As embattled Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush continues to take heat from Republican leaders and lawmakers over his management of the Alamo, he sought to shore up support from Texans by addressing rumors that the site would be attacked by protesters.
“The Alamo is the Shrine of Texas Liberty. And it will be defended,” Bush said, adding that his office was monitoring the situation. “Rest assured we have already deployed, for several weeks and will continue to do so, the Alamo Rangers in partnership with SAPD, the Department of Public Safety and The National Guard to protect this sacred site. My message to the protesters is simple: Don’t Mess with The Alamo.”
Ultimately, protesters did descend on the Alamo site, but not to vandalize the shrine. Instead, they were there to protest Bush’s plan to “reimagine” it and move the Alamo Cenotaph, a monument commissioned on the centennial anniversary of the Battle of the Alamo that serves as a tombstone for the men who gave their lives in the fight for Texas independence.
On Monday, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick joined the protesters in their criticism of Bush and took to Twitter to blast his fellow Republican statewide official for his management of the shrine of Texas liberty, saying, “Nobody has put the Alamo at more risk.”
Nobody has put the @OfficialAlamo at more risk than @georgepbush with the outrageous “reimagining” plan, lousy management, lack of transparency and moving the cenotaph. #txlege #remembertheAlamohttps://t.co/JiAF0niZKe
— Dan Patrick (@DanPatrick) June 15, 2020
It’s not the first time Patrick has loudly criticized Bush for his handling of the Alamo. Earlier this year, Patrick spoke out against Bush’s handling of the Alamo plan, saying that “both the design, planning, and execution of the project is badly off track” and that he had “yet to hear a good explanation of why the Cenotaph must be moved.”
State Rep. Steve Toth (R–The Woodlands) agreed with Patrick’s assessment and asked how Bush could be so “deaf to the outcry of Texans.”
This can’t stand. How can any Statewide (George P Bush) be as deaf to the outcry of Texans?
Leave the Alamo alone! https://t.co/c11qeVm9m1
— Steve Toth (@Toth_4_Texas) June 15, 2020
But no lawmaker has been more local on the issue of the Alamo than State Rep. Kyle Biedermann (R–Fredericksburg). In a statement to Texas Scorecard, Biedermann said he was thankful to Patrick for continuing to stand up for the Alamo and called on Bush and Gov. Greg Abbott to do the same.
“The defense of the Alamo in 1836 depended upon the courageous actions of our state’s leaders, and defending it in 2020 requires the same,” said Biedermann. “I’m glad Dan Patrick has been so vocal on defending the Alamo from being ‘reimagined.’ We need more courage and leadership from our other elected leaders to defend this sacred shrine.”
Last week, Biedermann sent a letter to Abbott, taking him to task for refusing to lead on the issue and hold Bush in check. Since the session ended, Biedermann has contacted Abbott on numerous occasions about the Cenotaph relocation but has received no reply, triggering the heated letter:
“In the past few months, you have acted with excessive executive powers under the guise of COVID-19. With that said, on the Alamo, your leadership has been nonexistent. Why do you refuse to stand for what is right and what many Texans including 97% of Republican primary voters agree on? The Cenotaph, the Defenders empty tomb, should not be moved. Your immediate leadership is required. The people deserve a response from you especially now since the Texas Historical Commission is ready to approve the permit for the dismantling and relocation of the Cenotaph from the Alamo battlefield. This THC hearing on June 16 and 17 will be closed to public in person attendance and should not include this monumental and controversial permit application item.”
“Governor, put an end to the relocation of the Cenotaph and insist it be repaired where it stands,” Biedermann concluded. “Don’t let your name go down in history as the one who let the most iconic event of Texas history take a backseat at the hands of historical revisionists.”
Both Bush and Abbott have yet to publicly respond to criticisms over the Alamo plan.