|From: source unknown|
If you're looking for a comprehensive article on the Richardson ISD Board of Trustees election, go here: "The Wheel's 2022 RISD Runoff Voters Guide". In most of this post, we're going to follow up on how the money trail of Lynn Strawn Davenport (LSD) leaves a lot for her to answer for. An earlier report about the overlaps in campaign finance for the RISD campaign of Jan Stell and the Dallas College Board of Trustees campaign of Davenport left a few curious details dangling. We'll try to tie things up today. Spoiler alert: Vote for Catalina E Garcia.
Davenport is involved in RISD trustee politics, but more importantly, she herself is running for trustee of Dallas College District 1. In my analysis of the 8-Day Campaign Finance Reports for Richardson ISD, I found some curious details tying Jan Stell's campaign to Davenport's.
A detail I noticed in Jan Stell's report is that Davenport contributed $377 to Stell...Curiously, Davenport's $377 was for "postage for mailout (1/2)" on April 27. The day before, Angela Robertson made an in-kind contribution worth $1,930.28 for "printing of mailout cards (1/2)". The report doesn't say whether there was one or two mailouts, whether the "1/2" means that the amount is half the cost and who might have paid the other half, or if the total donation was split between two campaigns (Stell's and maybe Davenport's own?) and half reported to each, or even whether these two expenses were related in any way.
The timings of these contributions and the timing of a partisan red envelope with a flier line up closely. The flier advertised that the "Lake Highlands Republicans" endorsed Jan Stell and Lynn Davenport in their respective nonpartisan races. The flier didn't say who paid for it. Neither did the red envelope as far as I know. If the total cost was high enough, not naming who paid for it might be a campaign finance violation. This circumstantial evidence is only speculation at this point. It certainly isn't enough to connect Lynn Davenport to the partisan red envelopes. It raises more questions than it answers, questions that Stell and Davenport might want to clear up to put to rest any speculation of their own involvement.Source: The Wheel.
That analysis was based on Jan Stell's Campaign Finance Report. I've now reviewed Lynn Davenport's own 8-Day Campaign Finance Report. It shows an in-kind political contribution of $1,700 from Angela Robertson for "LETTERS TO VOTERS IN LAKE HIGHLANDS" on 4/18/2022. It also shows a political expenditure of $754 for "POSTAGE STAMPS" on 4/27/2022. $754 happens to be exactly twice the $377 that Stell reported receiving from Davenport for an in-kind donation of "postage for mailout (1/2)".
The coincidences in these two reports convinces me beyond a reasonable doubt that the "infamous red mailer" was a coordinated campaign expense by the Stell and Davenport campaigns, with printing, in whole or in part, paid for by Angela Robertson and postage, in whole or in part, paid for by Davenport. Whether they each reported these complex donations/expenditures in their Campaign Finance Reports according to the strict accounting requirements of the law is still an open question. That the public who received these campaign mailers was never told the details in the mailer itself is not in doubt.
I've been told that Angela Robertson is a past president of the Lake Highlands Republican Women (LHRW), but I can't find evidence of that online. The website of the longstanding LHRW (formed in December, 1980) suddenly says, "IMPORTANT NOTICE: THIS CLUB IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE EFFECTIVE MARCH 31ST, 2022 UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE." That's another curious detail in this case.
People can donate. People can collaborate. That's OK. But I hope for and expect transparency in this. The lack of transparency here might rise to the level of it being a violation of campaign finance law. The fact that the partisan red envelopes didn't identify who paid for the mailer might be such a violation. There's not even so much as a "Pol. Adv. paid for by..." on the flier. It took a deep dive into the campaign finance reports to find the coincidences that convince me that Davenport and Robertson are the chief suspects. Whether the LHRW is also involved, I won't speculate. I just know I didn't endorse Stell (she lost) and I won't be voting for Davenport on June 18. Vote for Catalina E Garcia.
If you've read this far, stay for one last observation. According to Transparency USA, the Richardson ISD Families First PAC has spent $54,835 this election cycle. Yowza!!! That's a lot of money to try to buy two seats on the Richardson ISD Board of Trustees. That's in addition to the $55,165 that Sherry Clemens has herself raised for her campaign. It's also another reason to vote for Vanessa Pacheco.