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I was going to hold my tongue about Sam Brannon because I’m a preacher, not a politician.

Before he was asked by me personally to leave, Sam attended Christ the Redeemer Church where I have been pastor since 2005. So I am bound by the law and traditions of pastor-layman confidentiality not to tell you what I know about Sam. I can tell you I am encouraging all my friends and family not to vote for him.

What changed my mind and pushed me to speak out about the dangers of SB is finding out that Sam apparently used our church email list to send out a lie-filled and desperate-for-votes political email yesterday. I know he used our list because my brother in Ohio and many other people I know around the country, through my decades in the church and in the U.S. Air Force, told me they received it.

The heart of what I believe about Sam Brannon is this: You can’t trust him. In my opinion, he is an arrogant and dangerous man.

I don’t know how people can even consider voting for a guy who does not have a steady job in this county and never has; who pays no county property taxes and never has; who lives with his daddy; who doesn’t even have the courtesy to salute the U.S. flag.

All I can tell you is that Sam is a wolf in sheep’s clothing and I feel obligated to warn people about taking him at face value. He is smart and smooth-talking — and I believe a danger to everyone in our county if he is elected to the Hays County Commissioners Court.

Lt. Col. Chaplain GARY SMITH
San Marcos

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117 thoughts on “Letter: Sam Brannon ‘a wolf in sheep’s clothing,’ his former pastor says

  1. Sam seems like a reasonable man who is in touch with the desires and needs of his community. He is humble enough to listen to the younger people of San Marcos and attend meetings of various organizations desiring to protect San Marcos from over-zealous land developers. I believe he will be a protector of the environment and not cave to corporate interests. This letter is shameful in it’s intent and is the reason the Founding Fathers of our nation wanted to keep church and state separated. If you don’t like SB, so be it, you are free to speak positively about the opposing candidate if you so choose. Focusing on the negative aspects of a candidate creates the mud-slinging gross feeling that turns everybody off and creates voter apathy.

  2. Thank you, Carlos. I fully appreciate your concerns and that was my great hesitation in going public with my views. Sam appears very charming and believeable…that is exactly my point. I am a people person and I enjoy people of all beliefs and persuasions. But I also am a realist enough to know danger when it appears. Sam is dangerous. Time will prove that out. I have been involved in two organizations with him and he singularly destroyed one civic (non-religious non-profit 501 (3)(c) organization that existed to raise money for college scholarships for high school students. I was president of that Tuesday morning club and Sam singularly destroyed that club within six months of joining. People believed him at first, like you do. He is charming and does seem nice enough. But soon his very radical and detached from reality views caused mass exodus of members, including me as president. I resigned. As did others. Sad. Very sad. I liked him at first. Then he revealed himself. Dangerous. But he is charming.

    • Dear Mr. Smith,

      My name is John McGrath.

      As you are religious man, I am sure you are interested in truth. Therefore; I would suggest you would want to retract any false statements in your letter.

      Please consider retracting statements that Mr. Brannon has never held a job, is dis-honest, and doesn’t respect the American flag.

      I went to high school with Sam Brannon (McCullough, Woodlands Tx). I was also SAMs freshman roommate at UT Austin (1983).

      Although, I don’t agree with all of Mr. Brannon’s political views; I can attest to the following.

      -Sam was our Senior class President
      -Varsity Football player ( All district guard)
      -He attended and graduated the University of Texas Austin (received a merit scholarship from a well known bank)
      -For many years held a job for a fortune 50 company
      -Always put his hand over his heart for pledge or anthem ( he doesn’t salute because he was not in the military)
      -Loves his country and family
      -Was a great brother, son to his family
      -Was honest to a fault

      Unfortunately, your open letter is “not honest to a fault”, and I ask that you reconsider some of your comments.

  3. EXCELLENT!!! It’s about time for ALL OF US that know the “real” SB to speak out! I, too, received the email yesterday – I just did not know why. SB knows that I don’t support him – why would I get that email?

    SB is “smooth”. But, how many other bad apples do we know that are also “smooth”? How many of us have fallen for the “smooth” only to realize that we have been “taken”?

    Not only is SB a danger to our County, he is trying to unseat a really decent guy. Will has worked hard for all of us – not just Precinct 3; the whole County. I know – I’ve been there watching! Will is an upstanding citizen, a good countryman, a good family man, a great business man and a man of REAL integrity. He just does not put up with the BS…what is wrong with that? I have never seen Will put anybody, but the citizens of Hays County, first! Why would we even consider ANYONE else, ESPECIALLY Sam Brannon?????

    Another fact that you did not mention – why do the SB signs not mention Hays County OR Precinct 3? Does SB need a job bad enough that he can just tote these signs anywhere – other precincts or other counties or other states? Hmmmm…… I guess he can use them anywhere – anywhere that he can convince the majority that he is “real”.

    Thank you, Lt. Col. Smith, for your honesty and for serving our Country!! I hope the word gets out to all of the voters in Precinct 3 and all the residents of Hays County! Will Conley is the man for the job!!!


  4. To Gary Smith:

    To my knowledge, I have never met Sam Brannon and have no opinion about his politics or conduct as that has been reported by you and the Mercury. Unlike the first writer above, I agree that you have every right to speak out about your concerns, and being a minister does not detract in the least from that right. However, as I expressed in my column published last week, calling people out for their conscientious refusal to say the Pledge or salute the flag is despicable. No one should be held up to public ridicule for acts of conscience that harm no one else. When they are subject to such ridicule, we often get the outrageous actions taken against Jehovah’s Witnesses that I wrote about. Are you ready to have Brannon tarred and feathered or assaulted for not saluting the flag? If not, mentioning his act of conscience appears to be an attempt only to incite others to condemn him (or hate him) for that behavior, which has harmed no one, but does reveal something about your character.

  5. “Pastor” Gary Smith has a history of writing viscous letters and emails about those in our community he hates. I was on an email list several years ago in which he sent regular emails for months on end with outrageous accusations about Police Chief Howard Williams, which were proved false. Not very Christian of you, “Pastor”.

  6. Dear Watson (whoever you are),

    Thank you for your response mentioning the Chief Williams debacle from several years ago. It is not true that Chief Williams was found innocent. The truth was that I did not pursue legal action against him and three very wrong actions of three police officers. Even the city attorney asked me later why I did not file suit. I told the city attorney that the reason I did not file suit was that my own son would be targeted by a bullying Police Chief and a few others involved in some very wrong actions at the time. Yes, my letters were intense. I do not regret standing up against police bullying. Most of our officers are outstanding police officers. Chief Williams is not one of those outstanding officers. One of his officers told a high schooler one time “Spin your tires and race away from me so I can pull this rifle out of my truck and shoot you.” This is an ill officer and such bullying tactics by an officer should never be tolerated by you or by me, sir. I know you agree. A legal expert in this town warned me when I first moved here in 2003 “never let your son drive alone in this town. We have very good police officers but a few officers are bullies and they will target young people driving alone.” Many parents in town know that reality and we protect our own children against such rare police bullying. I do not apologize for standing up to bullies. I know you would do the same. Thank you for bringing that subject up as the public needs to continue to be aware of how to hold our Police Chief accountable for the rare bullying actions of a few bad officers. I have never forgotten the city attorney asking me “Why don’t you file suit against the police department and city?” He was baffled. Bullying and abuse of power is baffling.

  7. Whatever the case may be, it’s clear where the San Marcos Mercury stands on this issue. This is what, the third article slamming Sam from this one small town news site? Good ole boys indeed.

  8. On a related note, what the world needs now is lots of PSAs about bcc-ing recipients or mass emails. I cringe every time I receive an email and see my address, and everyone else’s, right there on the “To” line, waiting for someone else to add them all to their mailing list.

  9. Travis,

    This is not an article. it is a letter to the editor. Are you saying that the Mercury should not print any letters from the public due to the fact they had already printed two articles on the subject and wouldn’t want to look biased? Would you have said what you said if this letter to the editor had been published in the Record? I think not.

    This is a real local news site. We get better coverage, accurate, and faster news from the Mercury then any other news outlet in Hays County. Please do not chastise them for printing a letter to the editor. Letters to the editor has served this county very well, it’s called freedom of speech.

  10. I don’t know anything about Mr. Brannon or Chaplain Smith, and I agree with Mr. Hankins and the comments here. It was a mistake if Sam’s campaign used the church email list to send political propaganda, and Chaplain Smith certainly has the right to express himself and inform others about it; however, when he uses information that he only knows because Mr. Brannon was a member of his church and took the chaplain into his confidence, I think it is inappropriate to refer to what the chaplain chooses “…not to tell you what I know about Sam” and even infer that there are confidential issues.

