Republicans running on a slate with hard left Democrat support always gives me a strong pause, and this Plano City Council race is no exception.

Last Thursday evening, I went to Maria Tu’s campaign kickoff event to hear a bit more about her platform. It wasn’t my first time seeing Tu speak or my first time meeting her. She was very kind and welcoming the first time I met her, and I was looking forward to hearing her go into more detail about her campaign platform.

When I arrived, I was greeted by Tu herself. She even asked me to take a photo with her, which I was more than happy to do. After grabbing a drink and looking around the room, I was shocked to see the large number of Democrats, and even socialists, running and/or supporting her campaign.

In attendance offering endorsements or working for Tu were:

  • Steve Lavine: Democrat, part of the team managing Tu’s campaign, and spokesman for Stand Up For Plano, a Democrat-led group that also endorsed current council members Rick Grady and Ron Kelley.
  • Ann Bacchus: Former Democrat precinct chair and current candidate for Plano City Council Place 7. She ran for council in 2017 and lost. Bacchus was the leader behind the movement to unseat Tom Harrison in 2018 and failed in that endeavor as well.
  • John M. Stafford: Chairman of the Collin County Democratic Party Candidate Recruitment and Training Committee. Graphic designer for DemSign/Scooter Promo, which managed the online store for Bernie Sanders and also produced signs for Stand Up For Plano.
  • Jean Brown: Democrat and executive director for a building development company in Plano.
  • Lisa Kolodny: Democrat running for Plano ISD Trustee Place 4.
  • Zachary Kolodny: Self-identifying socialist, a former volunteer for Bacchus, and campaign manager for his mom, Lisa Kolody. Zachary was once quoted as saying, “Conservatism has ruled this county and state for too long. It is time for Democratic Socialists to rule here.”

I had a moment to sit and speak with Zachary Kolody and expressed my shock to see a socialist come out and support a self-proclaimed Republican like Tu, to which he replied that her views aligned strongly with his. Wow.

Tu announced she was aligning herself with a slate of candidates for this upcoming city election in May 2019 that includes hard leftist Bacchus and Place 5 incumbent Kelley. Kelley received criticism from local conservatives after he cast the deciding vote for yet another city tax increase in 2018, which resulted in a 40-percent increase in the city tax bill paid by the average Plano homeowner in just five short years.

I was standing in the back enjoying my beer when, around 6:30 p.m., Lavine pulled Tu aside and told her to kick me out of the event. His only reason was that I was an employee of Empower Texans. Tu seemed to be against the idea but eventually gave in, saying she “couldn’t overcome her campaign.”

Brown then claimed that Empower Texans has put a lot of money into local Plano City Council campaigns. This is 100 percent fake news as Empower Texans is a nonprofit and is legally prohibited from giving money to any candidate. Furthermore, Empower Texans has not endorsed any candidate in 2019, nor has the separate Empower Texans PAC donated any money to any candidate running for city council in Plano. Political contributions from PACs are public information, so this is not difficult to verify.

Sorry, Jean!

Interesting to note who has donated to Tu, in the amount of $1,000: Samuel Ware, a Farmers Branch citizen who works for a commercial real estate developer doing a substantial amount of work in Plano. Ware has also donated $1,000 each to Bacchus, Grady, and Kelley.

Needless to say, I’m incredibly disappointed in Tu. She seems to be a very nice person, but her campaign and supporters are filled with hard leftists and Democrats. And these leftists running her campaign are apparently keen on kicking out conservatives who simply attend her events to hear Tu’s platform.

Conservatives in Plano might want to take pause before endorsing or supporting Tu. I’d encourage everyone to go to one of her events and see the people supporting her and listen to her thoughts on the issues facing Plano. Just make sure nobody on her staff finds out you’re a conservative, or you might get kicked out.

Tony Ortiz

Tony Ortiz is the Metroplex Development Associate for Empower Texans. Frustrated with the growing influence of leftist movements, Tony joined the Trump campaign in 2016 as a technical director. He subsequently managed Anthony Ricciardelli’s winning campaign for Plano City Council.


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