The Case of the Missing Representative
Unless you’re a deep pocketed Gooden supporter, you’re probably asking, “Where’s Lance?” Of all the forums held in Kaufman and Henderson counties, he has attended exactly one.
There have been several fundraisers held in his honor, and “our” Representative Lance Gooden hasn’t missed a single one of those. As usual, if you want his attention, you have to pay for it.
Actually we know why he is avoiding public forums. Voters could ask him extremely uncomfortable questions that he’s rather not answer. Lance is a man of many secrets.
Before he could run as a state rep for District 4, he had to change his voter registration from Harris County to Kaufman County. After that, he rented a place to stay when he was in town, until he purchased a house on Elm Street in Terrell-we call it the “prop house.” He has repeatedly stated that he lives in that house. The problem is that his neighbors & others say he is never there, and that someone else picks up his mail. He is seen there when he’s in town, but that’s only a few times a year. Now that we are in the heat of a primary, I suspect he’s there every day, as is his modus operandi. But once the primary is over, he will disappear.
An open records request in 2012 asked for the location of his domicile. It was ignored in violation of Texas Open Records laws. This violation was reported to the Attorney General’s office, and he was forced to respond. His answer was legalese: “That information is not kept in this office.” Keep in mind that he is a public official.
As the Tea Party investigated, we tried to pin down exactly where he was. We knew the city, (then it was Houston) but nothing else.
But good things come to them that wait! In his expenditure report-required by law-dated January 15, 2014, there are 6 payments made to “Ashton Apartments” in Austin. They are described in the report as “Austin apartment rent.” The payments began in July of 2013, the same month that the last session of the 83rd legislature ended, when most legislators pack up and go home.
The Ashton Apartments’ website shows that a single bedroom apartment costs $2,584 a month. But the report shows that he’s only paying $1300 a month, which is approximately half. Does he have a roommate? Is some supporter paying the other half? There could be any number of explanations, but he’s not talking.
For years he has told us that he worked as an insurance consultant, but a little checking blew that out of the water. He claims to have another job now and has been publicly challenged to name of the company and its location, but has not responded.
A recent report shows that he works for Ryan Tax Consulting, which just happens to have an office in Austin. He is listed as a “director.” He tells us on his website that he works for a “global financial services firm,” but Ryan describes itself as a “global tax services firm,” something else we would like to ask about. Maybe a wealthy donor could get some answers for us. I’m sure he returns their calls.
Lance may respond to this by saying that what he is doing is perfectly legal and ethical, and that many of his fellow legislators do the same thing. He would be correct as to legality. But if he says “ethical,” he is using the word as it is interpreted by his fellow legislators, who write strict laws for us, and weak ones for themselves. Austin is a cesspool of corruption, so it is no surprise that other state legislators would be doing the same thing (living in one district, representing another). Just how ethical it all is will be left up to the voters.
What he is currently telling people is that he keeps an apartment in Austin for when the legislature is in session. That’s some apartment to be living in for a few months every other year! And if it’s just for when the legislature is in session, why has he been living in it since the last session ended?
These are questions his constituents have every right to ask.
Many people will say, “So what? Who cares where he lives?” Answer: How can he effectively represent a place where he rarely is? He lived here for 6 years as a child. He left Terrell after graduating from high school and never looked back–until he decided to help Austin’s Democrats & RINOs get rid of Betty Brown.
But what voters really need to be asking themselves is, “If he’s willing to lie about where he lives and works, what else is he lying about?” He could attend the forums and completely clear the air. You would think someone running for office would be anxious to answer these charges. I know I would–unless the truth behind the charges was worse than the charges themselves.
The case of the missing representative is solved.
On the bright side, Dr. Stuart Spitzer is an open book & easy to find. He lives and works in District 4. His roots run deep in our district. He was born and raised in Henderson County, and he lives and works in Kaufman County. He has released the last four years of his tax returns and has challenged Lance to do the same, but thus far he has refused. No surprise there.
If we keep voting for Establishment Republicans, we are going to keep getting government that looks and sounds good but secretly works against us while accomplishing little to nothing. This will not change until we change the kind of people we choose to represent us. Our representatives should be genuine, honest, & available. We don’t have that now, but the door is wide open to reverse The Great Mistake of 2010. Not voting IS a vote for Lance and all the other corrupt RINOs. Please vote, and vote for Stuart Spitzer.
Kaufman County Tea Party