  11. Dear Lamar,

    I agree with your comments made that it is despicable to call out someone for not saluting the flag. I fully respect, and served for 31 years in the military to defend, every person’s rights, including the right to not salute the flag. I fully respect the Jehovah Witness belief system which calls for the followers of that Faith system to not salute the flag. My point about SB not saluting the flag (which takes more space to explain than there is room to print) is that I know him to be very disingenuous in his non-salute attention-seeking gesture. He laughs at the entire situation which is disrespectfull to those who salute the flag and to those equally entitled and good people who do not salute the flag (like Jehovah Witness Faith group). I respect people who are true to their beliefs and I will defend to the end of my life the right of folks to not salute the flag if that is their conviction. It really does not matter to me if SB salutes or not but I do not respect his laughing ways of knowing he is tricking the public into believing he is someone that he is not. He is telling people he will win based on low voter turn-out. Not if I can help it. Our county is better than SB. How can I trust a person to run county finances if he is a liar and a disengenuous person? Thank you.

  12. Dear Watson,

    Thank you for your response. Very thought provoking. I do want to clarify one comment you wrote “Watson May 5, 2012 – 6:22 am
    “Pastor” Gary Smith has a history of writing viscous letters and emails about those in our community he hates.

    I do not hate anyone. I do not hate Police Chief Williams. I do hate Abuse of Authority and Abuse of Power, which I am sure you do also hate. Chief Williams sets a tone of Police Abuse and Police Bullying…even the local, national, and international news and media highlighted that fact about two years ago. Europeans saw on their televisions the stories about the little city in Texas — San Marcos — that has a Police Chief that defends police bullying (dog story, among others, remember?) I heard a GERMAN foreign exchange student in our high school, who had witnessed first hand the bullying tactics of one bad police officer, say, “WE don’t even allow that kind of bullying in our country of Germany and everyone knows history well enough to know that we can never again tolerate bullying by authorities.”

    I do not hate Chief Williams. I just hate bullies who lie and cover up things in order to manipulate others for the good of the bully. Bullies tend to be people who tell the truth…they lie in order to get their way and to push others (often helpless others) around in life.

    SB is just another charming, appealing to the eye, articulate bully. He wants his way. He told me once “Reverend, I understand your gig.” That sums it up. He thinks everyone looks at life the way he does…that we are all “doing a gig” in order to get something from others. He IS doing a political gig. My calling, my job, my profession, is not a “gig”.

    Part of what I do in life is called Social Consciousness. I have always seen the role of the pastor, as do many other pastors, as being one to give voice to the voiceless. To protect as best I can the powerless and the vulnerable in life from the bullies in the jungle.

    We have many, many good police officers that do their jobs daily and do it well in San Marcos in spite of working for a bully. I commend them for their courage and loyalty to their profession. Thank God for them.

    I just wish Chief Williams would go do some training in management in another profession in another city where he can not bully and even destroy the lives of others, as he does here in San Marcos. Thank you for bringing up the Chief Williams subject. I still run into people around the country who ask me where I live and I tell them San Marcos, Texas. And they immediately go something like “Oh, that is the city with that bullying police chief. The one where the officer allowed the dog to die while the dogs owners pleaded with the officer to follow them to the vet and THEN write the speeding ticket.” CNN made sure that story labeled San Marcos forever as the city with the bullying police chief.

    SB is a bully. He laughs about it in private. He destoyed one good civic club that several of us enjoyed immenseley wiht his nonsense. Now he wants to be paid for bringing destructive leadership to Hays County.

    Why would we want to be led by a bully who use charm to lead us all over a cliff? Thanks for writing.

  13. Correction…this paragraph should read — I do not hate Chief Williams. I just hate bullies who lie and cover up things in order to manipulate others for the good of the bully. Bullies tend to be people who (DO NOT) tell the truth…they lie in order to get their way and to push others (often helpless others) around in life.

  14. Pastor Smith, I admire you for standing up to Chief Williams, there are many more lives affected by him than any of us will ever know. A friend of mine was raped in her own home almost 3 years ago, and the DNA test results were either refused to her or lost..she’s still waiting for justice even though the sketch of her attacker was positively identified by some teachers at the high school. All she ever got was the run around and accusations that perhaps she knew her attacker and was falsely accusing him. Yes she was victimized over and over again by our police department.

    Almost a year to the date of her attack, the attacker returned to her home and banged on the door demanding to be let in until the cops showed up. I talked to former Mayor Narvis about this particular case and begged her to help my friend because she was still in danger ~ she shrugged me off and huffed and puffed like I was annoying her and said she would do what she could.

    I wonder how many more silent victims there are in San Marcos, it makes me sick to think about it.

    Sam seems like a genuine guy to me though, I met him when he first came to town and have a friendship with him. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions though, I’ve written letters to the editor with my opinions many times and I’m positive for every person who agreed with me there were as many who found it distasteful and were even angered by it. I am proud to live in a country where we have freedom of speech.

  15. Who said anything about “loving your enemies?” By God, I hate bullies and they need to be bullied, because the won’t change! Love the sinner, hate the sin? I always found that hate hurts the hater more than the hated.

  16. In regard to your letter about Sam, I think it reveals more about you than Sam Brannon. As a man of God you should have been taught we are not to judge men because God takes care of that. By attending commissioners court for two years Sam has discovered the belly of the debt beast which Will Conley has partly enabled for 8 years. Hays County deserves better than this. Our children and grandchildren deserve better than this. Do you realize how hurtful this could be to a fellow human being? To me this is pretty outrageous behavior for someone who has been through religious training. We should never delight in the separation of a church goer and his place of worship. God will have the last word.

  17. Dear Justin,

    I appreciate the tone and the sincerity of your response. Like you, I am concerned about the future of this county for the sake of my kids and grandkids.

    I also attended Commissioner’s Court to fight the pay increase they were considering giving themselves two years ago, I trusted SB and thought he was a nice guy, I sent out emails to hundreds of people to warn them that the Commissioner’s Court was about to vote to give themselves a pay raise in these dire economic times (I get calls daily from people in great need of assistance due to bankruptcy, loss of job, no food, homeless, etc), and SB and I lined up to fight the proposed Court pay raise.

    SB and I won and others “won.” The Commissioner’s Court, to their credit and prudent wisdom, did not even let the pay raise issue come to the discussion stage prior to a vote…they just dropped the entire issue off the docket by a 5-0 vote…they sqaushed their own pay raise. I too, like you and many others, thought SB was good and decent.

    None of this has to do with church, by the way. I know SB as a person in other places…civic activities and clubs and through this Court Pay Raise issue.

    What sent up the red flag for me about SB was when I discovered that he was, after a miserbly failed attempt to run for US Congress (only evidence I ever saw of that campaign was a Business Card which I could have printed up myself and tell potential donors “Hey, I am running for Congress. Here is my business card to prove it.”) seeking aggressively a paid consultant position to have the county Commissioner’s Court pay him a healthy amount to sit around and THINK about the county budget.

    SB was after a job for the county. He told me that. I even wrote him a recommendation letter for that, which I later retracted. I, like many others, bought the line of “I am here for you.”

    He is not here for me or for you or for others. He is seeking easy money from the county. He got very, very, very angry when he did not get the paid consulting job that he was seeking secretly all along. He was attacking the county for being in debt while all along was positioning himself to get a high paid consulting job from the county…he wanted paid to think and to do nothing else except THINK. Many others wish for such a “job.”

    When the new county judge refused to give SB the job he wanted from the county, THEN the real SB began to emerge. Weekly tirades and long speeches at the court, aimed at the very court that refused to hire him.

    SB is not here for me or for you or for others. He is here to rob us, smile while doing so, get easy money from my tax dollars, and have folks adore him for thinking he is “saving us”.

    I am really sorry to be so blunt. I really am. But SB is not who the public thinks he is. I have nothing at stake in this Court election privately but my tax dollars, and like you said the future of my kids and grandkids are at stake. I just do not think that a man whom I know to have very devious intentions can be trusted with public money…my money and my kids and grandkids money.

    Yes, preachers are allowed to have opinions. Thank you and others for reading my opinion on this SB matter.

  18. J Horton,

    I praise the Mercury for the depth of their reporting, however, I just call it like I see it in regard to the money trail. I’m just saying it would be nice to see investigative reports, letters or whatever, giving information on ALL of the candidates. But that’s why there’s this thing called the internet after all.

  19. I wasn’t planning to vote for Will Conley, because I’m still mad that his daddy-in-law ran for mayor all those years ago on the pretext of stopping the city from annexing Willow Creek, and only pushed far enough to have HIS property free from annexation, leaving the majority of us paying thousands more in taxes, with few city services in return to this date. So I can’t see that Sam Brannon is any worse/different than Habingreither……

  20. Travis,

    What money trail are you eluding to? It sounds like you are saying that the Mercury is receiving money to run or not run journalistic political stories.

