QUOTE OF THE DAY
“The power of God hit him while he was eating the cake.”
—Dallas preacher Lance Wallnau in a video, according to the Huffington Post. Wallnau said that he “saved” a gay bartender by serving him an anointed cake. It’s unclear what kind of cake it was, but to be honest we’ve all felt the power of God when eating really, really good cake.
Former Texas governor and current Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy Rick Perry penned an editorial in the Houston Chronicle on Wednesday bashing the student government election at his alma mater, Texas A&M, in which a gay student was named president after his competitor was disqualified. Bobby Brooks was elected late last month, becoming A&M’s first-ever openly gay student body president. The election earned A&M national headlines, mostly praising the traditionally conservative school. But, as Perry noted in the editorial, it was a weird election. Brooks’s opponent, Robert McIntosh, eked out 51 percent of the vote, but was disqualified shortly after election day due to allegations of voter intimidation. He was ultimately cleared by a student court, but he was also found to have failed to report financial documentation for glow sticks he used in a campaign video, so his disqualification was upheld, according to the Dallas Morning News. Taking a page from his boss Donald Trump, Perry accused the election system as being rigged against McIntosh. “McIntosh was disqualified by the SGA Election Commission and Judicial Court through a process that—at best—made a mockery of due process and transparency,” Perry wrote. “At worst, the SGA allowed an election to be stolen outright.” Perry then made a pretty astounding leap to claim, without providing any actual evidence, that the election was thrown for the sake of diversity. “It is difficult to escape the perception that this quest for ‘diversity’ is the real reason the election outcome was overturned,” Perry wrote. “Does the principle of ‘diversity’ override and supersede all other values of our Aggie Honor Code? Every Aggie ought to ask themselves: How would they act and feel if the victim was different? What if McIntosh had been a minority student instead of a white male?” An A&M spokesman rejected the basis of Perry’s editorial, telling the Morning News that Perry, who was a yell leader during his time at A&M and infamously earned a ‘D’ in “meat” class, misunderstood the student election process at A&M. “He’s always been a great proponent for Texas A&M,” university Communications Officer Amy B. Smith told the Morning News. “I’m surprised that he’s weighing in. I’m surprised he would have the time to do that.” Also, according to the Morning News, McIntosh’s mom, Alison, is a big-time Republican donor in Dallas, and Perry appears in Facebook photos with other kids in the McIntosh family.
MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS
Bad News Bears
Former Baylor football player Tre’Von Armstead was arrested near Port Arthur on Wednesday and charged with sexual assault, according to the Waco Tribune-Herald. The alleged sexual assault happened in 2013, when Armstead was still on the team. ESPN’s Outside the Lines first reported the alleged sexual assault last year, reporting that the allegations against Armstead had gone ignored by Baylor for two years. According to ESPN, the Waco Police Department wrote in a 2013 police report that it had informed Baylor officials about an off-campus incident in which Armstead and then-teammate Myke Chatman allegedly sexually assaulted a fellow student, but Baylor didn’t start looking into it until September 2015. Armstead was kicked off the team in September 2015 and expelled from school last year due to the allegations, according to ESPN (Armstead denied the allegations). This is the second time this month Armstead has been arrested—less than two weeks ago, he was arrested at a Las Vegas casino after he allegedly pushed a woman, scuffled with responding officers, and kicked out a window of a squad car. He has been charged with domestic violence battery, resisting a public officer, and tampering with a police vehicle.
Former Texas U.S. Representative Steve Stockman made headlines last week for appearing shackled and handcuffed before a Texas judge, then claiming he was being framed as part of some “deep state” conspiracy. We now know a little more about the circumstances that led to his arrest, and, surprise, it has nothing to do with the conspiracy theory popular in the most far-flung circles of the right wing. According to the Houston Chronicle, Stockman, a tea party Republican who once represented a district stretching from Houston to Beaumont, allegedly made off with $775,000 in donations that were meant for charitable purposes or voter education. The details of the allegations were revealed in a plea deal signed by former Stockman campaign worker and congressional special assistant Thomas Dodd, who pled guilty to two counts of conspiracy and agreed to help the feds build a case against Stockman. According to Dodd’s plea deal, Stockman used the stolen cash on his campaign and on credit card bills. The feds also claim Stockman was leading a bigger scam involving a pair of shell companies, fake campaign contributions, lies to executives at charitable foundations, and wire and mail fraud.
Location, Location, Location
HGTV is doubling down on its Texas-based TV shows. Beloved Wacoan and ruthlessly likable entrepreneur Joanna Gaines is getting her own show separate from Fixer Upper, the HGTV reality hit she stars in with her husband, Chip. According to the Dallas Morning News, Gaines will star in a new half-hour series called Fixer Upper: Behind The Design, in which she’ll focus on her creative process for the home designs featured on Fixer Upper. We’ll get a sneak peak of her new show on Tuesday at 10 p.m. Central Time, according to the Hollywood Reporter. As the Morning News notes, Fixer Upper earns HGTV ridiculously good ratings, and the current season has already drawn more than twenty million viewers. If Gaines can capture even a little bit of that magic on her solo project, then the network would have another big hit on its hands. HGTV is also expanding another series, Flip or Flop, giving the real estate show a Fort Worth-based spin-off in which two Texans, former military vets Andy and Ashley Williams, flip (or, uh, flop) homes all over Texas.
WHAT WE’RE READING
Some links are paywalled or subscription-only.
Lockheed Martin is taking production of the F-16 away from Texas and moving it east Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Scenes from Corpus Christi’s Selena celebration Corpus Christi Caller-Times
The Permian Basin economy is in recovery and is expanding for the first time in three years Midland Reporter-Telegram
Trump’s border wall may run into problems in Zapata Austin American-Statesman
A Denton woman miraculously survived after being stranded in the desert for five days Dallas Morning News