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Konni Burton’s Tea Party Roll Call
The letter “C” has been getting a lot more use on keyboards in Konni Burton’s campaign office lately. No, her staff has not been misspelling her name. Instead, they have been pressing “control C”-- copying and pasting her old Tea Party endorsements. Why does Konni bother to put out a short, predictable and unimpressive endorsement list of Tea Party regulars? To create the illusion of local support, quiet persistent talk of a primary challenger and, of course, to appease her out-of-town billionaire bankroller.
Burton’s List of Tea Party Regulars
When incumbent candidates release early endorsement lists, it’s usually to show off new support to impress the media and political observers with the breadth and depth of support earned through their service. However, the list released by Republican State Senator Konni Burton does neither. It reads more like “who cares” than “who’s who.”
Not a single name on Burton’s list will surprise or impress anyone as a new or influential supporter. Burton’s early endorsers are a small, predictable group of Tea Party gadflies, goofballs and backbenchers who either aren’t known or aren’t liked by mainstream District 10 voters. Here are the highlights on a few of them:
- State Rep. Jonathan Stickland (HD92 – Hurst, Euless, Bedford): Stickland’s support isn’t new, and likely isn’t helpful outside the fringe Tea Party world. Both Stickland and Burton depend on west Texas billionaire Tim Dunn and his special interest PAC Empower Texans to finance their campaigns and push back Republican Primary opponents. And, they both toe the line for Dunn, backing his big government Republican agenda and picking fights with local voters and leaders.
- State Rep. Bill Zedler (HD96 – Mansfield/Arlington): Zedler has been haunting the halls of the State Capitol for nearly two decades, but his seniority has brought neither wisdom nor influence. Zedler operates on the ideological fringe taking up oddball and obstructionist causes. Burton and Zedler are a match, and he swiped right to join her and other Empower Texans acolytes to try and block grant increases for military communities forced to adjust to federal government base closures.
- State Rep. Tony Tinderholt (HD94 – Arlington): It’s hard to believe even hard core Tea Partiers would respond favorably to an endorsement by Tony Tinderholt. As a legislator, he alternates between embarrassing and oblivious. And, his personal backstory is simply frightening. Tinderholt financed a child daycare center where the caretakers abused crack cocaine. As a bar manager, he allowed a minor to be served liquor. The minor then drove and suffered severe injuries after crashing. There is no sign that Tony Tinderholt’s judgment or character have improved since entering office.
- Tarrant County District Attorney Sharen Wilson: Wilson had barely entered office as DA before she began abusing it. Wilson used her official office to obtain employee emails and then solicit her government employees for political donations. The not so subtle abuse of public office and government resources worked—28 DA office employees donated to Wilson’s campaign. Not surprising, Burton was listed on the illegally sent solicitation. Despite the clear violation of state ethics laws, Burton never requested that her name be removed and is now returning the favor by listing Wilson as an endorser.