Here at #StopTLR, we strive to provide factual information about special interest influence in Texas government. Since our launch just over a year ago, we’ve build a Facebook page with nearly 94,000 “likes”- making it the most popular Facebook page dealing with Texas politics and public policy.
We are strong believers in having an honest and respectful dialog about the issues facing our state, even with those who disagree with us. In fact, we have publicly challenged TLR’s leadership on various issues on multiple occasions. Unfortunately, they never responded. Nonetheless, we remain happy to have a public debate with Texans For Lawsuit Reform’s President Dick Trabulsi at any time.
It is no surprise that our work has some detractors. After all, we are calling out some of the most influential powerbrokers and wealthiest political donors in the state. It is hardly a surprise that the folks at TLR don’t like us talking about the liberal ties of its leadership, the insider deals and taxpayer handouts that have benefited some of its biggest donors, or its financial support of liberal Democrats to the tune of nearly $3.4 million.
We have also been the subject of attacks from the operation of Michael Quinn Sullivan, an Austin-based political operative. Sullivan has gained a reputation as having a rather cavalier attitude towards the truth and was recently sued for libel by a prominent businessman from the Panhandle. According to recent media reports, Sullivan is also under criminal investigation by the Travis County Attorney’s office for allegedly lobbying without being a registered lobbyist. Sullivan’s benefactor, Midland oilman Tim Dunn, has been a contributor to Texans For Lawsuit Reform.
One part of Sullivan’s operation is a political attack website called “AgendaWise”, which is run by Daniel Greer. In the words of Harvey Kronberg of the Texas political news website “Quorum Report”, “AgendaWise Executive Director Daniel Greer specializes in inflammatory stories. A judge declared his story in a defamation lawsuit filed by Canadien’s Salem Abraham about events at a Jim Landtroop campaign event to be untrue.”
Both Greer and Justin Williamson, who does social media work for Texans For Lawsuit Reform through a social media consulting firm called Raconteur Media, are prolific users of Twitter. While we at #StopTLR and Texans For Individual Rights strive for intelligent, fact based conversation, Greer and Williamson appear to have a different ideas on how to communicate their respective messages.
The fun on Twitter began last night, when Williamson posted this tweet promoting a press release from State Senator Larry Taylor regarding the death of a bill he filed regarding the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA).
Taylor has come under attack from conservative activists in his district for his decision to personally campaign for liberal Democrat Carol Alvarado in her recent failed campaign for State Senate. Taylor’s bill, if passed, would likely have resulted in higher insurance premiums for policyholders in inland areas of the state to subsidize holders of insurance policies in high risk areas along the Texas coast as a result of the mandatory assessment levied on insurance carriers that was included in the bill.
At no point in any discussion did Williamson discuss the supposed merits of Taylor’s bill. He was more interested in trashing #StopTLR. Had Williamson actually taken the time to read the bill, he would have seen that the bill had nothing to do with trial lawyers or lawsuits.
Enter Daniel Greer. Despite being a vocal critic of #StopTLR, he took exception to Williamson’s tweet with this classy response:
Greer apparently sent this tweet simultaneously through a now-disabled fake twitter account under the alias “Richard Fiasco”, which Williamson caught.
The “discussion” between Williamson and Greer continued to devolve after that with various petty insults between the two, including this slam by Williamson apparently questioning Greer and Sullivan’s effectiveness during this legislative session:
Not long after this tweet (and more subsequent bickering between Williamson and Greer), Nathan Ofe joins in the fun with this jab. Ofe is a member of the Michael Quinn Sullivan network who is employed by Sullivan’s “Texans For Fiscal Responsibility.”
Even though Williamson and TLR question our conservative principles on a regular basis, Williamson was visibly angered when the tables were turned on him.
Greer, Ofe, and Williamson (all grown men, by the way) then continue their online version of a grade school name calling contest. Not to be outdone by the others, Greer then posts this now-deleted tweet directing an offensive slur at Williamson.
After hurling a few more insults at Williamson and others, Greer calls it a night and the show comes to a close.
Greer’s language is vile and is to be condemned. It speaks volumes to the character of not only Greer, but of his associates Nathan Ofe and Michael Quinn Sullivan (who has since said that Greer’s offensive tweet was a “typo”) that they not only condone but frequently participate in this style of “debate.” Williamson and TLR (as well as Williamson’s employers at Raconteur Media, which is owned by consultant Ryan Gravatt) are hardly innocent parties- they have shown that they are more than willing to hurl baseless attacks and juvenile insults in lieu of civil discourse as well.
Last night’s “twitter fight” between Greer and Williamson is indicative of the absolute void of intellectual honesty by the Austin political establishment of which both Greer and Williamson represent. “Iron sharpens iron” and our State is better off for having vigorous debate between those with opposing viewpoints. We are firm in our beliefs and have the facts on our side. We also realize that intelligent people can- and will- disagree with us and we respect that as long as the debate is civil and remains focused on ideas and issues. We only wish that Greer and the rest of Michael Quinn Sullivan’s network as well as Williamson, Texans For Lawsuit Reform, Raconteur Media and Raconteur’s owner, Ryan Gravatt shared our commitment to respectful and civil debate.
UPDATE: This was not Daniel Greer’s first rodeo with offensive tweets. We’ve found the following gems from his now-deleted “Richard Fiasco” twitter account:
This one goes after State Senator Kel Seliger, State Rep. Charlie Geren, Speaker Joe Straus, and political consultant Bryan Eppstein:
Here is Greer’s opinion of State Representative Larry Gonzales:
And perhaps the most offensive of all:
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