Montgomery County Commissioner, Precinct 3

Jay Mac Sanders
James Noack ✔✔

 

TPP endorses James Noack

Mr. Noack has done a great job representing his constituents in a rough environment where his efforts have been opposed at almost every turn by the county establishment who resent that he defeated their chosen candidate for our Precinct. Mr. Sanders is the establishment’s choice to replace Mr. Noack.  He has not made a credible case for the need to replace Mr. Noack and has demonstated disappointing values by resorting to tactics of innuendo and deceit.

When the tea party movement began and we started looking not only at federal politics, but also to local politics, it didn’t take long to figure out that Montgomery County had a “good ol’ boy” problem. Decades ago the elites in this county, mindful of the political winds sweeping the state, changed parties from Democrat to Republican, and ever since have been governing with the same type of fiscal irresponsibility as Democrats are wont to do, only now under the facade of Republicanism. Until 2012, these county elites went largely unchallenged at the ballot box, and every time one of them was set to retire, the elites would hand pick an heir to the throne. This is what was supposed to happen in 2012, when retiring Commissioner Ed Chance chose Kenny Speight to replace him on the court. 

At that point, James Noack was an average resident of The Woodlands who was concerned about the increased traffic that would come from a street being opened up by his children’s school. When he approached Commissioner Ed Chance about the matter, Commissioner Chance told him to talk to Kenny Speight, as Kenny Speight was going to be the next commissioner. When Mr. Noack approached Kenny Speight about the matter, Mr. Noack says he was taken aback by how unqualified and disinterested Mr. Speight appeared to be. At one point in the conversation, Mr. Noack recalled Mr. Speight even being under the impression that Mr. Noack’s house was not in precinct 3, even though it clearly was. Upon seeing how the only qualification Mr. Speight had for becoming the next commissioner was that he was a part of the political elite, Mr. Noack resolved to run for commissioner himself so that positive change would come to the county.

Mr. Noack overwhelmingly defeated Mr. Speight at the ballot box in 2012 because of his vigorous campaign and positive message about changing county politics. But ever since, the county elites have been very unhappy that Mr. Noack upset their power structure.

 

JAMES NOACK

Mr. Noack’s campaign slogan is “promises made, promises kept,” and we couldn’t agree more. During Mr. Noack’s first term in office, he has proven himself to be the only commissioner on the court actively pursuing reform and fiscal responsibility. While the county has yet to develop a long-term strategic mobility plan, Mr. Noack commissioned his own plan for south Montgomery County so that mobility issues could be better addressed. Mr. Noack has also shut down the red light traffic cameras, introduced the flashing yellow left turn arrow at intersections, better synchronized the traffic lights, and improved 37 intersections. Mr. Noack has brought efficiency to the precinct 3 office, and deserves to be reelected.

One of the best arguments for reelecting James Noack is that his concern for smart, responsible governance has made him unpopular with the county elites. The county elites expect elected officials’ main concern once elected to be retaining their exclusive membership in the elite’s club, and governing not in the way which is best for the residents, but in the way which is best for the club. Mr. Noack has shown this through his many times as the sole “nay” vote on various issues that he is willing to stand up for the interests of the residents of precinct 3, even if it is unpopular with his fellow commissioners. The most obvious example of this is Mr. Noack’s objection to The Woodlands Parkway extension project. Mr. Noack fought hard to have this project removed from the May 2015 bond project list, but ultimately Judge Doyal and Commissioner Riley, whose precinct the project was in, stubbornly included it. Mr. Noack voted for the bond to be placed on the May ballot only because the residents of the Rayford Road area desperately needed the mobility projects slated for their area. However, unlike his fellow commissioners, when the May bond failed, Mr. Noack immediately called for another bond to be placed on the November ballot excluding the parkway extension and waste his fellow commissioners had included which doomed the May bond.

