Paul Simpson failed to adhere to the resolution approved by the Harris County Republican Executive Committee meeting on February 3 removing Mammoth Marketing Group (MMG) and Kevin Shuvalov from the party. Simpson previously failed to implement Clint Moore’s resolution supporting Senator Paul Bettencourt’s property tax proposal. Simpson has now issued this weird statement claiming Rachel was misinformed and wants to hold a meeting with MMG and other unidentified consultants.
The MMG resolution includes three action items for the party: (1) no HCRP funds to MMG beginning February 4, 2020; (2) written demand to MMG to remove HCRP from its website where it promotes HCRP (and Simpson) as a client; and (3) publication of a disclaimer correcting the misimpression on MMG’s website. There is great concern about the funneling of funds from the HCRP to MMG.
Just hours before the February 3 Executive Committee meeting and without any direct communication with Rachel, Simpson distributed the meeting agenda and, in writing, ruled Rachel’s resolution out of order. During the meeting, Rachel sought an appeal of Simpson’s ruling. This came towards the end of the meeting. It is the difference between a trial lawyer versus a transactional lawyer.
Rachel filed the MMG resolution on Friday, January 24, ten days in advance of the EC meeting. I posted the resolution not long after on the Harris County Executive Committee Facebook page, Twitter, and sent it to a number of different elected officials in Harris County. Immediately following the posts, a members of the financial oversight committee went to the Harris County GOP offices and began going through the books, very concerning
Earlier in the meeting, the latest party treasurer, Bryant Gaudette, gave a financial report. The report was very brief and ended with Mr. Gaudette’s resignation. Certainly a surprise to the Executive Committee. This resignation brings questions and concerns. Without a treasurer, who is the custodian of the party’s funds? Who is responsible for performing all applicable duties required by federal and state statutes? With this succession of treasurers and, now, absence of one, there is great concern about what was found in the party’s books, records, financial statements, and governmental reports.
Simpson’s letter to the precinct chairs sent out late Tuesday is interesting. Paul acts as if the consultant (MMG) who led the countywide sweeps of 2016 and 2018 need or deserve an opportunity to be heard. In reality, what needs to happen is a full and immediate audit of all expenditures, records, contracts, and bank statements. And, all bank accounts should be frozen. Additionally, all party-owned data must be secured and protected.
Then, the Executive Committee and/or a court must order a complete investigation into the party’s finances and fiduciary responsibility and the access and use of all party-owned data. All party records need to be protected by court order as not to have them altered, changed, or destroyed in anyway. If it is suspected that any fiduciary responsibility has been breached, the state party should get involved and refer the matter to the proper criminal authority for expedited handling.
Paul’s letter expresses his open defiance of the Executive Committee’s vote. It permits him to continue to pay Mammoth from the party’s funds. This letter does nothing to dissuade any fears of financial impropriety within the Harris County Republican Party. Mammoth’s failures are not in dispute and a meeting with the consultants could only be beneficial to reveal who else is involved with the party’s funds.
President Donald John Trump, Governor Abbott, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, Texas Republican Party Chairman James Dickey, are you paying attention to what is happening in the largest county Republican party in the United States?