After the chairman of the Dallas County Republican Party recently resigned, one North Texas Republican is colluding with the liberal media to place unwarranted blame on a local Republican state senator, as opposed to helping his own party.
Within hours of Mark Montgomery’s resignation from the DCGOP for “personal reasons,” the Dallas Morning News was pushing a narrative that Montgomery had been leading the party to financial ruin.
“Dallas County GOP chairman steps down as party faces financial shortfall” blared the headline.
“In the two months that Mark Montgomery has been at the helm of the Dallas County Republican Party, the group’s bank account has gone from about $30,000 to $180, according to financial disclosure reports filed last month,” says the lead.
The paper proceeded to paint Montgomery as an oafish conservative that ran the party into the ground, harping on the fact that he started with $30,000 and was left with only $180—an amount they reminded their readers wouldn’t be nearly enough to defeat Democrats this November.
The DMN quoted U.S. Congressman Pete Sessions, who was conveniently available in the evening hours with a snarky quote and thorough knowledge of the situation. Sessions predictably assured readers that Republicans will lose if they don’t have more money and deflected questions on Montgomery to State Sen. Don Huffines (R-Dallas).
“It was Sen. Huffines who put him in office, and I’ll let him answer questions about the success or failure of the party,” said Sessions.
However, the plain facts prove the opposite. Huffines didn’t support Montgomery. On the contrary, he contributed heavily to a local conservative organization that endorsed and supported incumbent Wade Emmert, Montgomery’s opponent.
Not only did Sessions falsely accuse Huffines of supporting the wrong candidate, he gave credibility to unwarranted rumors claiming Montgomery “bankrupted” the party. Records of DCGOP expenditures reviewed by Texas Scorecard suggest otherwise.
When Montgomery entered office, the county party’s account balance was $30,000. According to the Dallas County GOP donate page, simply keeping the lights on costs $13,000 per month, or roughly $26,000 during Montgomery’s short tenure. Since then – in addition to routine events – the party has also played host to a staff retreat for the statewide “Victory” field staff and likely incurred additional costs related to the National Convention.
Indeed, Montgomery’s spending habits appear strikingly similar to his predecessor. However, donations to the party dried up almost completely after he took office.
A retired grandfather, Montgomery was largely unknown to party activists, let alone Huffines before running for county chairman. After winning by nearly a 2–1 margin against Emmert, he humbly admitted in public statements to activists that he too was shocked by his victory. He often joked he spent only $29 on his campaign for a pack of business cards.
It appears Sessions and his allies cut off funding for the party in order to precipitate a financial “crisis” they could use to oust Montgomery. Their false charges against Huffines expose a possible motive in doing so—to falsely pin an alleged failure on their political opponent who’s successfully rocking the local establishment.
Sessions attempt to manufacture a controversy and undercut Huffines doesn’t fit with the actual facts of the situation. With an immense war chest at his disposal and connections to Dallas’ most affluent circles, Sessions had the opportunity to step in and seriously bolster his local party’s fundraising efforts. It’s sad to see he’d rather pin its failure on his political opponents rather than help fix the problem.