    Do you know something that none of us do?

  21. Wow. I am not a citizen of Hays County, I am not a christian, or affiliated with any organized religion of any denomination.
    Iam not writing to bash SB, though I do have an opinion, through first hand exposure to his questionable ethics. Neither am I here to bash the Reverend Smith. I have read with much interest, because 30 years ago I attended school in San Marcos briefly, and still have people close to me who live there. I have a vested interest in the community. For those of you not familiar with the Reverend Smith or the fine group of community minded people he pastors to, I can only suggest that you use your recources at hand to educate yourself about the work that is done by this group of people. Lives are being affected and changed daily by Reverend Smith and his flock. Disadvantaged children, victims of abuse, Hungry people are being fed, peoples needs are being met by this group and thier leader. Love on a scale grander than most of us experience on a daily level, is being heaped upon the needy people of San Marcos. It is disgraceful, in any community, in any nation, that people spew words like “hate” about a man
    who is more committed to Love on every level, that any other being I have ever known. The information is out there, educate yourself about this group. Strive to live with as much love in your heart as he does and challenge yourself to discovering the truth about the Reverend Smith and SB.
    Regardless of ones beliefs concerning “flag saluting”, As a honorably discharged Viet Nam era veteran, as an American, I urge all of us, out of respect for the blood that has been shed for that Flag, to please show respect for it. Respect in whatever form you believe. But please. Respect it. Thank You.

  22. As you can see here: , Sam Brannon seems to be a drifter who wants to be a really important guy without putting forth what it takes to earn respect. Maybe after he moves out of his dad’s government subsidized housing arrangement and gets a real job, he can take another shot. I’m personally not going to vote for a guy who doesn’t have a stake in the game.

  23. Dear Justin, Thank you for your inquiry about full disclosure as to whether or not I am selling my books at Conley Car Wash. I am glad you brought that subject up to me. For the record, the Hays/Caldwell Women’s Shelter asked me a few years ago if I would sell my books at a fundraiser for the shelter…to be held at Conley’s Car Wash. All book sales proceeds were to go to the Women’s Shelter. The Shelter asked me to donate my time and my book proceeds to the Women’s Shelter. I readily agreed to support the Women’s Shelter at the Fund Raiser to be held at Conley’s. I sat there and greeted people and sold a few books and signed them and all proceeds from the book sales went directly to the Women’s Shelter. It was an honorable endeavor for a very good cause. I do not remember meeting you there at the fundraiser supporting the Women’s Shelter, but please refresh my memory.You sound like the type of person who would be involved in helping others by donation your time and your money, as I did, to the cause of the Women’s Shelter. Over the course of five years, I have sold 5 books at Conley’s in between Women’s Shelter Fund Raising days where I sold books and gave all the money to the Women’s Shelter. The proceeds from the five books went to the publisher to cover costs of publishing the books so none of the money from those five books sold at Conley’s has gone into my pocket. I am still paying for the publication of the devotional book, by the way. Many times I set up a book sale at a fund raising event (church, Women’s Shelter, etc) and sell the books and give all the proceeds to the organization trying to raise money. The book, as we call it, is a “ministry” to try and raise funding for organizations like the Women’s Shelter and other such organizations. Since the book was printed in 2006, I have not cleared a dime on the book. The publisher has graciously offered a discount on book price when the book is sold to raise money at fund raisers like at Conley’s for the Women’s Shelter…so book proceeds cover publishing costs and some left over for the Women’s Shelter. Thank you for asking. See you at the next Women’s Shelter Fund Raiser. I will give you a book there! Thanks for your curiosity and asking for clarification. Blessings, Gary

    Justin Padgett
    May 5, 2012 – 10:01 pm
    Hey Gary,
    Are you still selling your books at Conley Car Wash?
    Just curious and think that should be mentioned in full disclosure. Have a nice day!

  24. Preacher,

    What did Mr. Brannon do to destroy the non profit you were in charge of and how did you let that happen?

    Did EVERYONE at your church get the e-mail or is it just coincidence that some of your flock received it along with many others who do not attend your church?

    Did you discuss this letter with Judge Cobb or Will Conley before it was published?

    Your letter simply sounds like sour grapes to me. You make claims then hide behind your “ethical obligations” to avoid supporting those claims.

  25. Dear Ms. or Mr. Values,

    Thank you for your letter and very good questions. Those are the kinds of questions that I would ask had I read my letter also. I have one question and then I will answer your questions as they are fair questions.

    Question — speaking of hiding behind something, Who are you. Values is a nice name to hide behind. I do understand the need for privacy on matters at times but it is interesting to me that you and others at times hide behind facade or created acronymns or code words. What is your name? I have given my name up front. Who are you. Thank you.

    Answers. Yes, I chose to allow the SB to destroy our previously nice little Tuesday morning civic group. I and other simultaneously, without discussion amongst ourselves, decided it was time in our lives to do other things early on a Tuesday morning (7 am). Prior to the arrival of SB on the scene, we members of both political parties and those who had no political preferences enjoyed an objective, non-partisan adult discussions and presentations weekly from community and city and university and business leaders. It was very nice. Then the SB brought in what seemed at first to be genuine intellectual curiosity and capabilities…then it turned toxic once he did not get the job with the county he wanted to be created just for him. Many of us just grew tired of his toxic presence. It tasted good at first but then the toxic impact soon began to enter our systems. So I now have breakfast at other places on Tuesday mornings.

    Answer — No, I did not discuss any of my editorial letter content with Judge Cobb or Will Conley. I did discuss with Will that I was considering writing an editorial piece and I warned him that if I did hit the Send button that many would get upset over a preacher getting involved in politics just because people generally don’t like a preacher having an opinion. I decided on my own to hit the Send button.

    No sour grapes. Just facts.

    Who are you? What is your name? I enjoy these conversations. Thank you for writiing. Gary Smith

  26. SB is a large part of what is wrong with America. He is a dead beat that works the system that we all pay for in order to support his lifestyle. When that dosen’t work he cons people out of their money for his differnt causes. Of course this money goes straight into his pocket. The people that support him have been had, except for the ones that are part of the con and have been promised employment with the county if he is elected. SB be a man, not a con, and leave the good people of Hays County alone.

  27. This is about the lowest level for anyone to go to. I was going to vote for Conley until the video posted about Sam not putting his hand over his heart. Now you have a Minister warning about the other candidate.

    We acknowledge that by virtue of our licensing, ordination, and call to ministry, we take on a responsibility to be trustworthy stewards of the mysteries of God (1 Corinthians 4: 1-2). This means that we view those to whom we minister as a part of a sacred trust from God. It is our responsibility to seek their well being, safeguard their interests, and protect them as we are able from danger and harm, even to the point of sacrificing our own interests. Hence, we act in the best interests of our parishioners, even when this action does not serve our needs or interests.

    We are called to be “shepherds of God’s flock” (1 Peter 5:2-4) and to uphold the biblical standards of leadership (Ezekiel 34:2) by maintaining appropriate boundaries in all ministerial relationships. Boundaries are limits. We set limits on what we do for people. We set limits on what we will allow people to do for us. The people we serve need to know we have boundaries.

    We recognize as ministers that all of us are at risk to inappropriately cross boundaries in our ministerial relationships, thereby failing to uphold God’s requirement “to do justice, and to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8). Ministry has certain characteristics that can blur the line between vocational and personal relationships, thereby increasing the potential for boundary violations.

    For ministers the consequences of misconduct may be discipline by the Board of the Ministry, the discrediting of his or her calling and office, damage to his or her reputation, violation of the sacred trust of the ministerial role, loss of livelihood, and impact on his or her family. For the congregation, the consequences may be divisiveness and discord, confusion and doubt, and a sense of violation.

    For the sake of living godly lives which bear witness to the integrity of the Gospel, let us guard what has been entrusted to our care and faithfully discharge the duties of our ministries (1 Timothy 5:20, 2 Timothy 4:5).

    In my eyes, Minister Smith, You are a hypocrite

  28. Spreading lies about someone is unjust and shouldn’t happen. Exposing someone who is trying to con good people is noble. The preacher is trying to expose a con man who is taking advantage of people. He targets espeically older citizens. This is shameful and should be exposed. Thank you Pastor Smith for telling it like it is.

  29. It’s always been my opinion that things like attorney/client privilege, priest/penitent privilege, spousal privilege, were minimum standards of conduct, the violation of which could not be mandated. It has always been my professional standard, to maintain a higher confidentiality level with my clients than was required by professional ethics codes.

    The implied, ‘it was really bad, but I can’t tell you’ is, at least to me, no different than asking Mr. Conley when he stopped beating his wife.

    Sorry skypilot, I won’t be joining your flock. Gypsy, you seem to have a better command of the word than I; well said.

