This article is the second in a series that will expose the quid pro quo tactics of Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick and how he awards 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.
The Texas power grid reform legislation of the 87th session, known as SB 2 passed in the aftermath of the Great Texas Freeze of 2021, is emerging as a mechanism for at least two of Lt. Governor Dan Patrick’s big donors to secure influential roles over the future of the Texas power grid. More disturbing the bill is being used by Patrick to raise copious sums of campaign donations.
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. The Selection Committee now becomes a firewall of accountability and responsibility for Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Patrick, and Speaker of the House Dade Phelan.
As first reported by RagingElephantsRadio.com, Dan Patrick’s pick for the Selection Committee is Brint Ryan – a wealth tax consultant from the Metroplex with a long history of five- and six-figure campaign contributions to Patrick. As of the last reporting period, Mr. Ryan has contributed nearly $900,000 to the political ambitions of the Lt. Governor.
In researching Mr. Ryan what raised our eyebrows was a $100,000 donation to Patrick on June 30, 2021 just days before being placed on the Selection Committee by Patrick. This is a vitally key date for this second story within the series.
RER has just learned the ERCOT board selection committee formed by passage of SB 2 comprised, in part of a six-figure donor pal to Dan Patrick, chose a SECOND prolific big bucks DP donor, this time to serve as Chairman of the Board of ERCOT.
Obviously, the next action to watch would be who the ERCOT Board Selection Committee would place on the board. On October 10th, KBTX reported that Paul Foster was named as Chairman of the Board for ERCOT. Here’s Mr. Foster’s biography as published on the ERCOT website:
“Paul Foster is the President of Franklin Management, LLC and the founder and former Executive Chairman of Western Refining, Inc. He has previously served as Chairman of the University of Texas System Board of Regents as well as a member of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, the University of Texas System Lands Advisory Board, and the El Paso Branch of the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank. Mr. Foster holds a degree in accounting from Baylor University.”
An impressive curriculum vitae to be sure, although there’s no indication he has any experience in electric power generation. However, the pertinent information for Texas citizens to know is that Mr. Foster is another high-dollar donor to Dan Patrick. Between 2008 and 2021, Foster has donated $352,500 to the Friends of Dan Patrick candidate committee.
As illustrated in the table below, before Patrick became Lt. Governor, Foster only made a relatively meager donation of $2,500 in 2008. But immediately upon being elected Lt. Governor, Foster’s campaign contributions increased by a multiple of ten! As reported by Patrick’s campaign finance report, after a seven-year lapse in contributions Foster became more generous on New Year’s Day 2015 to the tune of $25,000.
Foster consistently made campaign donations to Patrick of $25,000 or $50,000 while he’s been the President of the Texas Senate. Yet, suddenly a six-figure $100,000 contribution hit the Friends of Dan Patrick bank account on June 30, 2021 – the same day as Brint Ryan’s $100,000 “atta boy”. The exact same amount on the exact same day. What a glorious day for Saint Danny Boy.
Even for a government high school graduate the math is easy: $835,000 from Brint Ryan + $352,500 from Paul Foster = $1,187,500 from just two donors connected with ERCOT.
To be clear: every bit of information presented within this article serues is sourced from public records. We scoured open sources: the Texas Ethics Commission, Texas Legislature and the Texas Public Utility Commission’s (PUC) own websites. We present the timeline of events, follow the money, provide transparency on the campaign contributions, and even use Dan Patrick’s own words to form the substance of this report series.
There are several ERCOT Board of Directors seats still unfilled. RER will be watching to see who will be selected by the firewall Selection Committee next.
The next scheduled meeting of the ERCOT Board of Directors is December 9th.
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