Fact-Check Encore

Four States News - Essays & OpinionsThose that are as tired of this thread of articles as I am (Deconstructing Ratcliffe, Fact-Check Follies) can take comfort in the knowledge that this is the last of the series. Before the end of the Texas primary it was reasonably clear that the most likely runoff scenario in Texas’ 4th district U.S. congressional race would be a match-up between incumbent Ralph Hall and challenger John Ratcliffe. In the course of the campaign I had a number of opportunities to talk to Ratcliffe, and to hear his repertoire of stump speeches. I found almost nothing to disagree with in what he had to say, and my overall impression was positive. On the other hand, one of my other co-competitors was very vocally negative about Ratcliffe and had a list of anti-Ratcliffe charges in his campaign literature. Having a vote to decide on, my investigation into Ratcliffe started with those charges.

I’ve been a voter a lot more than I’ve been a candidate. As a voter, the hyperbole of campaign rhetoric has always rubbed me the wrong way, and I deeply resent it when politicians craft finely parsed tales to manipulate the voters. It is fundamentally disrespectful to the voters (even a candidate’s supporters) to ask for a position of public service while simultaneously trying to manipulate them for personal interests. Unfortunately, it’s also a norm that we have come to expect from politicians. My initial analysis of the accusations revealed that there was no depth to any of them.

For the most part the charges are nonsense assembled from perceived associations and speculation. These conspiracy theories are intended to raise doubts and scare voters away from Ratcliffe. It’s a political gambit that we see all the time. Make a charge, make it loudly, repeat it often. Mudslinging 101. I addressed one of the more conspiratorial charges in a previous article to show that it wasn’t the result of serious investigation. Today we’ll look at a specific charge that is intended to take one of Ratcliffe’s positives and turn it into a negative – the illegal immigration enforcement action against Pilgrim’s Pride.

The basic charge here was that Ratcliffe is a bully who simply used a position of authority to pick on a popular East Texas employer that had broken no laws, costing hundreds of 4th district jobs in the bargain. The reasons Ratcliffe would do this are left to the imagination of the reader. The plaintiff went so far as to claim that the resulting fines contributed to a subsequent bankruptcy filing by Pilgrim. Immigration enforcement is a hot topic in conservative circles at the moment, so it’s an odd thing for a conservative to go after a candidate for his record of enforcing immigration laws. But let’s deal with the specific charges:

Charge:

  • The $4.5 million fine contributed to Pilgrim’s financial trouble, becoming a component of their slide into bankruptcy.

Reality:

  • Pilgrim’s bankruptcy ended before the $4.5 million fine was imposed. There was no way it could have contributed to the bankruptcy.
  • The fine was paid in four annual $1.125 million installments.
  • The magnitude of the fine should be viewed in the context that Pilgrim is a global corporation employing about 40,000 people and generating about $8 billion in annual revenue. $1.125 million is 0.014% of annual revenue. If you made $50,000/year it would be the equivalent of a $7 annual fine. The fine was more symbolic than punitive.


Charge
:

  • The fine resulted in 180 lost jobs for the 4th district at $25,000/year.

Reality:

  • Pilgrim had several hundred job openings due to the arrest of over 300 illegal immigrants at the time of the raid.
  • Unless the concern was for illegal immigrant jobs, Pilgrim would have broken about even hiring 180 new workers even after the fine.
  • The math used in the charge only covers 1 year of salaries to make the number seem large. The raid covered plants in five different states, so the “lost jobs” should be divided accordingly.
  • Pilgrim had announced layoff plans for 1,100 people just prior to the 2008 raid. The raid likely saved some legal jobs as layoffs and plant closures continued into 2010.


Charge
:

  • Pilgrim did not break any laws, but fell victim to identity fraud perpetrated by the illegal aliens. In other words they were unfairly targeted.

Reality:

  • Undercover investigations started in late 2006, continuing into early 2007. Pilgrim began participating in the investigation in 2007. Multiple actions followed in 2007 and 2008.
  • Employees in the company’s Human Resources department were involved in the misconduct.
  • Pilgrim HR employees not only knowingly hired illegal immigrants, but participated in the document fraud.

In essence, not a single one of the negative attacks made regarding Ratcliffe’s involvement in this action are valid. Three charges, all false. Virtually no effort was put into verifying these charges before they were presented to the voters to be taken on misplaced trust in a politician. It would be a full time job to work through every twisted accusation, and it is inexcusable that it is necessary to do so. Hopefully the trend is clear enough. I can only speculate about the agenda behind the accusations, but it plainly has little to do with concern for informing the voters.

John Ratcliffe is a conservative. He has been vetted and endorsed by a number of conservative organizations. He has made deep statements concerning his faith, philosophy, and positions on issues. His record may be limited, but what is there shows promise. His immigration enforcement action provided a rare bright spot in a category that has been full of disappointments in recent years. It was also clearly done in a way to minimize the impact to the company, while demonstrating the will to enforce immigration laws. I had never heard a conservative complain about the action until it came up in this race.

John is a good candidate and I’m voting for him on May 27th. I am not willing to wait to find out what the establishment sausage factory will crank out for us in 2016, and I’m not interested in treading water for another two years as our beloved America falls into further disarray. Let’s fight today’s fight today, and deal with 2016 when it gets here. Please join me supporting John Ratcliffe for U.S. Congress TX-4.

0 thoughts on “Fact-Check Encore

  1. Folks, here is an independent analysis, not mine for sure. These are things that Brent either failed to discover or is unwilling to discover.

    It shows the true heart of Ratcliffe put forth by a resident of Rockwall. Joe Fox is also an attorney and Rockwall resident.