    And, once again, I’m not voting in the GOP primary, so I don’t have a dog in the fight. It’s just the sleazy turn it’s taken.

  30. Dear Hays Gypsey,

    Thank you very much for your thoughtful and well articulated reminders of what a shepherd (pastor) is supposed to do for his or her sheep. You wrote: —- “This means that we view those to whom we minister as a part of a sacred trust from God. It is our responsibility to seek their well being, safeguard their interests, and protect them as we are able from danger and harm, even to the point of sacrificing our own interests. Hence, we act in the best interests of our parishioners, even when this action does not serve our needs or interests.”—–

    Yes, my decision to write the editoral about the SB wolf was a very difficult decision for me personally. But, as you pointed out in your paragraph I just quoted, “It is our responsibility to seek their well being, safeguard their interests, and PROTECT THEM AS WE ARE ABLE FROM DANGER AND HARM, EVEN TO THE POINT OF SACRIFICING OUR OWN INTERESTS.”

    I did sacrifice my own interests. My preference was to not take the risk to get involved in this debacle in the first place. But I could not, with a clear conscious, remain quiet when I know first person what a serious threat that the SB is to the people of my community. I decided, as you pointed out in your writing, to try and protect you good sheep from a very bad wolf…to protect them as I am able from danger and harm, as you said is part of our job as pastors/shepherds.

    Again, thank you very much for taking the time to write, thank you for your thoughts, thank you for your work to take care of the flock under your care, and thank you for caring enough to write. May God bless you and your ministry and I appreciate your continued prayers for me as I seek to protect the sheep as best I can by getting involved and calling a wolf a wolf to warn the sheep that we have a wolf in the area running for office. Gary

  31. Dear Mr. Winchester,

    Thank you for your well worded comments about professional confidentiality. This is a topic that has been near and dear to my heart since first entering the field of ministry 28 years ago today.

    You write: “It’s always been my opinion that things like attorney/client privilege, priest/penitent privilege, spousal privilege, were minimum standards of conduct, the violation of which could not be mandated. It has always been my professional standard, to maintain a higher confidentiality level with my clients than was required by professional ethics codes.”

    I agree with your paragraph here and always have ever since being the military chaplain assigned to the B-52 bomber flying squadrons at Carswell Air Force Base in Fort Worth, Texas (1983-1989). Pilots were responsibile for flying planes loaded with nuclear bombs. Theoretical question for me always was…What do I do If a pilot comes to me with confidential information and tells me he is mentally unstable and is concerned about his ability to fly the bomber with bomb on board (or even train in a bomber with no bomb on board)? Do I break chaplain confidentiality and go TELL the commander which will mean several things 1) no pilot will ever again trust me as their chaplain 2) I might save lives by turning in the unstable pilot but I will never again be able to have any confidential credibility with the pilots and crewmembers still flying.3) the pilot will lose his career if I turn him in with information I gleaned from a privileged communication talk with him.

    What if I choose to NOT tell the commander and by not telling I keep the information to myself? What if the unstable pilot then crashes and kills a whole bunch of people and I know I could have prevented it had I broken confidentiality and turned over the information I got in the chaplain/pilot privileged communication setting?

    Well, it soon went from theoretical to practical in my chaplain assignment. I DID have a B-52 pilot come to me in confidence, telling me of his crumbling marriage and of his current fragile mental state. He told me he was afraid he was concerned about whether or not he was in the proper state of mind to command the bomber and that he did not want to kill a bunch of innocent civilians on the ground in Fort Worth.

    You know what I told him? I said, “Well, you need to be out of the cockpit for now. I know you are asking me for help. So let’s go over together to see your commander and YOU tell him what you told me. I will NOT say a word. You tell him you need a desk job for a few months. Tell him you will see me for counseling every week. Tell him that I said I will refer you to a better suited mental health expert if I see that you need one with training beyond mine. Tell him you are willing to work on this but you need six months on the ground.”

    He agreed. That is what he wanted. Help. He went and asked to be grounded to give him time to work out his divorce. He told the commander that I had offered to help when needed. He volunteered to ground himself, thus saving his career as a pilot. He sought counseling. One year later, after he regained his equalibrium in life, he went back into the cockpit to fly after he and I and his commander all agreed that he was ready.

    Point I am making? Point being that I would NOT have gotten involved in this current political issue had the SB come clean and admitted to the public that he has an integrity problem, that he has other serious problems in life, and that he needs help. He should not be “flying the plane right now” (ie, not be working in county leadership positions during this time in his life when he needs to be working on his personal issues…)But he has admitted none of those so I decided to assist him in pushing him toward coming clean with the public and to not endanger the public with his personal issues in life.

    Hope this makes sense. SB needs to be “grounded” and seek personal help from professionals. I know that. I am trying to, within the law, inform others of the danger here. This is not about politics. This is about people and safety.

  32. Preaching from the pulpit, always a bad idea. I am reminded of the movie Elizabeth when Sir Francis Walsingham confronts the murderous priest,”Tell me, what is God to you? Has he abandoned you? Is he such a worldly god that he must play at politics in the filth of conspiracy? Is he not divine? Tell me the truth, as if you were face to face with him now.”.
    That about sums up this smear campaign story.

    Sam, I wish you the best of luck!

  33. Dear Values,

    Thank you for asking the question again. I will give you the answer again.

    When one’s background and history and origins are completely secret and there is no evidence of any facts in any conversation or email from SB, then the entire communique is false. I recommended SB one time for a substitute teaching job. Next thing I know he is writing on his resume “consultant to the school district.” Surely you can see that we are talking about an individual who is a pathological embellisher by nature. I know the man, I have no interest in smear campaign. I am just expressing my opinion of one man based on a knowledge of that SB guy through my experiences and joint endeavors with him over the past years. Not a guy to be trusted as he is not capable of telling the truth. He is the intellect. That is what is sad to me. He has the intellect but he has chosen to misuse it to deceive people. Go try and find out background information on him. Find out his job history. Find the name of the corporations he claims to have been very successful in. Go find the lewd internet photos of him that at one time were posted that he is now trying frantically to erase off the internet. Even try to actually find where he actually lives this week. We, you and I, deserve to have better county leaders than some pathological embellisher who has a masters degree in CA (Con Artistry). I wish him well. He keeps coming over to my house and wants to “talk it out” after I have made it clear to him that he is not welcome on my property. Others have threatened to get restraining orders against him for forcing himself on thier property in his attempts to place signs around the county. Signs, that by the way if you notice, he can use again and again in any county in Texas in future elections. Generic signs. This is a huge con game and I am very, very sorry if you and a few others can not see the game SB is playing…at your expense. Think about it, ponder it, get a good night’s rest, and revisit this again tomorrow. Let it sink in. SB is playing a few folks well. He knows it. Thank you for taking the time to write again.

  34. Wow Gary,

    Since when did this fixation on Sam Brannon began. It sounds like a trans placed association of some sort. You have taken a factoid, that Sam embellished on his work history (still to be proven), and extrapolated a mountain range. You should stop while you can and look in the mirror. When you point a finger at someone, there are three fingers pointing back. Your description of Sam’s transgressions are borderline hysteria.
    Some of your fine examples: pathological embellisher by nature, Not a guy to be trusted as he is not capable of telling the truth, He has the intellect but he has chosen to misuse it to deceive people, Go find the lewd internet photos of him, pathological embellisher who has a masters degree in CA (Con Artistry), Others have threatened to get restraining orders against him for forcing himself on thier property, Signs, that by the way if you notice, he can use again and again in any county in Texas in future elections. Generic signs.
    Wow, seek some help my friend, the same advice that you wish for Sam.
    Heal the anger and condemnation that isn’t part of the divine. This isn’t what should be preached. Doesn’t the good book tell us not to judge, lest thou wilt be judged?

  35. Ps.

    Almost forgot,

    Take the log out of you own eye, before you take the speck out of your brothers….

  36. Dear Scarlett,

    Thank you for listing again and saying the same things that I and others have been saying.

    Like you and the other normal people, I have many other things occupying my days and time right now in life. To write these facts about SB only takes about 5 minutes of the 1440 minutes in a day as the facts about SB are so evident to me and to many others. This is not really a fixation…it is just a quick recording of the facts.

    Have a good day! I wish the best for SB as I do for every person. Life is short. Life is a gift. Life is precious. I just hope SB finds a suitable and viable way for himself to make a living in an honorable and dignified way other than be misfit into a position of leadership where his current life issues become costly to other people in this county.

