, one that Americans trust Mueller and Co. will get to the bottom of.


It also bears pointing out, as New York Times Columnist Frank Bruni did that Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr, is a major NRA supporter and activist. Trump Jr you’ll remember is already in the middle of a very questionable meeting with Russian lawyer Natalya Veselnitskaya at Trump Tower. Veselnitskaya has since confessed that she’s an informant for Putin’s Kremlin

Simply put, the NRA-Russia story is a major story that could affect the Dem political fortunes from here on out. According to CNN Political Correspondent Sara Murray, the NRA is privately, very concerned about the FBI’s investigation into its ties to the Russian Banker(vid at 14:00). Obviously we Dems have to be patient and allow the feds to conduct their investigation into the NRA but just like Trump used the ongoing Clinton email probe to hamstring her 2016 campaign, there is no reason why the DNC should not pummel NRA-allied GOP candidates over Russian money as we head to Midterms 2018, the perfect target being Sen Ted Cruz

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Dems Must Weaponize #TrumpSwamp

One of the biggest promises then candidate Donald Trump made leading up to the 2016 elections was that because he was an outsider, he was the only one capable of taking corruption out of Washington–we all remember the constant “Drain the Swamp” chants at Trump rallies. The reality however has turned out to be the complete opposite. We are only in the second year of the Trump Admin yet Americans are already very alarmed at the shocking levels of government corruption reported in the media. Some are even wondering whether at this level of plunder and pillage, the country can survive 4 years of Trump. Corruption in the Trump Admin has become so prevalent, it has spawned the popular Twitter hashtag #TrumpSwamp.



Americans were initially concerned about Trump's conflicts of interest and violations of the U.S. Constitution's Emoluments Clause because of the fact that despite promising to do so during the campaign, Trump never fully divested from his vast global business empire upon assuming the presidency.

Concerns about the president's violations of the Emoluments Clause persist to this day and are the subject of several lawsuits. The problem however is that in addition to conflict of interest questions surrounding the president himself, it appears members of his administration are also caught up in all kinds of corrupt schemes. Some of the notable corruption scandals involve EPA Administrator Scott Pruit, HUD Secretary Ben Carson, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, just to mention but a few.

Message for DNC? Corruption in the Trump Admin has to be a central theme in campaign ads for the various Dems running for office this November. Dems must not only call out these egregious levels of corruption in the Trump Admin but also propose solutions to prevent them from happening again in the future. Even though it is well known that the GOP has its "mandatory voters" on the right and Dems have theirs on the left, there is a huge swath of independent voters who are longing to see these alarming levels of government corruption dealt with. Dems need to win these independent anti-corruption voters.

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