Author’s note: The following correspondence was sent via e-mail to Agenda Wise directors Michael Quinn Sullivan, Tim Dunn, and Leslie Graves on 5/21/2013. We will update this post with any responses received by Mr. Sullivan, Mr. Dunn, and/or Ms. Graves.
Dear Mr. Sullivan, Mr. Dunn, and Ms. Graves,
According to my review of public records, the three of you compose the entirety of the Board of Directors of Agenda Wise, Inc. As you are all almost certainly aware, your employee at Agenda Wise, Daniel Greer, was recently discovered to have made a number of grossly offensive posts on Twitter. These include a post on his personal account which directed a derogatory slur towards an Austin social media consultant as well as posts made under an alias.
Even through Agenda Wise claims to be “committed to providing transparency in the Texas political discourse”, Mr. Greer also utilized a fake twitter account under the alias of “Richard Fiasco” to make an assortment of insulting and vile comments. Mr. Greer’s tweets under his “Richard Fiasco” alias included the use of vulgar and offensive language directed towards members of the Texas Legislature as well as a particularly disgusting comment about homosexuals contracting AIDS.
Screen captures of Mr. Greer’s tweets can be viewed online at http://stoptlr.com/blog/?p=402.
The pattern of language used by Mr. Greer is not representative of an isolated incident of bad judgment, a poor attempt at humor, or- as Mr. Sullivan described Mr. Greer’s comments to the Quorum Report- “an unfortunate typo.” Rather, Mr. Greer’s comments are indicative of a sick and hate filled man who does not deserve to participate in the political discourse in Texas.
In sworn deposition testimony given on October 12, 2012, Mr. Greer stated that he answers to the Board of Directors of Agenda Wise. Assuming that the testimony Mr. Greer gave was truthful, the decision as to whether Mr. Greer will continue to be paid to spew his hate rests in your hands. I hope that you will agree with me that Mr. Greer’s comments have no place in the political dialog in Texas. As Mr. Greer’s employer, I urge you to do the right thing and not only publicly denounce Mr. Greer’s offensive and hate filled comments but to end any and all professional associations with Mr. Greer.
I look forward to your reply to this correspondence.
President, Texans For Individual Rights
UPDATE 5/23/13: The Board of Directors of Agenda Wise has released a statement on their website about Mr. Greer’s offensive comments. The statement reads as follows:
The AgendaWise Board of Directors has become aware that an employee, Daniel Greer, made “tweets” from a personal Twitter account that were in a spirit not aligned with the values of our organization. We do not support personal slurs.
We have also learned there were other derogatory statements Mr. Greer made from an anonymous account not in keeping with the values of AgendaWise, and AgendaWise does not in any way endorse them.
We support Mr. Greer’s apology as well as his expressed desire to reform.
Mr. Greer has requested, and the Board has granted, a leave of absence from AgendaWise.
The Board of Directors and staff remain fully committed to the organization’s mission of disclosing facts, educating citizens, creating transparency and promoting civic engagement.
We appreciate the statement, especially since they finally acknowledge that Mr. Greer’s comments were not merely an “unfortunate typo”, as Michael Quinn Sullivan originally stated in Greer’s defense. However, this statement raises a number of questions that the Agenda Wise board needs to answer:
1) Is the Agenda Wise board giving Mr. Greer a paid leave of absence, essentially rewarding him with a paid vacation for his reprehensible conduct? How long is the leave of absence for?
2) Has Mr. Greer made any other apologies other than the one he posted on twitter under his personal account? Has Mr. Greer apologized to the Republican legislators he slurred on his anonymous account?
3) How has Mr. Greer expressed a “desire to reform”, to whom has he expressed this desire, and what specific actions are entailed in this “reform”?
4) Why do the members of the Agenda Wise board of directors appear to desire a continued association with somebody like Mr. Greer, who demonstrated not an isolated lapse in judgment but rather a pattern of offensive and hate filled remarks?
We will continue to update this post as this situation develops.