The 2016 Texas GOP Primary is over with a sprinkling of runoffs to come. The Texas State House race of the cycle, by far, was for the HD121 seat of Speaker of the House Joe Straus. In a field of three, Straus won with 60% of the vote. He spent $4 million on his campaign that began as a war chest of $8 million at the close of the 2015 session. But, the aftershocks of the campaign’s last days are still rolling along.
Straus’ two opponents in the race, Jeff Judson and Sheila Bean, had no hesitation utilizing a video featuring Dan Golvach in their campaigns. Golvach’s son, Spencer, was murdered on January 31, 2015, in Houston by an illegal alien that had been deported four times. In the video, Dan Golvach places blame for his son’s death squarely on Speaker Straus for his tactics in killing sanctuary cities legislation each session that he has been Speaker since 2009.
Although the race is over and Straus is the victor, Golvach has been relentless in staying aggressive toward Straus, especially after the head man at Breitbart Texas, Brandon Darby came to the defense of Straus after the video was released just days before Election Day.
On a local talk show in Lubbock during the last week of the campaign, Darby gave a robust defense of Straus and accused Judson and Bean of being unfair when it came to saying Straus was responsible for the death of Spencer Golvach.
Dan Golvach granted two interviews on RER, both with George Rodriguez. During his interview with El Conservador on March 1, Election Day, Golvach lowered the boom on Darby for his Lubbock radio show comments and his defense of Straus. Darby then granted an interview to RER’s Mary Huls, live.
Darby, Managing Editor of Breitbart Texas, began his comments by saying, “I’m very tea party. Very, obviously, concerned about border security. Very in tune to this issue. And I’ve been opposed to Joe Straus as Speaker, quite a bit. In fact, I think pretty substantially. But the thing that bothered me most about it, I know the details very well. Mr. Golvach actually criticized Abbott in the same interview. He actually criticized most of the Texas leaders.
“But, yet, that ad was edited to just go after Joe Straus, and then it was used during a campaign. And, I thought that was a pretty bad thing to do. I feel like it was exploitive of the death of his son.”
Darby acknowledged during his RER appearance “The father does actually blame Joe Straus. But from what I understand, in addition to other leaders, though, not just Joe Straus alone. I felt it was dishonest and being used for political gain.”
“His son is dead become we have an open border”, proclaimed Darby. “The open border, the ability of people to cross back and forth, and the federal government’s refusal to prosecute, that is what led to his son’s death. It had nothing to do with state leaders and their policies.”
Steadily standing firm that the usage of the video willingly recorded by Dan Golvach that indicts Straus and his leadership for killing sanctuary cities legislation, “I think that goes too far. I think it goes too far to say Joe Straus has the man’s son’s blood on his hands.”
Darby is renowned for his reporting from the Texas-Mexico border and is credited with breaking several key stories. He’s looked upon within the LM with some sense of celebrity due to his RGV beat. Yet, his defense of the Texas Legislature’s status quo and current (and, probable) future leadership brings into question his knowledge of the Texas political ecosystem. If Darby is truly concerned about the crisis condition of the Texas-Mexico border, being well-versed in the history of how sanctuary cities bills were killed in every session since Straus has held the gavel of the Speaker should compel him to call for the removal of Straus as Speaker.
Darby’s defense of Straus and his tenure as Speaker has caused many who follow his work, including Dan Golvach, to question not only his motives, but also his integrity and has left many wondering if Darby has fallen to the known playbook of Straus – the purchasing of allegiance.
The trusted and revered brand of Breitbart Texas has certainly been tarnished through this controversy. Damage was done to the national brand with the controversy involving a Breitbart national reporter embedded with the Donald Trump presidential campaign that has alleged she was physically assailed by the campaign’s manager. The alleged incident and the response from the Breitbart brain trust led to the resignation of four key personnel members at Breitbart last week, including Editor Ben Shapiro. Additional charges of “being Trump’s Pravda”, or basically a communications Super PAC for Trump came from departing employees.
Now, Brandon Darby brings that stain to Breitbart Texas by appearing to be a shield bearer for Speaker Joe Straus and the Texas Legislative status quo.
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