At a meeting of the King Street Patriots in August, the president of the Tea Party group claimed that the fringe New Black Panther Party had set up an office in Houston, eliciting gasps from the audience.
But what was that residential looking building shown in an image displayed at the presentation in reality? The headquarters of Houston Votes, which was running a voter registration drive in minority neighborhoods.
So where did Catherine Engelbrecht, the head of the Tea Party group, come up with that connection?
“From absolutely making it up,” said Jim George, a lawyer representing Houston Votes, told TPMMuckraker. “It’s just like ‘I understand you’re a member of the Klu Klux Klan’ — simply making it up.”
“I don’t know what’s in their heart or in their head, I just know they stood up there and put on the web and told people that my client is synonymous with a group which, according to the clips, they showed was committed to killing all white people,” George said.
George is representing Houston Votes and the affiliated group the Texans Together Education Fund in a defamation lawsuit against True the Vote founder Engelbrecht in Travis County court.
“Given that most of my clients, most of the people involved in the Texans Together Education Fund, are white people, it seemed odd that they would be committed to killing each other, but that’s what Ms. Engelbrecht said,” George added.
Here’s the video of Engelbrecht at the meeting on Aug. 9, which featured former Justice Department lawyer J. Christian Adams.
The Justice Department’s decision to drop part of the New Black Panther Party voter intimidation case has been a conservative punching bag for over a year.
Now, like the New Black Panthers, poll watchers in Harris County are the subject of questions from Justice Department lawyers, who are gathering information on the allegations of voter intimidation. Chad Dunn, a lawyer who is representing the Texas Democratic Party, told TPMMuckraker that they received “a number of reports — quite a few out of the Houston area — that poll watchers, King Street Patriot training poll watchers, are following a voter after they’ve checked them out and stand right behind them,” Dunn said. There’s at least a dozen reports that they could confirm with witnesses, he said. “Interestingly, it’s all in the polling places in Hispanic and African-American areas,” he added.