Other examples of Mr. Noack standing alone on the court include:

 

  • Being the only vote against firing Mark Bosma. Mark Bosma was the Director of Infrastructure for Montgomery County who became known as a whistleblower following his collaboration with the FBI in exposing corruption surrounding the commissioners court’s Joe Corley Jail project and Mental Health Treatment Facility. Mr. Bosma’s position was created by commissioners court to streamline projects and save the county money. When Mark Bosma lost the race for County Judge to Craig Doyal, Mr. Doyal then called for the termination of the position of Director of Infrastructure on the grounds that it would save the county money – in direct opposition to the reason the position was created in the first place. It was obvious that this firing was political revenge against Mr. Bosma for daring to challenge Judge Doyal, and Mr. Noack was the only commissioner willing to vote against the motion.
     
  • Mr. Noack was the only vote on the court to voted against the sale of the Joe Corley facility.

     
  • Mr. Noack was the only vote on the court against tolling the 242 flyover.
     
  • Mr. Noack was the only vote on the court in favor of terminating Linda Breazeale’s contract. Mrs. Breazeale was a former county auditor who, after leaving office, was still employed with a special contract and being paid an exhorbitant amount of money to do many of the same jobs she had already been doing as the county auditor, only now as a consultant. Most of Mrs. Breazeale’s work focused on the Joe Corley and Mental Health Treatment Facility. Mr. Noack said the contract was fiscally irresponsible and sent a negative message to the hardworking employees of the county, that it “seems like they would be better off if they retire and come back as a consultant.”
     
  • Mr. Noack has been the only vocal supporter of lowering the appraisal caps from 10% down to 3%.
     
  • Mr. Noack, along with former County Judge Alan Sadler, lead the fight to pass the first tax decrease in years.  

 

Despite the fact that it would flood The Woodlands with traffic, The Woodlands Parkway extension project was very important to Charlie Riley and Craig Doyal for several reasons. First, the project would benefit the developers and contractors who fund their campaigns. Second, the extension would connect The Woodlands to Craig Doyal’s 249 toll road, making the toll road’s economics more feasible. When James Noack stood up for The Woodlands residents and publicly opposed this project, it angered Craig Doyal and the rest of the political elites. According to various sources, Craig Doyal even went as far as telling contractors that if they donated to Mr. Noack’s campaign, they would never get work in Montgomery County again.

Everyone was expecting Craig Doyal and the county elites to pick someone to run against James Noack to try and unseat him, and that person has turned out to be Jay Mac Sanders.
 

JAY MAC SANDERS

Jay Mac Sanders declined to participate in our vetting process, however, having gone through our vetting process when he ran for The Woodlands Township board in 2012, we do know a little about him.

Mr. Sanders is the owner/broker of a real estate company, Mustard Seed Realtors, and a board member of the Panther Creek Village Association. Prior to this, he worked as a legislative aid to moderate Republican U.S. Senator Frank Murkowski of Alaska. (The name Frank Murkowski will probably not mean anything to most people reading this. However, the former Alaskan writing this feels that it is important to note that Frank Murkowski, after leaving the Senate, became governor of Alaska for one term. He was widely unpopular and a member of the so-called “Corrupt Bastards Club” – a group of several elected officials from Alaska who were under investigation from the FBI on charges of corruption, many of whom, including Murkowski’s chief of staff, were convicted. Murkowski was soundly defeated in the Republican primary during his bid for reelection by Sarah Palin.)

We believe that the reasons Mr. Sanders is running against James Noack can be summarized in a statement he made to The Courier upon his announcement to run last October. In the article, Mr. Sanders is reported as saying that one of his main reasons for running is to “restore relationships with other community leaders,” and that “Precinct 3 needs a commissioner that is respected by fellow commissioners.” Mr. Sanders then says, apparently referring to Mr. Noack’s willingness to not go along with the rest of the commissioners when it isn’t in the best interest of the residents of Precinct 3, that “it’s not okay to be disagreeable.” Everyone knows that Mr. Sanders is running at the behest of the county elites, and based on these statements, Mr. Sanders is being surprisingly honest about about it.

Mr. Sanders has also been very upfront about who is supporting him in this election. The following photo was posted to Mr. Sanders’ Facebook page, showing Mr. Sanders with County Judge Craig Doyal, Commissioner Mike Meador, former Commissioner Ed Chance, with Kenny Speight in the background.