    Facts are facts,

    Face it Brent, you are backing a bad horse that no one in the 4th district deserves.

    Read on. Thanks Lou Gigliotti

    From Joe Fox below:

    Rockwall Patriot and Prominent Attorney: “I wholeheartedly support Ralph Hall”
    Leave a reply
    Dear Friends and Neighbors,

    Hon. Ralph M. Hall
    Hon. Ralph M. Hall Texas CD-4
    Last of the Greatest Generation in the House

    I am writing to you after considerable thought and reflection!

    The opinions below are my own and are not part of Ralph Hall’s Campaign.

    I have conducted my own independent research and review of the backgrounds of Ralph and John and I can say without hesitation I wholeheartedly support Ralph Hall. My reasons are as follows:

    1. Ralph has always represented and voted in the best interests of the citizens of the Fourth Texas Congressional District even when it was not in his personal best interest.
    2. Ralph has a documented record as a fiscal, foreign affairs and social conservative.
    3. I see Ralph at least 2-3 times a month. He has more energy and is more alert and lucid than most 40 year olds. It’s about energy, not age.
    4. Ralph has served his country admirably and honorably in ralph-hall-ww2-officerPeace and War and will be the only WWII Veteran in the upcoming Congress.
    5. Ralph is rated in the Top 3 % of Congressman opposing Obama and his out of control liberal agenda.
    6. Ralph has done so many things to help individual average citizens of our District in addition to supporting projects to make it easier to live and work in the 4th District like THE RED RIVER ARSENAL and the 740 Loop project in Heath.
    7. Ralph has established credibility in Congress and when he speaks, people listen! His Congressional career is legendary and he is well respected on the Hill.
    8. With Ralph, what you see is what you get! He is transparent, accessible and open.

    John is one of the nicest people I know! So What concerns me about John?

    1. Although he began his legal career in the early 1990’s he doesn’t tout any of his accomplishments before 2005. I wonder why? Based on written documents, I have learned that John was a plaintiff’s attorney specializing in medical malpractice. Basically suing doctors and health care facilities. From 2000 thru 2004 he was a named partner in the firm Tucker and Ratcliffe. During that period his firm along with another obtained a $50 Million judgment against a health care facility and an undisclosed amount against the doctors! I wonder why John doesn’t tout this part of his background in one of the most conservative Congressional Districts in the Country? Most of the plaintiff’s lawyers I know are Democrats. In fact, the plaintiff’s lawyer lobbying group known as the Trial Lawyers Association is usually either Number 1 or Number 2 behind Big Labor Unions when it comes to making contributions to the democratic party

    2. John is a very active businessman who is an investor I am told in Shenanigans, and along with Russell Phillips, the new Trend HR Tower at I- 30 & Horizon. More on that later.

    3. John touts his experience as the US attorney for the Eastern District of Texas. John did hold that job for approximately one year after his boss suddenly resigned to return to private practice. After that very short period of time, President Bush appointed someone else to become the US Attorney for the Eastern District of TX.

    4. As the Homeland Security Director for East Texas most of his efforts appeared to be fining employers for possible immigration violations. Can you imagine any Terrorist in his right mind who would want to live in East Texas! Hooah East Texas!!!! This has nothing to do with John’s skills and much more to do with the good people and patriots living in East Texas!

    5. Remember all the Hoopla in Heath about the new YMCA?? John signed a letter offering the Y 15 acres of land near the new Rockwall-Heath HS. Then within two months, changed his mind and offered the Y a less than desirable plat of land in Kaufmann County! Based on more than one source, his current business partner Russell Phillips and the former mayor of Heath, Chris Cuni, objected because they wanted to put a housing development in the area. In fact Russell submitted his proposed platt a couple months after John reneged on the land deal to the Y. And to this day we have no Y in Heath!

    6. For those who live in Buffalo Creek you know that Kings Pass is a “Speeder’s Haven, used to avoid congestion on Horizon Road. Kings Pass is about 1500 yards long with virtually no speed limit signs and only TWO Stop Signs. The Stop Signs were put in after several protests about the speeding. Although Kings Pass is 1500 yards long, the stop signs are just 150 yards apart! And both are at the corners of Starlight Pass a horseshoe street off of Kings Pass. Guess who lives on Starlight Pass? The Former Councilman and Mayor of Heath, John Ratcliffe!! And my best recollection is the stop signs were installed while John was Mayor of Heath!!

    7. If you review the list of contributors to his campaign, you will discover the majority of the money he has raised comes from outside the 4th Congressional District. And one of the contributions from within the District is the subject of a Complaint to the Federal Election Commission asserting that one of the contributors died a few years before the contribution was made.

    Based on the information above,
    (1) I cannot be sure that John will place the interests of the citizens of the Fourth Congressional District above his own,
    (2) He hasn’t been transparent about his entire career, some of which does not fit well with running for office in a conservative Texas congressional district’
    (3) His service as a US attorney and regional Homeland Security Director isn’t overly impressive.

    Ralph on the other hand:
    (1) Has a documented record as a conservative legislator,
    (2) Has placed the interests of the citizens of our District above his own,
    (3) is a Veteran who served his County admirably in Peace & War and
    (4) is well known and respected on the Hill.

    For me the choice is an easy one. Please support Ralph and vote for him this week, early election week or next Tuesday May 27.

    Sincerely,
    Joe Fox
    Heath Resident
    West Point Class of 1974

    Photos: Ralph Hall, WW2 carrier-based fighter pilot, Ralph Hall with astronauts, Ralph Hall presiding over committee meeting

    Rockwall.Conservative@gmail.com

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