    It is still very interesting to me as a person how bothered people get at a preacher having an opinion. I recall the story of Jesus overturning the tables in the temple when he got so upset with the moneychangers in the temple. It was rare for him to get that upset but that story does remind us that there are times when it is probably noble and even right for one to get upset when someone else is doing something so horribly wrong. I, like you I am sure, do things wrong daily…but I, like you I am sure, at least try to minimize the hurting of others through my actions and words. SB needs to be caught for his own good. He is a person with much potential, like each of us. Hopefully you and others will help him by encouraging him to go run in another county or country. He would like to return to Europe someday…

    Thank you. What is your name again? Gary

  37. Dear SB supporters and Will Conley supporters,

    I am so enjoying this continuous dialogue with you on this serious matter.

    I look forward to seeing you and meeting you at tonight’s League of Women’s Voters debate at 7 pm at the San Marcos Activity Center.

    This healthy debate process is good for the community.

    See you tonight. Tonight will be interesting. I look forward to meeting you in person and to putting faces to your many thoughtful emails tonight.

    Gary Smith
    An actual person

  38. Preacher,

    I will ask the question a third time. What are the lies you refer to that were supposedly in the e-mail?

  39. Unfortunately unless Commissioner Conley changes his mind and attends there will be no debate.

    And never assume a gender.

  40. Values, Ask SB which of his embellishments were in which of his emails. I look forward to meeting you in person tonight.

    Winchester, Never assume that I am assuming a gender.

    It is interesting to me that so many SB supporters refuse to give real names in these exchanges. I can assume that you are similar in nature to the SB in that you apparently have reasons for the secrecy and great effort to hide. I hope that you and other supporters are better than that but for now I can see no reason to hide one’s opinion unless you have stuff to hide yourself or unless you are embarrassed about the person you support.

    In one way these internet debates (exchanges) are similar to the ancient form of public debates and town hall exchanges. Good for all as individual men and women stood up, faced the crowd, gave their names, and stated their opinions publicly for all to see, hear, boo, cheer, or clap about. Healthy community exchange. But in another way these internet exchanges seem to be most fantasy and illusional in that very few real people exchange real thoughts and reveal real names.

    My name is out there and up front on this editorial and on these email blog exchanges. What are some of your real names? Sounds like the SB is really writing all of these blogs. Fantasy land exchanges. I guess I miss the old fashioned way when women spoke and men spoke and were proud of thier opinions and of the people they backed for public offices.

    Who are you! See you tonight! Gary Smith

  41. 5/6/12 5:56 PM “Dear Mr. Winchester” as nothing in any of my posts has indicated a gender, you assumed.

    I won’t bother to rehash the handle vs “real name” issue. As long as the owner of the board doesn’t mind, it’s a moot point any way.

    As I posted several times, in this thread and others, I’m not voting in the GOP primary, hence, I’m not an SB supporter.

    Sorry, would love to meet you, but family matters require my attention this evening; while I like political debate, my family always comes first.

  42. This message resopnds to Cameron’s message of 5/5/12. I’ll try to be brief but clarification on this comminication is needed. “Cameron” is either ill informed or a liar — I’d suppose the latter. Let me explain. When I ran for Mayor in 2002, I clearly stated that I would not put disannexation of the south San Marcos area on the agenda if I won the election but would act on the matter if it became an agenda item. Narviaz and Thomaides put it on the agenda because they knew I would stand by my word. We (the council) and I independently had legal opnions from different attorney’s INCLUDING an opinion from TML Legal Staff that I was fully and legally able to vote on the disannexation as Mayor even though I lived in the annexed area because my voting did not have a different impact on the single piece of property I owned that was different than that of any other resident. My political adversaries wanted to put me in an uncomfortable position and made disannexation an issue. The first reading was a set-up. A council member was coerced into not coming to the meeting and voting. His absence created a situation where 3 votes were in favor (Narvaiz/Thomaides/Mihalkanin) 1 abstension (Dias) and that left me and Taylor. Montoya was curiously ABSENT. Taylor and I voted in favor of disannexation which allowed the vote to go to a second reading. If Taylor and I hadn’t voted, it would have died and not gone to a second reading. Bang – they had what they wanted. Either me out as Mayor (residency requirement) or filing ethics charges which a local resident did. Of course, I saw this coming and bought a condo in Springtown which is where I actually was living. So all that could be done was ethics charges which we were told by attorneys wouldn’t stand. Now what the council did was break up the annexed area. Bill Taylor and I both voted to act on the area as a whole — but we were out voted as planned. He and I were the only ones who tried to keep the entire area as a unit and we were simply out voted. By the way, if the service plan was fair, I’d have just bought off on the annexation and probably never been Mayor, but it was a sham, so I decided to take it on.
    So Cameron, you’re a liar and possibly an idiot. Come out of your closet and face me with facts any time. You have no leg to stand on this time. To the readers, what you see above is fact. This is the kind of deciet that exists in politics which is why so many good people avoid it. Come on Cameron, face me. Robert Habingreither, Former Mayor 2002-04, San Marcos, TX

  43. Gary,

    You really are changing the subject, which is the harsh criticism of Sam Brannon in your letter to the anonymity of posters here in this forum.

    I’m with you, Winchester, the we’ve thoroughly explored the subject of handles. Gary, I suggest that you read some of the older posts for the discussion.

    Gary, you are making the claim that you have integrity for giving your real name, but in fact you have been exposed as a muck raking preacher that has lost his way. A spiritual leader, as you have made reference in your signed letter, is supposed to be above this kind of behavior when dealing with the public. You have taken on the color of the cloth, but have sullied it with your actions. To use the position of the spiritual leader in this way is very distasteful. You have even less integrity than those which you are accusing of no integrity.

  44. Gary,

    Justin asked you a fair question about sales of the book you wrote. Is it still being sold at Conley Car Wash? (Quote: “The book can be purchased for $17.99 at Hastings, Conley Car Wash, or can be ordered online from High Point Publishing Company, and Amazon.” from the article
    You only have two local outlets for your book. Will Conley’s car wash is one of them, which makes defense of your slanderous comments and gossip even more indefensible.
    Your foolishness (and clearly unscriptural conduct, according to Matt. 18) makes me wonder if some hungry attorney is talking to Sam Brannon right now about the potential for a lawsuit, for which you would have the burden of proof. Are you certain your elder board is in favor of your clearly unbiblical action? You may actually end up involving your church in a lawsuit as well. Please don’t respond to this, since every email you respond to, you manage to dig your hole even deeper by further justifying your own unacceptable behavior.

  45. Preacher,

    You made the claim they were lies. Now answer the simple question. What are the lies you refer to?

  46. Lori,

    Out of courtesy, I will answer Justin’s question again. I answered it once but I can see that some missed the answer as to whether or not my books are still for sale at Conley’s Car Wash.

    No, my books are not being sold any longer at Conley’s. As I said in earlier email answer, five books (or s0) were sold in a four or five year span at Conley’s. There was a fun car story in the book and some of us thought it would be fun to have folks read the car story while having their car washed. If the book were still being sold at Conley’s, I would gladly tell you it was and encourage you to go read the fun car story in it.

    Hastings may still have a copy of my book somewhere on thier shelves. I do not even know. I have not checked with them since 2009 or so. Two copies of my book went onto their shelves on 2006 after being published. still carries the book or it did the last time I looked it up last year. As you can tell from this email, or should be able to tell from this email, that small devotional type book is not a best seller, or even a seller. As most “authors” need to do, we need to keep our day jobs as they say.

    So, to answer it again out of courtesy…Conley does not carry the book now, Hastings probably has an unsold copy on its shelf from years ago, and still has copies as far as I know.

    Interesting to me how the SB thing has ended up being a discussion about a very small devotional book that I had published in 2006 and few in the world paid any attention to it and now suddenly it gets more attention in a SB discussion than ever before.

    That is the way SB works…always deflecting the focus from his secret background and ways to shine the light on irrelevant subject matters like this book discussion. At least I am honest on the matter.

    Thanks for asking. I hope this answers your fair book questions. Gary

  47. Dear all,

    Let me list some background about SB to put things in simple perspective:

    I try to help people. That is my job. I first met SB at a Tuesday morning civic club about 18 months or so ago. I bought his breakfast soon after he started attending. I do that for people. Try to help them. Try to be hospitable to them. He was running for Congress and said he did not have a job. I bought his breakfast again. He thanked me.

    I introduced SM around town a bit. I endorsed him as a person and as a candidate. He was impressive. Articulate. Charming even.

    I introduced him to candidates in the county elections, thinking it would help all involved to meet SB and for him to meet them so that good minds could synergize for the good of the county and community. I was trying to help SB find a place in the community. That is what I do in life. Try to help and connect people.

    I even wrote a letter as a citizen FOR SB in support of his wanting to land a job on the county commissioners paid staff. After the Commissioners court would not create a new, paid “consulting job” for SB that HE wanted them to create for him, he turned vicious toward newly elected Judge and the entire commissioner’s court. SB was voicing publicly that the judge and the court should curtail all spending and yet was jockying privately for a well paid consulting position with the county. SB’s motives were revealing themselves to me in rather surprising ways.

