This article is the first in a series that will expose the quid pro quo tactics of Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick and how he rewards his high-dollar donors. In this series you will learn how Dan Patrick is not a Republican or conservative but a PLUTOCRAT with the interest of Texas citizens as the least of his concerns.
In a press release posted on his campaign website, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick proudly announced record fundraising totals pushing his political bank account to $23.7 million dollars. Patrick also brags that he hauled in $5 million dollars for the July 2021 reporting period and that his fundraising efforts are the most successful for any Lt. Governor in the history of Texas.
The question that must be asked is how does Dan Patrick raise so much money?
Dan Patrick’s first priority is to raise money to chase away any potential challengers to his office.
A bill purporting to address Texas power grid governance turned out to be a perfect opportunity for Lt. Governor Dan Patrick to appoint a long-time prolific donor to a key position with influence over the lives of every Texan when they turn on a light switch.
Every bit of information presented below is sourced from public records. Texas Ethics Commission filings, Texas Legislature documents and the Lt. Governor’s own taxpayer-funded website formed the basis of this report. We followed the legislative process, followed the money, disclose who made the contributions and when, and in Dan Patrick’s own words reveal the context and timing surrounding the event.
But first some history.
Shortly after winning the Lt. Governor race in 2014, the Texas Tribune reported Lt. Governor-elect Dan Patrick appointed a 55-member special advisory board. Comprised of private sector business and industry leaders the board was to provide recommendations on the 2015 legislative agenda to Texas lawmakers. The Texas Tribune report published a list containing the names of these 55 special advisors. Chief among them was Brint Ryan, the owner of a Dallas-based tax firm. Ryan was to chair the Tax Policy committee.
RagingElephantsRadio.com’s Apostle Claver Kamau-Imani labeled the advisory board Patrick’s College of Cardinals. They were to meet in secret like Catholic Cardinals within a deliberative conclave. No oversight. No reports to the public on what they would be recommending to the new Lt. Governor and the Texas Senate and how those recommendations would impact legislation to be passed. Who would benefit financially or otherwise from the recommendations?
In advance of that January 15, 2015 advisory board appointment, what many Texans were probably unaware of was Brint Ryan’s personal financial support in addition to financial support from the Ryan Texas PAC to Dan Patrick’s political action committee, Texans for Dan Patrick (TFDP).
Public records available through the Texas Ethics Commission reveal in the years leading up to that January 15 appointment, as well as Dan Patrick’s election to the Lt. Governor spot, Brint Ryan’s PAC and personal in-kind contributions totaled over $145,000. (Highlighted donation are prior to Dan Patrick’s swearing in)
The table above reveals Ryan Texas PAC money flowed into TFDP PAC over the ensuing years.
By the time the 2021 87th regular legislative session was underway a horrendous winter storm left millions of Texans to freeze in the dark via a statewide, crippled power grid. Millions of Texans experienced homes with frozen, broken water pipes, flooding and millions of residential, commercial and industrial insurance damage claims. And there were deaths.
The Texas Tribune would report ” As the updated death toll from the February storm reached 111 deaths last week, the severity of its full force has continued to come into focus. The damage the storm wreaked could make it the costliest disaster in Texas history.”
By being labeled potentially the costliest disaster in Texas history would mean the Great Freeze of 2021 would surpass any natural disaster including Hurricane Harvey. The primary difference between a hurricane and the Great Freeze is that the latter was man-made and avoidable.
Fingers were pointed everywhere; ERCOT, the Public Utility Commission, legislators and state agencies. Voters threw them all under the bus. Some members of the ERCOT board were not Texas residents and did not personally feel the effects of the statewide power outage.
Former ERCOT CEO and President Bill Magness was fired and refused the $800,000 severance pay his contract entitled him to..
The bill intended to solve the governance problem of the state power grid was quickly filed on March 12, 2021.
The Texas power grid oversight bill known as SB 2 was designed in part to improve governance of ERCOT, the agency that oversees the main Texas power grid. According to the Enrolled Bill Summary on the Legislature’s website , a key provision of the bill was the formation of an ERCOT Board Selection Committee. By creating such a committee the Texas Legislature was essentially creating a firewall of responsibility and accountability for the power triad of the Pink Dome – Abbott, Patrick, and Phelan.
Little did the majority of Texans know that reading the bill text itself (and not relying on the Enrolled Summary) would reveal one small detail about who would control and what public records would later reveal influenced the makeup of the ERCOT Board Selection Committee.
SB 2 added language in Section 39.1513 enabling the Governor, Lt. Governor and the Speaker of the House to appoint one person each to an ERCOT Board Selection Committee. The Selection Committee would then be responsible for who would sit on the ERCOT Board of Directors.
Who did Lt. Governor Dan Patrick appoint to the ERCOT Board Selection Committee? G. Brint Ryan — Dan Patrick’s Special Advisory Board (College of Cardinals) member since January 2015, and through his PAC, now almost a $1 million long-time financial benefactor of Dan Patrick.
What sealed the deal was a June 30th $100,000 contribution from of all places, the Ryan Texas PAC to Texans for Dan Patrick. The announcement was posted on the Texas Lt. Governors own website:
July 20, 2021
AUSTIN – In addition to restructuring the board of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), one of the provisions of Senate Bill 2, signed into law following the 87th Legislative Session, requires the Governor, Lt. Governor, and Speaker of the House of Representatives to each appoint one member to the ERCOT Board Selection Committee. Today, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has selected G. Brint Ryan, of Dallas, as his appointee to the 3-member selection committee. Upon making the appointment, Lt. Gov. Patrick issued the following statement:
“Brint Ryan is one of the most successful business leaders in Texas and the nation. He has significant experience working with search firms and directly hiring high-level staff around the world. He is perfect for this crucial appointment to select members of the ERCOT Board.”
Brint Ryan, of Dallas, is the founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Ryan, LLC, a global tax consulting firm based in Dallas. Ryan is the chairman of the Texas Association of Business and served on the University of North Texas Board of Regents. Ryan is a member of the Lt. Governor’s Business Advisory Board and he chaired the Lt. Governor’s Back to Work Task Force in 2020. Ryan and his wife Amanda have 5 daughters and reside in Dallas.
This is how seeding and feeding Dan Patrick’s 2014 Lt. Governor election effort and a 2021 bill purporting to address Texas power grid governance turned out to be a perfect opportunity for the Lt. Governor to appoint a long-time, six-figure prolific financial supporter to a key position with influence over the lives of every Texan when they turn on a light switch.
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