Did Abbott Mislead The Public About Post-Uvalde Fundraiser?

Contrary to earlier statements, Gov. Abbott not only attended a fundraiser following the Uvalde school massacre, but stayed for several hours. 

The day after the Uvalde shooting, Abbott claimed that the stop at the fundraiser was because “I wanted them to know what happened and get back to Austin so that I could continue my collaboration with Texas law enforcement to make sure all the needs were being met here in the Uvalde area.”

On Thursday, Abbott campaign spokeswoman Renae Eze told the Dallas Morning News, “Unlike Beto O’Rourke who took advantage of the tragedy in Uvalde by increasing his fundraising efforts and resorting to political stunts, Governor Abbott canceled all political activity, including fundraising.”

But an analysis by the Dallas Morning News of campaign finance reports and flight-tracking records demonstrate that Abbott flew on Texas businessman Ricky Baker’s jet to Huntsville and arrived at 4:52 p.m. on May 24, was driven two miles to a fundraiser at Jeff Bradley’s home and raised as much as $50,000. He didn’t depart the city until 7:47 p.m. 

Ricky Baker has given Abbott nearly $120,000, including $70,000 of in-kind contributions through use of the private jet. Eze did not dispute the flight-tracking information from the day of the massacre.

Abbott has been criticized in the wake of the Uvalde massacre regarding his decision to go forward with the fundraiser, his inaccurate early statements regarding the initial police response and his deferral of policy solutions to legislative committees. 

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Editorial Cartoonist Nick Anderson has joined the Reform Austin newsroom, where he will employ the artistic skill and political insights that earned a Pulitzer Prize to drive coverage of Texas government. As managing editor, Anderson is responsible for guiding Reform Austin’s efforts to give readers the unfiltered facts they need to hold Texas leaders accountable. Anderson’s original cartoons will be a regular feature on RA News. “Reform Austin readers understand the consequences of electing politicians who use ideological agendas to divide us, when they should be doing the hard work necessary to make our state government work for everyone,” Anderson said. “As a veteran journalist, I’m excited about Reform Austin’s potential to re-focus conversations on the issues that matter to common-sense Texans – like protecting our neighborhoods from increasingly common disasters, healthcare, just to name a few.” Anderson worked for the Houston Chronicle, the largest newspaper in Texas, from 2006 until 2017. In addition to the Pulitzer, Anderson earned the Society of Professional Journalists’ Sigma Delta Chi Award. He’s also a two-time winner of Columbia College’s Fischetti Award, and the National Press Foundation’s Berryman Award. Anderson’s cartoons have been published in Newsweek, the New York Times, the Washington Post, USA Today, the Chicago Tribune and other papers. In 2005, Anderson won the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning while working for the Courier-Journal in Louisville, Kentucky. The judges complimented his “unusual graphic style that produced extraordinarily thoughtful and powerful messages.”

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