This photo shows a large sign that has been erected on the property of Tim Weems, the developer who would be the primary beneficiary of The Woodlands Parkway extension.

 

Mr. Sanders was outspoken in his support for Bruce Tough during his reelection campaign for The Woodlands Township board, who was defeated by Laura Fillault largely due to his support for The Woodlands Parkway extension – a project that about 90% of The Woodlands’ voters disapprove of. In the following video, when asked about the extension project, Mr. Sanders responds by saying that it will be built and there’s nothing that can stop it. He then implies that he would do nothing as commissioner to advocate on behalf of his constituents, and dismisses the outrage Woodlands residents have about this project as  "an opinion, as there are many other opinions." Do residents of The Woodlands really want to elect as their commissioner a man who so readily folds on issues known to be the most important to the community?


Additional concerns

A few of the questions on the vetting form we send to candidates address controversial issues such as the candidate’s views on abortion, gay marriage, gun rights, and immigration. These questions are included and asked of every candidate (excluding judicial races), regardless of the position for which they are running for several reasons including gauging the honesty of the candidate. It is very telling when a candidate refuses to answer these questions, opting to hide behind the idea that the position they seek would not get the opportunity to address these issues. When Mr. Sanders filled out our vetting form for his 2012 bid for the Township board, Mr. Sanders answered every question about immigration with the following statement: “this question is not applicable to this election.” He made a similar statement answering our question about his views on marriage, though qualified that he supports current Texas law. He did answer frankly the questions about abortion and the gun rights. This lead us to question, if Mr. Sanders did not answer the questions about illegal immigration because the position he was seeking could not address the issue, why then did he answer the questions regarding abortion and gun rights, which equally would fall into the category of issues the Township could not address? We can only assume Mr. Sanders did not answer the questions about illegal immigration because he thought we would not like his answers.

The Fake Tea Party

Mr. Sanders has been endorsed by the Texas Conservative Tea Party Coalition, widely known as the “fake tea party.” This organization was formed by the county establishment during the runoff election in 2014 after the tea party endorsed candidates (Mark Bosma, running for County Judge; Rob Harmon, running for Commissioner, Precinct 2; and Ted Seago, running for House District 16) gained more votes in the primary than their establishment opponents. Through the TCTPC, the establishment poured thousands of dollars into the runoff, printing up deceptive voter guides and hiring pretty young college students to pass them out at the polls while posing as tea party volunteers. In part due to this deception, the establishment ultimately was successful in getting Craig Doyal elected as County Judge, Charlie Riley elected as Commissioner for Precinct 2, and Will Metcalf elected as State Representative for HD-16. Ever since, this supposed “tea party” regularly endorses the county elites’ candidates and their positions in elections. For example, in 2015 the fake tea party supported the May road bond and the reelection of Bruce Tough. This year, they are endorsing Congressman Kevin Brady for reelection, an endorsement which none of the real tea parties in the county agree with.

The Woodlands Parkway Extension

During the May 2015 road bond, which we opposed due to the large amount of pork projects and the inclusion of The Woodlands Parkway extension project, the fake tea party came to the county’s defense by sending mailers endorsing the extension project and echoing the county’s talking points. See the mailer below:

 

Notice how it says “We support the proposed Woodlands Parkway Extension.”

 

Notice how this one accuses The Woodlands residents, 90% of whom voted against the extension, of being isolationist and of holding the rest of the county hostage.

Interestingly enough, the TCTPC is now attacking James Noack on behalf of Jay Mac Sanders, claiming that Mr. Noack supported The Woodlands Parkway extension, which he did not.

 

So now, the TCTPC, who at the time of the bond election supported the extension, duplicitously calls the project “costly” and “unpopular,” which are the exact reasons for which we opposed it. Yet they only admit this to hijack the unpopularity of the project among Woodlands residents and intentionally lie to say that Mr. Noack supported this project. This deceptive behavior from the TCTPC is appalling and represents politics at its worst. Yet, Mr. Sanders endorses this behavior.

