More GOP-Green ties found
Man named in e-mail says he did not offer to pay for petition effort
The name of another Republican operative surfaced Tuesday in connection with the Texas Green Party’s push to get on the November ballot.
Democrats circulated a March e-mail from a Green Party official claiming that Republican Anthony Holm would help the party pay to collect the signatures needed to appear on the statewide ballot.
Holm is a principal at the Patriot Group, a Texas-based lobbying and consulting firm that Gov. Rick Perry’s campaign paid more than $90,000 last year for technology consulting.
Holm said Tuesday that he wants the Green Party on the ballot but denied that he ever planned to help pay for the signature effort.
“I’ll help them in any way possible,” Holm said, “but I’ve never offered them money or gone out there and sourced them money.”
The Green Party’s statewide coordinator, kat swift, who does not capitalize her name, sent the e-mail and said Tuesday that her message has been taken out of context and that Holm “never promised funding.”
Swift, the Green Party’s statewide coordinator, wrote to other party officials in March: “So I just got a call that a republican in texas wants
to give us 40% of the cost of petitioning (…). I got his name! Anthony Holm (?)”
She said she didn’t mean for her e-mail to imply “that Anthony was the one that had the funding” but rather “that Anthony was the person I was going to be talking to.”
At the time of that e-mail, Holm’s firm was no longer on the Perry campaign payroll. The Perry campaign was one of the Patriot Group’s many clients, and Perry spokesman Mark Miner said the campaign is no longer doing business with the group.
“Our campaign had no involvement with the Green Party,” Miner said.
Democrats have said Republicans sought to prop up the Green Party to siphon votes from Democratic gubernatorial nominee Bill White.
State law allows minor parties to petition to get on the statewide ballot. Earlier this year, the Green Party submitted more than 90,000 signatures to the secretary of state, securing a spot in the November elections.
Take Initiative America, a nonprofit corporation with a number of ties to Republicans, paid Chicago-based Free and Equal Inc. $532,000 to collect the signatures that landed the Greens on the ballot. But the Texas Supreme Court is now reviewing whether that effort was within the limits of how corporations can spend money to help political parties and candidates.
Meanwhile, Democrats are suing the Green Party in an effort to identify Take Initiative America’s contributors.
Swift said Tuesday that Free and Equal referred her to Holm but that she can’t remember why.
On Tuesday, Holm said he has never been associated with Take Initiative America. Holm serves as a spokesman for Houston homebuilder Bob Perry, a major donor to Rick Perry (no relation) and other Republicans around the country. Holm said that Bob Perry did not give the Green Party any money.
Holm said he strongly supports Perry but has no role in the governor’s re-election campaign.
A former University of Texas student testified in a court hearing last month that lobbyist Mike Toomey personally paid him to collect signatures for the Greens. That petition effort eventually fell short. Toomey is a former chief of staff for Perry who is heavily involved in helping Republicans win legislative seats.