Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Who is Stefani Carter Carrying Water For Now?

What do exotic animal ranches, North Texas' need for water, money, and politics all have in common? Give yourself 100 points if you guessed Richardson's state representative Stefani Carter was at the center of that unlikely Venn diagram.

After the jump, connecting the dots.

The Fort Worth Star Telegram has the details.

The Tarrant Regional Water District (TRWD) is trying to build a pipeline from east Texas to supply water for north Texas.

TRWD wants to build the pipeline across a ranch owned by Monty Bennett, a hotel executive who raises exotic wildlife on his ranch.

Bennett allegedly donated $125,000 to challengers in the May, 2013, TRWD board election. One of those challengers, Mary Kelleher, was elected. Unsurprisingly, she tends to see things Bennett's way. The TRWD believes it goes way beyond that.

This week, the TRWD voted to censure Kelleher for "conflicts of interest" with Monty Bennett, "breach of duties in TRWD litigation," and "misrepresentation before the Fort Worth City Council."

For some unstated reason, Richardson's state representative Stefani Carter was at the TRWD board meeting at which Kelleher was censured. Could it have been as a show of support for Kelleher? What ties Carter to Kelleher? Bennett, of course. Follow the money.

According to the Star Telegram, "Carter serves on the board of Bennett's hotel company, Ashford Hospitality Prime, and also received a total $15,000 in campaign contributions from Bennett in 2012 and 2013."

I've said before that "carrying water for the oil and gas industry didn't get Stefani Carter much love in her bid for Railroad Commissioner, but it looks like it's paying off big time in her bid for re-election to House District 102." Oil and gas interests have bankrolled her re-election bid nicely. Whereas Carter may be carrying water for the oil and gas industry, she is most definitely not carrying water for thirsty north Texas. Literally. In fact, she appears to be supporting those who are fighting the TRWD efforts to carry water to the region.

So, if you ever wonder what Stefani Carter is doing to ensure adequate water supplies for north Texas far into the future, you might start by asking what she's doing taking money and board positions from a hotel executive and exotic game rancher who is fighting to delay a new water pipeline because it's planned to cross his ranch.

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