As the Texas GOP continues its bullying campaign against their own party, Republican Jeff Leach takes them down.
Last week an activist friend of mine, knowing I pay too much attention to the Texas GOP, asked me where the cracks in the party were. Where can Democratic activists and strategists find places to chip away at the right, causing more strife among them? This is it.
If Democrats can find a way to push this wedge further, it could lead to more disarray within the Republican Party of Texas during the 88th Legislature. Take that as you will, but the infighting doesn’t appear to be going anywhere soon.
What happened this week?
It started with Representative Jeff Leach’s tweet Tuesday morning, which asked his followers what they wanted to see in the 88th Legislative Session.
The Twitter account belonging to the Texas GOP responded with, “We’d love to see #NoDemChairs passed in the rules.”
(If you missed our recent article regarding this topic, see: The Republican Party Of Texas’ Open Embrace Of Authoritarianism.)
Who runs the Texas GOP Twitter account? Good question. I believe that the GOP Chairman controls that account because they blocked me when Allen West was the chairman after I wrote about Allen West’s Embarrassing Southern Strategy Denial.
If that’s the case, the current GOP Chairman is Matt Rinaldi. And if it is Rinaldi, it’s twice as funny since both Rinaldi and the GOP have been publicly beefing with Leach.
Not only did the GOP respond to Leach’s post, but they also retweeted it to get their followers to engage with Leach.
This was also when one of the texit people chimed in.
That matters because of these various factions within the Texas GOP overlap. It’s important to note that the Tea-Party faction (which includes Matt Rinaldi) overlaps with the texit people.
A Twitter account called the Texas Republican Initiative (TRI) responded to the GOP.
TRI was standing up for Leach, praising his so-called Conservative record. Of course, Leach thanked his fan, but the Texas GOP didn’t like it.
“Aren’t we allowed to ask our leaders where they stand?” The Texas GOP asked, but if they had said it out loud, it surely would have been in a shrill and condescending tone.
TRI pointed to the Texas GOP sitting on a mountain of cash and said not counting pass-through money, they spent $0 on donations or advertising to defeat Democrats.
However, with the success of the GOP’s racial gerrymandering and voter suppression efforts, the extra help wasn’t really needed.
Who is TRI, anyway?
Their profile states, “Growing the Republican Party by supporting and communicating the successes of Republican leadership for all Texans.”
The person behind the account is Mark McCaig, a Houston attorney, and right-wing activist. What’s unclear is his motivation or skin in the game.
Leach retweeted TRI and added that the Texas GOP, MQS (Michael Quinn Sullivan), and Sticky (Jonathan Stickland), as well as other House Republicans, have done nothing to help him against millions of “progressive radical spending.”
If only there had been millions of progressive radical spending to defeat Leach, he would have already been gone. He’s exaggerating about the amount of money, unfortunately, and at no fault of Collin County Democrats.
Leach brought Sullivan and Stickland into the argument because they are also part of the Tea Party faction. This far-right faction has resulted in the bullying and intimidation of their fellow Republicans on hardline issues in recent months.
MQS runs the Texas Scorecard, so Luke Macias, the Scorecard’s podcast darling, chimed in.
The Texas GOP responded, “Nah-unh, we spent $6 million. Commit to #NoDemChairs.”
Leach had a simple response. “Prove it.”
Matt Rinaldi also responded and basically called McCaig a liar, then once again asked Leach to commit to no Dem chairs.
The GOP linked an apparent report of what they spent money on.
It included Ryan Guillen, who is a traitor. He used to be a Democrat and then was paid off to switch parties. It also included Bobby Guerra, a current Democrat, albeit a Conservative one.
Leach caught on and called the GOP and Rinaldi out for spending money on Democrats. 🤣
TRI pointed out this was pass-through money, not actual donations.
Kambree from the Texas Scorecard responded to Leach, “You Suck.”
Scott Braddock from the Quorum Report went nuts and shouted, “Do you want ice with that burn?”
Rinaldi and TRI exchanged a back-and-forth argument about where the money went.
Then McCaig switched over to his personal account to call the GOP out more.
McCaig/TRI and Rinaldi/GOP were double-posting responses, even though it seemed everyone knew who they were on both accounts. This must be a Republican thing, an itch they have to tell someone off twice.
By this point, enough people had jumped into the argument to accuse the Texas GOP of doing squat to help State Reps get elected.
At this point, Rinaldi ran out of things to say, so he resorted to calling Leach “grumpy.”
Rinaldi and the Texas GOP lost the fight.
On top of that, the Republican circles continued to talk about how the Texas GOP was useless.
More secrets came out. Apparently, Rinaldi has been sub-leasing office space to a Libertarian who is pro-Democrats. (The horror!)
Of course, Rinaldi cried about it and called Leach a Democrat-lover. To which Leach called Rinaldi, a liar.
Rinaldi then did what any sensible person would do and spewed hate speech and QAnon nonsense.
In this Twitter beef, Leach was the gift that kept on giving and posted Rinaldi’s voting record from 2015 and 2017, when he voted for Democrat Chairs.
(That was before Bryan Slaton was elected. He’s the one who started the entire “No Dem Chairs” thing.)
That’s when Jared Patterson got involved and brought up the time that Rinaldi almost got beat up on the House floor.
What was that about?
Rinaldi said he called ICE on Hispanic protesters for DACA, which was super racist. But, then, a few Hispanic Democrats almost beat his ass but were separated by other House members.
Then, ex-Rep and January 6 participant Kyle Biedermann pops up out of nowhere and says, “Screw the Texas GOP.”
Yeah, I told you it was a good beef.
Leach wasn’t done throwing punches. He said Rinaldi couldn’t do anything without his Godfathers Stickland’s (Sticky) and Sullivan’s (MQS) blessing.
This was really telling as far as who is leading the Texas GOP. It doesn’t appear to be Rinaldi.
This fight couldn’t come to an end without Bryan Slaton stepping in. MQS and Sticky are some of the only people in the state of Texas who actually like Slaton. It now appears that Rinaldi is also a fan.
This move only solidifies Slaton’s position of having yet another legislative session where he will get nothing done. During the last legislative session, everyone disliked him (except for Tony Tinderholt) and made fun of him without allowing any of his priorities to pass.
What was least expected is it appears that Patterson is now team-establishment and is distancing himself from team crazy.
This year’s Twitter beef is juicier than the fights Texas Republicans had last year.
Last year Bryan Slaton hilariously picked a fight with Brooks Landgraf, and Dan Crenshaw beefed with MTG. But neither fight topped what was going on with Texas Republicans this week.
While they’ve given us lots of entertainment, don’t forget that when the legislative session starts in a few weeks, they plan to take away your constitutional rights and attack marginalized communities. What we should hope for is for the infighting to continue and for it to impact their ability to do business. For Democrats in Texas, that would bring about the best outcome.
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