    I wrote a job recommendation for SB to the school district, recommending SB for a substitute teaching job in the district. I was trying to help him out. He is a sub in our schools. He CLAIMS now to be a “consultant to the school district” which is not exactly the truth. Not by a long shot. Administration does not know of him. I was trying to help SB. That is what I do in life. Try to help people and connect them with others who may offer jobs and assistance in life. I was trying to help SB as I still saw him as being a good person who simply was out of work.

    His presence in the Tuesday mornning club eventually ran off a good number of regulars in the little non-profit club. His presence was becoming toxic the more he attacked the local commissioners court…the court that would not create new position for him that he thought he deserved.

    He asks friends of mine to borrow money. I was really beginning to regret that I had introduced him to my friends and had even endorsed him to my circle of friends who trusted my endorsement. I even had a call from another state as a concerned parent of a young person asked me “about this Sam guy”. This SB guy was turning into a nightmare for many of us in town.

    I fought side by side with him, because I trusted him at the time, against the commissioners court and thier proposed pay raise. SB and I and other citizens won as the court decided against giving themselves a pay raise.

    But after he did not get the coveted new consultant position that he wanted the court to create for him, he became even more toxic and vicious against the court and its members.

    Then I started hearing horror stories of his private life from people who trusted ME when I introduced SB to them with my endorsement of “Here is SB. He is new in town. I thought you would enjoy meeting him.”

    Point being to all of you who really think I am just being judgemental against a political candidate…I know SB’s ways and I know very little about his growingly suspicious background and ways. Friends of mine. long before this election and long before SB was a candidate, have confided in me with horror stories about how SB is in private and these people trusted him at first due to my endorsement of and my interest in “helping” SB fit into a new community.

    I feel horrible now. I was wrong about SB. He misled me and abused the hospitality and welcomeness and the support I gave him in trying to help him find work and meet new people. Now I know he was looking all the time for ways to get the county to create a well paid consultant job for him.

    I am very, very sorry for my part in connecting SB to my friends and others who trusted me in this town and county. Very sorry. I feel responsible in part for this very sad part of Hays county politics.

    Now he is scripting out the role of the “victim” of being attacked by me as he smiles and tells folks some half truths about his history and mine as they connect.

    Please accept my apologies. I was just trying to help out SB.

  48. Oh Gary,

    You are not just trying to help out ole poor Sam Brannon. You and your backhanded help can lie to your self, but the majority here don’t really buy your snake oil. You coat your insults in a guise of trying to help. You are in denial and are the problem of politics in America today. You are just trying to win an argument at any cost here. blah…blah…blah!!!!!!

  49. Dearest Scarlett Pumpernel,

    Thank you for your opinion. The wonderful thing about America is that we are allowed to have and voice our various opinions freely and so openly for all to read and hear. I am glad to hear your opinion and I thank you for reading my opinion.

    I hope you have a good day. I enjoy our ongoing conversation.

  50. Mr. Smith, I will admit that I don’t know SB; have never met him. But, the run away spending, and run away borrowing is an issue that needs to be addressed.

    Perhaps SB is a jerk and/or con man; I don’t know. But even if he is, he might also be the grain of sand needed to form a pearl. The spending habits of the Court, both Dems & GOP members, must change.

    On a personal level, at some point in our lives, all of us have been taken advantage of.

  51. Preacher,

    You still have not answered the question. What are the lies you claim are in the e-mail. This is the fifth time I have asked you this question. Your credibility is now clearly in question.

  52. Preacher,

    You still have not answered the question. What are the lies you claim are in the e-mail. This is the fifth time I have asked you this question. Your credibility is now clearly in question.

  53. Gary,
    I would like to apologize for writing an unkind email to you. Sorry, and I ask your forgiveness.

  54. Dear Values,

    Clinically as a counselor, I know that a pathological liar rarely, if ever, tells the truth. So once you know you are dealing with person who pathologically can not tell the truth, then you know that what he says can not be taken as the truth. SB does not have the ability to tell the truth.
    So I have hesitated to list what lies in his email and public speeches and fund raising speeches that I was referring to because I know – now — that everything he says is either a half lie or an entire lie. Not telling the truth is his entire being and nature, for whatever reason. I know him and I know his ways. For example, again, an important but small part-time job that I helped him get by my recommendation letter to the school system – a substituting position at school — is enlarged immensely and dramatically turned magically by SB into a “consultant for the San Marcos School Superintendent” title on SB’s resume. Truth – SB is no consultant for the School District and the Administration office has no knowledge of who SB is. Yes, that is a small example of grandiose embellishment but, done daily and repeatedly as they are by SB, such non-truths begin to define a person as not being capable of telling the truth.
    Having said that, here are some of the lies (red flagged) in SB’s emails, speeches, debates, and fund raising campaigns of SB’s, followed by corrections to SB’s embellishments:
    1. Untruth — SB said that the county pays principal and interest on its debt from general reserves.
    Truth — The county does not pay principal and interest on its debt from general reserves. Flat out lie according to County Auditor and independent audits of the county.
    2. Untruth — SB says our county debt level is one of the highest in the state.
    Truth — The bond report that SB references when the quote is made about concern of debt levels the reviewer is referencing the school districts and the City of San Marcos, NOT Hays County government.
    3. Untruth – SB says that Will Conley voted to raise our county taxes.
    Truth — Will has never voted to raise taxes.
    4. Untruth – SB says that the county and Will are lying about the general reserves and that it is not a general reserve but rather a leverage pool to use as collateral on debt.
    Truth — The county reserve is there as a safety net if something were to happen like what recently happened in Bastrop or if our national economy were to tank. These savings ensure the county can continue to perform without taking more dollars from the citizens.
    5. Truth — If you were at the debates last night you may have noticed large checks from the State of Texas made out to Hays County. These checks are a result of the $133 million reimbursement agreement Will Conley negotiated on our behalf. Nice to have a commissioner (s) on the court that can bring millions of dollars quarterly to our county from the State to reimburse our debt on improving the state highway system.
    Thank you.

  55. Thank you, Lori. Your apology is very meaningful to me. I apologize if I wrote and implied anything that provoked your unkind email and words to me.
    I hope you have a good day.

  56. Winchester,

    I agree that runaway spending at city, school, county, state, and federal levels all need to be addresses.

    Yes, we have all at some time been taken advantage of in life. Thank you for saying that as I feel very badly about this entire situation. One never likes getting played this way.

    People, including me, poke fun at my profession. Often we deserve it. And I tend to have fun poking fun at politicians. Jay Leno (forgive me…) says that “politicians are just ugly entertainers.” I think that there are some genuine politicians who do really care and who do have integrity and then I think there are plenty of very good con artists who would like to be or who are politicians. Again, forgive my humor in the midst of this serious discussion but that is my way of agreeing with you that both parties — Dems and Republicans – need to be held accountable. I vote for the person and not for the party. Always have because I look to vote for character and integrity over party or allegiance. I would rather bet on character and integrity (obviously as I perceive it or can detect it) than I would on blind allegiance to a party or ideal of a party.
    Thank you.

  57. Sir, if you maintain a sense of humor, all will be revealed in time. I heartily endorse voting for the person over the party. I can’t say that there is a party that has appeared on a Texas ballot since I could vote, that has not run a candidate I voted for; but will admit, some times I was voting against the other choice.

  58. I don’t know Brannon from Adam but I can’t get past the allegation that he is a substitute teacher at the High School but refers to himself as an “educational consultant”.

    I have a very difficult time swallowing the concept of voting for someone who can’t even be honest as to his current occupation. There are liars and then there are bull*****ers and I won’t support either with my vote.

    I will have to do some more reading on the topic, but if this is true he’s someone I won’t vote for no matter how many flowery speeches he gives about “conservative standards” and “controlling government” (both concepts I do support).

  59. I am not very familiar with local politics or either candidate who is running for County Commissioner. I have, however, been reading through the Mercury lately and can’t help but notice the attention that has been given to this race. I have taken note of an advertisement on the main page of this website for Conley Carwash. ‘Just curious: is that carwash somehow connected to the Will Conley who is running for Commissioner? While I am not very familiar with local politics, I am familiar with small city politics in Texas, so I have a question for Gary Smith: do any current members of the Hays County Commissioner’s Court attend your church?

  60. Therein Dano is the conflict. On one hand, there is Mr. Brannon who it appears may be honesty challenged. On the other, there is Mr. Conley who it appears is fiscally challenged. Makes the voter’s decision difficult.