Mr. Sanders has implicitly endorsed this behavior by sharing the TCTPC post three times on his Facebook page.

 

Mr. Noack never cast a single vote in favor of the extension. The first vote they are referring to is the vote to place the May road bond on the ballot. County Judge Craig Doyal included all of the projects in a single vote rather than voting on the projects individually. Despite Mr. Noack’s persistence that they take the extension off the project list, the decision to include it was ultimately left to Judge Doyal and Commissioner Riley. In forcing the board to approve all of the projects at once or none at all, Judge Doyal and Commissioner Riley were holding the residents of Mr. Noack’s precinct – who arguably have the most dire mobility needs in the county – hostage and daring Mr. Noack to oppose the bond in its entirety. If voting to approve this bond is also a vote for the parkway extension, then Mr. Sanders and the fake tea party are equally as guilty; only they, unlike Mr. Noack, never fought to have it removed from the list. The reality is that the only “vote” for the parkway extension from any commissioner came from the decisions by Judge Doyal and Commissioner Riley to include it on the list. Mr. Noack, on the other hand, was voting for the projects in his precinct.

The second “vote” they say Mr. Noack cast in favor of the parkway extension refers to a recent action on the court, where the court voted to “accept” but not “approve” the county thoroughfare plan from the engineers. Upon voting to accept the plan, Mr. Noack asked Judge Doyal if this vote meant an official approval or endorsement of the plan, and Judge Doyal assured Mr. Noack that it did not. Upon accepting the plan, Mr. Noack immediately began to argue that the plan should not be approved unless the extension is removed from the list.

Other lies that Mr. Sanders and the TCTPC are telling about Mr. Noack are that lawsuits filed against Mr. Noack have cost the county millions of dollars. In fact, there have been exactly 0 lawsuits filed against Mr. Noack according to the county attorney’s office.
 

Another fake organization endorsement

Mr. Sanders has proudly proclaimed that he has been endorsed by an organization called “Texans for Pro-Life.” If the terribly conceived name of this organization makes you suspicious, you should trust your instincts. (Nouns cannot be “for” an adjective by itself, as adjectives modify nouns. It would have made sense if they said “Texans for pro-life legislation,” or just “Pro-life Texans,” but instead came up with something that would be the equivalent of saying “Texans for big” or “Texans for pretty.”)  On the website of this organization, they very visibly tout that they are “pay to play,” and will give out their endorsement in exchange for money. On their website, amidst sample graphics using stock photos saying “Texans for Pro-Life proudly endorses John Doe,” the organization pitches its ability to advertise through Facebook, phone banking, and mailers and says “for as little as $250 - $750 you can help us reach thousands of Republican voters for your pro-life candidate today!” A list of current endorsements on their website includes State Representatives JD Sheffield and Sarah Davis, who are actually known to be pro-abortion Republicans, as well Byron Cook, who is known to be hostile to the pro-life movement. Interestingly enough, they only list 7 endorsements for positions not at the state level, 5 of which are concentrated in Montgomery County.

 

After a little research, we have found that the organization is run by two radio DJs in Austin, one of whom regularly supports and donates to Democrats and has never given to a Republican, with the other being a personal injury lawyer. Members of the personal injury bar tend to be huge supporters of Democrats.

The fact that Mr. Sanders is willing to tout this group’s endorsement is disturbing, especially when he openly calls on his supporters to go to the organization’s website to see how they can help his campaign. This is another example of the deception Mr. Sanders has resorted to.



Summary

While Mr. Sanders is a nice man in person, we do not believe he has made the case to replace James Noack, who has been a terrific commissioner. On top of this, Mr. Sanders’ behavior during this election has been very worrisome from the start, when he proclaimed at the fake tea party’s “debate” that he wouldn’t trust James Noack “to pick up his kids in carline.” This behavior is not becoming of a person seeking to be an elected official. We believe James Noack has shown that he governs responsibly and is willing to stand up for the interests of his constituents, and proudly endorse him for reelection.