I’ve seen some pretty strange things in politics but if this isn’t the strangest, it ranks somewhere above the middle. I received a forwarded email from Paul Simpson’s campaign manager, Nathan Gordan, with a single line: “Open document and put in the website in the footer”.
The document in question was a survey sent in an email to the Simpson campaign by Ralph (Rafa) Garcia, representing something called The Right Thing. Click here to view a copy of the survey. As you can see in the pdf, the website in the footer is www.RightSideofThings.com. So I typed it in and…laughed out loud.
Clicking the link opens up The Carmona Firm, PLLC’s website.The ICANN records for www.rightsideofthings.com show that it was registered privately on December 19, 2017, about 10 days after Chris Carmona filed to run against Paul Simpson.
At first I just laughed because it is funny that a website that links to Carmona’s law firm would be asking Simpson questions. But curiosity got the best of me and I decided to find out what The Right Thing is. There was also a Facebook page listed in the footer, so I went there first.
Turns out that they have been producing an e-magazine of sorts for over a year and list their editorial board on the first page:
Well, that makes things even more interesting. Carmona is the founder. The guy that sent the email is the Assistant Editor and Political Advisor (a less common spelling of Adviser). And if you look at the properties in the Word document that was sent to Simpson’s campaign, the author is Sarah Verret.
So, you know, it’s funny and interesting and all that. Candidates do all sorts of strange things. Another blip in a long primary season, no big deal.
But wait! there’s more!
Incredibly, Ralph (Rafa) Garcia followed up with this:
That’s pretty brazen right there, I don’t care who you are. I do like the way he sent it to both candidates. Hey, no bias here! The only political publication in Harris County? And just what are the other pay-to-play slates thinking about Carmona founding his own pay-to-play slate, if that is what they are doing with the rate sheet? Hmm?
Obviously, this has little to nothing to do with the actual campaign, other than an insight into the way Carmona operates. But you gotta admit it’s kinda funny!
While I was looking into this, I read the four volumes of The Right Side that have thus far been published. My gut feeling is that you will be seeing more from these volumes before early voting starts.
Here they are if you want to read them:
There is some good stuff there. Steve Parkhurst, who writes occasionally here, has a couple of pieces in the latest one. RW Bray has pieces in Volumes II and III. District Clerk Chris Daniel writes one in Volume II. And of course, Carmona has something in each of them. Some interesting reading.
None of this should make the reader think that I am favoring Simpson. I’m not, it just so happens that his campaign forwarded the email to me. Nor do I favor Carmona. I told both men that I wasn’t going to favor one or the other. Simpson had some problems in the 2016 election, I wrote about them extensively. And he also has done some very good things with the party’s finances and organization. I have said that Carmona is a viable candidate and will give Simpson a run for his money, especially since the ‘Big 3’ slates are backing him. Nothing above changes what I’m doing here.
But it was funny!