By now you may have heard a highly misleading version concerning East Texans for Liberty and Stacy McMahan, an East Texans for Liberty board director.
Yes, ET4L put out a business press release.
Now for the rest of the story from me, Stacy McMahan.
Jay Dean, candidate for Texas House District 7, originally confirmed two events: October 12 and January 23, with East Texans for Liberty’s, Stacy McMahan (me), back in June 2015.
Is it abnormal for a candidate to first confirm and then not attend an event? Of course not. More often than not, a speaker will politely thank the requesting entity for the invitation and advise him or her of a conflict. Did Dean or his campaign manager do that? No.
Order of events: (For clarity, I’ll refer to myself as ‘McMahan’)
- Prior to the conclusion of the mayoral race in Longview, last year, according to John Greene, Dean had asked him to share his cell number with McMahan and ask her to call him concerning his House District 7 race
- The same day, McMahan briefly phoned Dean and explained that ET4L does not endorse, however, the club does offer candidates an opportunity to address voters
- Between April and June 2015, on several occasions, Dean phoned and/or exchanged text messages with McMahan concerning an opportunity to talk about Dean’s race for HD 7
- On June 19, 2015, Dean and McMahan met at the Indian Rock Baptist Church to chat prior to a quarterly Upshur GOP meeting
- In June, McMahan and Dean spoke on the phone and confirmed to do a debate on Saturday, January 23, 2016 from 2 pm – 4 pm
- In August, both candidates were reconfirmed, as well as received notice that the debate location had been moved
- Around this time, while confirming with a Longview group on another event, Dean acknowledged that the ET4L January 23, 2016 debate was on his calendar to attend
- On October 12, 2015, highly agitated, Dean arrived at the DAV and hailed a whole host of accusations of which — one by one — were addressed and verified to be false. After threatening to ‘walk out’ Dean eventually followed through with his agreement. Could that be because after his threat he realized there were two newspapers and one television station present? Who knows. This was a forum setting, not a debate. Both candidates were allowed 20 minutes to speak, with a very brief question and answer period following
- After October 12, several ET4L board members were made aware that Dean had accused ET4L of sharing the forum questions with Watts prior to the event
- Both UC Judge Dean Fowler and Commissioner Frank Berka, both in attendance at the Oct 12 Forum, stated the Forum was fair and balanced
- On October 17, 2015, Dean’s campaign manager e-mailed McMahan and advised that Dean would not be attending the debate
- On November 4, 2015, both Dean and his opponent, Watts, were sent an update regarding the structure of the debate, as well as were advised that the event would be advertised
- On November 5, 2015, McMahan advised both candidates, that even though one candidate had elected to not attend (no reason was given), the club intended to move forward with the event
- On January 5, 2016, Dean’s campaign manager contacted a Gilmer Mirror journalist advising him that the event had been cancelled and lead the journalist to believe McMahan was being dishonest by not advising the public that it had been cancelled
- McMahan contacted both the emcee and moderator and advised that Dean had bowed out
- On January 18, 2016, Dean personally contacted the same Gilmer Mirror journalist and, too, advised him that the event had been cancelled, as well as asserted a few colorful, yet erroneous accusations against McMahan
- On January 23, 2016, the debate went forward with Watts
On January 20, 2016, Dean was reported to have been on KLTV, hailing more accusations against myself. The segment was reported to be in the morning and rather lengthy. “He said, Stacy McMahan at least 3 times,” advised a Republican Women of Gregg County member. I was not contacted by KLTV for a response.
ET4L, as with many conservative republican groups across Texas, including WTP-Longview years back, does not cancel an event simply because one candidate has purposely elected to not attend. Especially, with this event, ET4L had already procured a location, as well as a great deal of other costs related to the event that had been planned for the last 8 months.
It is regrettable that Dean ducked out on addressing the issues
important to voters in Upshur County.
Yes, Dean did follow a plethora of candidates ranging from the U.S. Congressional District 1 race to the UC Tax Assessor race, on Monday, January 25, 2016. In Dean’s 7 minutes, he was clearly hostile. Don’t take my word for it, check it out here for yourself: Dean at UC GOP – 1/25/16.
UC Republican Party Chair Cynthia Ridgeway graciously explained to the candidates, prior to the forum, that they would be speaking in the order they appeared on the ballot. In the House District 7 race, David Watts went first and that video may be viewed here:
Watts at UC GOP – 1/25/16.
Dean and Watts did do a Longview Chamber of Commerce House District 7 Republican Forum on Tuesday, January 26, 2016.
The LNJ reported there were roughly 75 in attendance. Respectfully, I was there! If there were 75, it was for the Senate District 1 Forum held prior to the HD 7 Forum. There were no more than 20 people present, and that included the newspaper, a television station, and several Democrats for the HD 7. (Note: Longview COC labeled the evening’s event as a Forum. However, it was structured more as a debate, a lot like WTP – Longview’s debate on 1/5/16.)
Final note: ET4L’s October 12, 2015, House District 7 Forum definitely reached far more than 20 voters.
P.S. I am grateful to the ET4L BOD for their continual support and steadfast backing throughout this ordeal with Dean, as well as since our kick off last April. Too, I thank Jay Dean for the extensive press coverage he personally allotted to ET4L, as well as myself. Everyone watching Dean surely knows how to pronounce our last name now. Hubby is HAPPY!