A post by a Houston Chronicle-affiliated blogger confirms that Republican in-name-only Byron Cook keeps Texas political reporters in his grip. The post, by Austin-based Quorum Report author Scott Braddock, paints a purposely deceitful picture of the Cook protesters at the incumbent’s reelection campaign kickoff event on October 30 in Corsicana. The event yielded as many protesters as supportive attendees, underscoring the fact that Cook is on thin ice after abusing his leadership power to sabotage Pro-Life efforts with despicable antics during the 84th Session of the Texas Legislature last year. In fact, Cook appears to have little support from anyone aside from the very loud – and very dishonest – liberal media.
The evening of October 30 was stormy and wet, but that didn’t stop about 75 Pro-Life Texans from gathering to protest Byron Cook’s kickoff rally. Information gleaned by Texas Right to Life through an Open Records Request showcased how Cook and his Austin consultant coordinated with local law enforcement to ensure that those who came to protest Cook’s reelection would be bullied into leaving. According to records, with amazing speed, Cook’s political consultant was able to strategize with the Corsicana Chief of Police. Cook was likely uneasy about how protestors’ truth-telling would affect his supporters who were slowly trickling into the event. Police officers arrived at the scene equipped with an argument that the 75 protesters were in violation of a city “parade” ordinance mandating that parades of 25 or more individuals need to secure a parade permit prior to congregating.
Empower Texans President Michael Quinn Sullivan and Texas Right to Life President Jim Graham, who attended the protest organized by a local activist, both received citations on behalf of the attendees with their respective organizations. Officers attempted to convince demonstrators that failure to identify themselves or disband could result in their arrest. However, demonstrators informed the officer that infringing on the citizens’ right to express free speech would be an infringement on their First Amendment rights and could result in a lawsuit against the city, and even the officer. “If people are ordered away from here so that they cannot speak,” said attorney Tony McDonald, “their First Amendment rights will have been violated and I will advise them to sue the city, and possibly you as well.”
In his Quorum Report blog post, Braddock blatantly lies, referring to select snippets of footage from the officers’ body cameras – the full footage of which he had obtained via a Public Information Act request. Braddock attempts to discredit eye-witnesses who said they were threatened with arrest by stating that the officers merely issued citations and never threatened arrest.
Recently, however, Empower Texans replicated Braddock’s PIA request in order to share the exact footage to which Braddock had access, seen below. One officer’s body cam footage records him telling organization leaders and their attorneys, “It’s a Class C violation; technically it [i.e., failure to disperse] can go to arrest.”
Empower Texans reports:
A total of eleven videos were produced. Not just one, but two of the videos capture the moment when Corsicana Police Chief Randy Bratton threatens Sullivan and Graham with jail, reminding them that he had the power not only to issue citations but also to place them under arrest if they did not leave.
Braddock’s dishonest blog post also paints a picture of support for Byron Cook that is nonexistent. Cook and Braddock both claim that nearly 300 supporters attended the kickoff rally; however, there is no photo documentation to confirm this assertion, and only 24 vehicles were counted entering the venue. Byron Cook’s days as a Texas Representative are numbered, and recent events suggest that both Cook and his media cronies intend to exploit every last opportunity to mislead Texas voters between now and his unseating.