  61. Mr.Smith,

    I must say, knowing nothing about this man other than what you have written I can confidently say I am going to research Sam Brannon and his opinions in hopes of voting for him. Your letter was disrespectful and malicious. It saddens me you are a leader of a church. Any church-going individual knows the importance of forgiveness. It is people like you who guide others to hate and judge. People put their faith in you to teach them God’s will, yet it is obvious you do not know it.

  62. Here here! Yes Corina, my thought exactly. How to fight this kind of hate/fear mongering without turning into them is really the question.
    I really detest this kind of behavior from the head of a church.

  63. Dear Casual Observer,

    If you are familiar with Texas small town politics, this is just business as usual. The San Marcos Mercury covers pretty much all local politics. In this election we also have a heated race for Sheriff that has been covered on this site as well.

    As a matter a fact, I guess you missed one of the stories on the front page about Ron Paul.

  64. Mr. Smith,

    Are you referring to the “Lewd internet photos” of Sam in a loin cloth? Is that your interpretation of lewd?

    How did Sam have access to the churches’ email list?

    naked truth

  65. Dear Naked Truth,

    I find your alias interesting!

    You, and everyone else, can find the travel log written by SB by accessing it on the internet through the Mercury. I am not a prude but the poetry and nude photos of SB reflects a pervent mentality and not the sort of person that you would want running your county, city, or any government at any level. Just saying the Naked Truth. The loin photo is not lewd. It is mild. Look at them for yourself, if you have not already.

    I, like many others, was enamored with his charm and seemingly intellect at first. I am embarrassed to say that I was so wrong for my initial impression of him. He is articulate and impressive at first. Women, and some men, speak of his physical appeal and charm.

    SB was entrusted with the church email list when he was a member of the church. He broke that trust. No one else broke that trust except him in this matter. Church is similar to schools and other civil and civic organizations in that everyone is welcome but one can not function as an unrestricted predator toward the group assembled. He, as a predator, chose to literally frighten physically and mentally the trusting members of the group who invited the SB in, welcomed him, fed him, trusted him, introduced him around to others, helped him get a part time subbing job, and opened themselves up to his thoughts and presence. SB abused the group and literally frightened several that welcomed him with open arms. He preyed upon group members rather than prayed with them. It really does not matter to me if you and others believe that is true or not…I am just telling you how SB abused and functioned as a predator once he got within the group which so easily welcomed him initially, like any good church group would do. It became apparent that he came to use, abuse, bully, dominate, and frighten. That is the naked truth.

    He is no longer a member of the church.

    What is your real name, Naked Truth?

  66. Dear Scarlett,

    Do you recall the story of when Jesus got so upset at the wrong ways of the temple moneychangers that he FLIPPED the tables over and yelled at the moneychangers and called them names? The lesson is this…there are times and places when it is okay to make a stance against some very bad actions of others. I do not hate SB or anyone else. I just don’t want a fraud to be in charge of my and your tax dollars nor do I want a con artist to be entrusted with decisions that impact everyone in the county and that these decisions are way over the capabilities of a dysfunctional pathological liar. It is not fair to SB to vote him into a position that 1) he is not qualified for and obviously will not be able to handle 2) puts all of our county in great jeporady by voting a known predator into office to lead us into the future.

    I do not hate SB or anyone else. Just trying to prevent the wolf from getting into the hen house or sheep barn. Seems logical to me. The wolf can live but he has to go back to the woods as he is not allowed to live in the hen house or sheep barn and feed unrestrictedly on the hens and sheep.

    Thank you. What is your real name?

  67. Dear Casual Observer,

    What is your real name? Tell me your real name and then I will know you are serious about this matter and then I will answer your questions.

    Leaders of both the county Democratic Party and leaders of the Republican Party attend my church, they are friends and have civil and in depth discussions about all things in life. Kind of fun to watch and listen to when folks of all persuasions and beliefs have mutual respect for the integrity and honesty of the others.

    I will tell you that Will Conley does not attend my church. I will tell you that SB did and that he was welcomed with open arms and within months after his initial visits he became a predator that left some older members of the congregation and other younger ones in a state of shock and disbelief at his frightening statements of what he is willing to do if the government is not willing to listen to his ideas. Then he started hitting up members for loans. Not small loans. Large loans. And he stated he was entitled to such loans. Entitled to these loans, I said.

    Do you not think it was a mess having a sheep turn into a wolf and start chasing the sheep for money, loyalty to very frightening, extremist idealogies and have total disregard for even the most basic of civil behavior? We are a mini-church of just “normal people” trying to make a living, paying taxes, worshipping and trying to do some level of good for others, trying to raise our kids around decent role models, and hoping that our meager efforts can be of some socially redeeming value to this community. SB came in, was accepted, and became a terrorist within. That is the truth, whether you believe it or not. I had nothing against SB…I was the one trying to help him find a job and friends in life as a nomadic drifter who had just come from 4 years in Europe and who came here suddenly wanting to run for Congress.

    That is the Naked Truth.

  68. Mr. Smith

    If you read through Brad’s blog “descent of the gypsy politicians”, you will find a number of us posting with alias names, as well as a discussion of our alias names. Check it out.

    An email list is an email list. Big deal, hit the delete key if you don’t want to read it. Send it to the spam box with anything else you don’t want coming into your inbox. I get lots of email from political and nonpolitical sources that somehow have me on their list.

    Since I do not know you or the ideology of your church, I can not comment regarding your opinions and accusations.

    Having said that, I do know the word of God. The scriptures teaches us in Matthew 6:4 to do our alms in secret, so that the father who sees will reward openly. “But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.”

    The scripture does not teach us to brag about our alms and then speak ill of those whom we have helped. Not only are you letting the left hand know what you did, but you are also letting anyone who reads this blog know what you did.

    Also, notice the word “secret” in giving alms. The kindness of your church sounds like it was in keeping with the scriptures, in that you helped Sam. Are you looking for approval of man or approval of God?

    I have included the scriptures verses from Matthew 7:1-15 for reference since you are calling Sam a “wolf in sheep’s clothing.” Taking a verse out of context is an error in my opinion. This portion of the scripture is in reference to one who considers himself to be a prophet, not someone running for a political position.

    1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.

    2 For with what ajudgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be cmeasured to you again.

    3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

    4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?

    5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

    6 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

    7 Ask, and it shall be bgiven you; cseek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:

    8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

    9 Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask abread, will he give him a stone?

    10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?

    11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

    12 Therefore all things awhatsoever ye would that bmen should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

    13 Enter ye in at the strait bgate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to cdestruction, and many there be which go in thereat:

    14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

    15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

    Since you are preaching to the “congregation of the San Marcos Mercury” I am one of your congregants, who finds your ‘judgement cast upon Sam” to be contrary to scripture.

  69. Dear blog congregant Naked Truth,

    Thank you for this lesson for the day.

    Note your # 15 — Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

    I am doing the Beware part of this about SB the wolf. I wish he were not a wolf. But a wolf is a wolf. Ravening wolf, just like the scriptures say. And I am bewaring and trying to beware others before a wolf is feasting on our tax dollars.

    A man told me this morning that con artists often run for political office these days and that if they are not con artists when they run then they soon become con artists after getting into office. Women and men with character and integrity do not become wolves after getting into office.

    Thank you. Blessings to you and your friends and family,
    Gary Smith

  70. Dear Preacher,

    1)Mr. Brannon asks”Did he (Will Conley)tell you that in 2011 and 2012 the county is having to pull from reserves to pay our principal and interest.”
    That sounds more like a question than a lie.

    Fact- According to the audit report, the unreserved general fund balance was $29.7 million at the end of 2010(page 7 of the report). According to the audit report, the unreserved general fund balance was $27.4 million at the end of 2011.(page 7 of the report) Furthermore, according to the audit report the balance is projected to drop by another $2.7 million this year. As you can see this is a developing pattern which is due to the county’s obligation to earmark more and more of our property tax dollars to retire debt service. However, the auditor is technically correct, because the money we are required to set aside for debt service never really makes it to the general fund.

    2) I have not seen the report Mr. Brannon references, but I will look into it and post back after I have reviewed it.

    3)Mr. Brannon states “Will Conley loves to tell Republican voters he’s never voted to raise taxes.”

    Fact: That is absolutely true. I have heard Mr. Conley claim that several times. He may not have voted to raise the tax rate, but my county taxes have certainly gone up since Mr. Conley was elected to office. He did not have to vote to raise the rate because the increased property values caused the actual taxes to increase.

    4)The general fund you refer to is also often referred to as the county’s savings account. That is the same account I mention above which is now steadily declining. I agree that it is a safety net for the county in case we experience some sort of disaster, but it is very shortsighted to think our debt ratings will not fall drastically as this account is depleted.

