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  • Caitlyn Burge-Surles

Granger Staffer Slanders Former Intern, Author of Condemnation Resolution

U.S. Rep. Kay Granger speaks at a World Economic Forum event in 2013. Since her election in 1997, Granger has risen to become one of the top women leaders in the House of Representatives. (Courtesy World Economic Forum | Benedikt von Loebell)

The Tarrant County Republican Party Resolutions Committee voted Saturday morning to strike down a resolution to condemn Kay Granger after a Granger campaign staffer joined the meeting to apply pressure to members and accuse the resolution author of political sabotage.

In video footage of the committee meeting, taken by Voter Roll Committee member Bill Eastland, members were shown questioning resolution author Carlos Turcios regarding the censure motivations, with one member joining over Zoom to fulfill quorum.

Screenshot from Bill Eastland's Facebook video. Hillary Shepheard presents her counterpoints against Mr. Turcios's condemnation resolution

Jill Tate, Resolutions Committee chair, mentioned that on Thursday they took up the resolution for the censure of State Rep. Craig Goldman and rejected it. The Resolutions Committee had also rejected the censure resolution of Texas Speaker of the Senate Dade Phelan prior to the arrival of Rep. Granger's staffer.

Turcios, in defense of his resolution introduced late last month, said that its purpose was to “condemn the congresswoman for her actions over the past several years.”

“2024 will probably be the breaking point for this nation. . . the era of nonpartisanship is dead…we are now living in an era of uncharted territory,” Turcios stated to the committee. Rep. Granger’s extensive biography on the World Economic Forum website was also called into question.

Turcios also discussed the mechanics of the resolution and its necessary votes.

At the close of Turcios’ discussion, committee member Dan Tully claimed that he had heard “the exact same speech” from Democrats and wondered aloud why this dialogue was “permeating into this kind of document” regarding the resolution’s condemnation of Rep. Granger’s legislative support for the Ukraine war. Tully compared Turcios’ language to that of “Reagan’s opponent…Humphreys” presumably meaning the 1968 presidential election between Hubert Humphreys and Richard Nixon.

“Is it better to keep the fighting on their shores, on their towns…[or] to let it creep across the European continent?” Tully asked. “I’d rather write a check than send our boys and girls there.”

A committee member asked “how big of a check?”

“As much as it takes.” Tully replied, following up that the funding America provides “can’t be a trillion” although admitting that the funding already provided is close to that.

Tully further accused Turcios of authoring the resolution for the purpose of setting up more speaking events for John O’Shea, precinct chair (SD 9) and Rules Committee member running for the 12th congressional district of Texas against Rep. Granger.

At this time the questions for Turcios closed when Hillary Shepheard, a campaign staffer for Rep. Granger, arrived to read aloud from a document that she passed to the members.

“We find ourselves here today facing what appears to be a politically motivated action in an attempt to condemn Congresswoman Kay Granger.” Shepheard read. Listing Rep. Granger’s influence in Congress and her position in the House Appropriations Committee as indicators of Granger being a conservative champion, Shepheard noted that the censure “seems to be more about personal politics” and accused the resolution of violating the party’s bylaws.

Shepheard claimed that the resolution utilized “Misinterpretations of votes in an attempt to condemn Kay,” continuing “This exercise is not in keeping with the principles of fairness, justice, and good governance.” She also defended Rep. Granger’s voting record, using the reasoning that Rep. Granger is authorized by Congress to approve federal expenditures and thus votes for increased spending “cannot be held against her.”

Rep Granger’s staffer repeatedly emphasized a need for context when defending the roll call votes listed on the censure, including Rep. Granger’s vote along with the Democratic Majority for the Additional Ukraine Supplemental Appropriations Act, and her vote along with the Democratic Minority for the bipartisan debt ceiling raise that kept the newly-appointed 87,000 IRS agents employed.

Shepheard’s comments took another vein when she said “I’d like to point out that Carlos was an intern in Kay’s office last election cycle. It was discovered during his internship that he was working with Chris Putnam's campaign, [who] was attempting to run against Kay that cycle.”

Chris Putnam is a Fort Worth-based retired businessman who ran against Rep. Granger in the 2020 election primary.

Shepheard continued, “He violated his contract throughout this and the principles of our party through such actions and therefore, in my personal opinion, has proven to be untrustworthy and quite frankly, a liability to both the party and all republican candidates in Tarrant County.”

Turcios has since responded to this accusation that as an intern he ate dinner once with Putnam and a few other individuals, and this was many months before Putnam filed.

Rep. Granger’s staffer also referenced Tarrant County GOP bylaws stating that a person seeking a party office must not be a candidate to or the holder of an elected office, in response to John O’Shea’s signature on the resolution. The staffer called for O’Shea’s immediate resignation and said that he should have resigned in April.

Shepheard refused to speak to multiple accusations against Rep. Granger that the resolution listed, saying that she could not speak for the congresswoman other than the purpose for which she had been sent because of strict FEC guidelines, and instead told the members that she would put them in touch with Rep. Granger’s legislative staff. However, Shepheard defended her decision to share her personal opinions regarding Turcios and O’Shea.

She also admitted that “[TCGOP] bylaws are very vague” and “hard to interpret” but “in my opinion it should be interpreted as you are running for an office” when asked if O’Shea had broken TCGOP’s guidelines.

Shepheard continued to defend Rep. Granger, saying ““She was just awarded by CPAC one of the most conservative republicans in the House” and discussing how most Republicans do not understand the democratic process that occurs in DC.

“We have to think about California and other places…we have bigger fish to fry.”

The comments passed to the members when Shepheard had concluded, with Tully remarking that he remembered a previous resolution to censure Kay in which a vote that she took was “misinterpreted” and this vote “would have cost 30,000 jobs for Lockheed Martin.”

The resolution was rejected, with only two dissenting “nay” votes.

When asked for comment, Turcios told The Republic Observer “Kay and her team are desperate. Kay’s team failed to explain why she’s part of the WEF or why she had a pro-choice stance until recently. If Kay really is this strong leader that she claims to be than she should defend herself rather than sending out slanderous servants.”

The resolution may still be put forth as a new proposal in the Tarrant County GOP Executive Committee.

1 Comment

Sep 12, 2023

Carlos had this coming, he is only in it for the attention.

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