    5)You are correct, I did not attend the debate, but I am very aware of the “large checks” from the State of Texas. Under this arrangement, the county borrows all the money up front for the State Roads and begins to pay interest on that borrowed money. The State then pays the State back for a portion of those borrowed funds over the next 20 years with NO INTEREST. To put this arrangement in perspective, the budgeted reimbursement for the current year is $2.8 million. However, during this same period we will pay out over $7 million in interest alone on these road bonds and we still haven’t borrowed all the money it will take to finish building those roads. ( As an aside, it is interesting that the county will receive absolutely nothing from the state on any of the roads in Precinct 3.)

    I did attempt to watch the video of this particular debate on this site, but it appears to be missing some footage towards the end. From what I understand the missing footage contains some discussion about a balanced budget and our declining reserves .

    I would strongly suggest anyone reading this post to go to the county website and look at the 2012 budget. It clearly shows Estimated Operating Revenues of $65.8 million and estimated Operating Expenditures of $74.9 million. It also shows Debt Service revenues of $17.1 million , with expected Debt service Expenditures of $19.3 million. I don’t know what everyone considers to be a balanced budget, but I don’t believe we have a balanced budget when we have to spend our reserves in order to pay for our current operations.

    Thank you.

  71. I’m relatively certain that the County Commissioners have no control over appraised property values. They control the tax rates and the appraisal district does the property valuations. They are separate, independent entities and it’s done that way for a reason that I would hope would be obvious to anyone reading this.

    So, if Will Conley says that he hasn’t voted to raise taxes, and it can be confirmed that tax rates did not go up, then he’s very likely speaking the truth – at least insomuch as he has any control over the matter. There is the possibility that he voted for a tax hike that didn’t pass though. Likewise, even if tax rates DID go up but the official vote shows that Conley voted against it, then he’s still telling the truth.

    The statement “I never voted for higher taxes” isn’t the same as the statement “taxes did not go up” – especially in political-speak.

  72. Gary Smith: You sound like a total nut job ‘pastor’ with your innuendo, rambling unverified accusations, etc. I’ve known Mr. Brannon personally for decades. I attended school with him while growing up in The Woodlands, Texas. Mr. Brannon was a captain on the varsity football team; Mr. Brannon was elected and served as his Junior and Senior Class President; Mr. Brannon received a scholarship from a local bank to attend UT due to his community, scholastic and athletic accomplishments in high school. Mr. Brannon attended and graduated from The Univeristy of Texas at Austin and received a BBA in Finance from that fine school. He went on to a very successful career in business earning six figures annually. He paid lots of taxes as a gainfully employed person and the owner of multiple real properties. He traveled the world after getting an education and putting in nearly 20 years of hard work as a business professional. In his travels, he discovered a new outlook on life that was not money centric. He is offering his formidable financial and business accumen to the people of hays county. Get your facts straight Gary Smith. You are obviously a sycophant of dirty lowdown Wil “Player” Conley. Birds of a feather…

  73. Pct. 3 Commissioner Will Conley (“William Player Conley” in his official filing with the Texas Ethics Commission-2010, account #65990) did receive a waiver for a penalty fee for his late-filing. The Ethics Commission has the discretion to grant waivers to first time offenders. But it is strange that in his 2010 and 2011 personal financial filings with the state, following his appointment to the Texas Juvenile Probation Commission, Conley checked the “Not Applicable” box for every category of personal or family ownership or interest in property, business, etc. (The TEC also has the authority to fine an officeholder up to $5,000 for each incident of false filing.) So what gives? Does Conley own any business or property in Hays County or not? And now we are learning that Commissioner Conley – currently in the race of his political life for re-election to a third term – has missed the April 30 deadline for his 2012 personal financial statement to the county, and has instead requested a delay. Strike two. The delay will extend past the May 29 primary election to the next deadline in June. There may be good reason, but as a public official whose first priority should be the public trust, Mr. Conley’s delayed filing coming right before election time does not smell good. Unfortunately, voters are left in a lurch and can only guess about his motives.

  74. Wil “Player” Conley (yes, that is his middle name) – What are you hiding?

    From Hays County Roundup

    Commissioner Conley claims he owns a home and property in Wimberley, and owns a business in San Marcos. He has the same sort of message on his re-election website with his claim of being a San Marcos business owner and President of Conley Enterprises.

    But is any of that true?

    Official documents tell a very different story. In fact, the sets of documents are so contradictory that one is left asking whether Conley is a penniless drifter or just trying to hide something from the public.

    Statement filed by Conley with TEC, May 2010

    The case that he doesn’t really have any assets is found in some of Conley’s own statements. According to two sworn Personal Financial Statements filed with the Texas Ethics Commission, Conley swears he does not own a home, property, business, stocks, checking or saving account, mutual funds, bonds or dividends. He receives no income from rentals, trusts or has any assets with any business associations. He also has no liabilities, no loans on his business, home, property or cars.

    On the other hand, there are numerous public documents that attest to some of Conley’s holdings, even though he makes sworn statements to the contrary. For example, Appraisal District records reflect Conley as the owner of two lots on in the Saddle Ridge area valued over $64,000 and a home in the Mountain Crest area valued over $254,000. Conley Enterprises own property on Thorpe Lane in San Marcos valued over $1,308,000 and owns property on FM2770 in Kyle valued over $500,000.

    The smart money says that the appraisal records are accurate reflections of part of Conley’s assets and the two sworn statements before the Texas Ethics Commission are just the most recent examples of Conley’s willingness to lie, if necessary, to hide the truth from the public. As yet another recent example, Conley elected to miss the April 30th deadline for filing his Personal Financial Statement with the County. Instead he decided to delay his filing until after the primaries — after your vote.

  75. I think the majority of you are drinking, well guzzling the koolaid again. I did a little home work myself, I personally called the school district to check on SB’s employment. I have a also done some checking with the companies listed where he says he worked. I have been told and can not find any evidence that this goofball has done anything (well maybe a sales job) he has said he has done.

    Now for Conley, and the rest of our commissioners. I understand that some of you have no idea how a company, or government works, and that includes SB. You can NOT run a company, city, county, state, or federal government without carrying some debt.
    Don’t get me wrong, as far as our federal government is concerned their just stupid. You will have debt, and so in turn you will have interest. If any of you don’t know that than you really don’t have the knowledge or education to vote. Stay home, please.

  76. secretagent, you are functionally illiterate as evidenced by your post. Please state the name of the person(s) and what companies you contacted who ‘told you’ about Mr. Brannon’s work. If you don’t disclose it, it is obvious to all you are a pitiful liar.

  77. Dano,

    Thank you for helping me make my point. The increased valuations and additional building during the 2004-2008 timeframe did not require a significant increase in the rate in order to generate the increased revenues the county required.

    The tax rate for 2004 was 44.61cents. The rate for 2012 is 46.91cents. So there has been an increase in the rate and i do not know if Mr. Conley voted for it or not. However, in 2004, only 6.05 cents of this rate was required for debt service. In 2012, 12.52 cents of this rate is earmarked for debt service. Basically, a bigger and bigger chuck of our property taxes are required for debt service.

    Perhaps a better question to ask of Mr. Conley is “How much of the increase in debt service is required to pay for the NON VOTER APPROVED Government center you did vote for?”

  78. Dear One Serious Mofo (Juan Seriosmofo),

    I like your handle. Nice.

    Thank you for making my point for me. Your historial summary of the SB shows he has intellect and had great potential at one time in life. He blew it. Have you seen him lately. I have seen him regularly lately when he looks like a street person…and he apologized to me for the way he looked in Walgreens a few months ago. Unshaven, very sad looking, spaced out, very dirty and long hair (now cut short to try and look Republican…)very sad looking, cut hand (apologized for not being able to shake my hand due to his bloody hand. All very sad. Such a sad waste of intellect, potential, charm, and ability.

    Now a con artist going around town trying to borrow money from senior citizens and standing in front of people begging us to believe his sad attempts to impress and persuade. It is always very sad to me to see wasted human talent. He is a poster child for wasted human talent. Your letter confirms that even more.

    He just should not be running a county while trying to get his life back together. Josh Hamilton of the Rangers is SB in baseball form…but Josh admitted his addictions and manipulative ways in life, regrouped, took responsibility, fessed up that his problems were caused by his poor decisions in life, and then Josh gave himself a chance to be redeemed in life. I would celebrate and cheer if SB did the same…fessed up, admitted his addictions and con artist ways, sought professional help, and reconnected with the great potential he was possesed in life.

    Thank you. I am sure it has been hard on you as his friend to watch his demise into the con man he has lowered himself to become. He is redeemable..but only he can decide to turn around and head in the redemptive direction.


  79. Gary, you are so full of BS, I find you to be disgusting. Sam cut his hand nearly a year ago, not months ago, while opening dog food for a friend. Why on earth you would attempt to make an injury an insult is beyond any intelligent and decent person’s doing. You are such a liar. And, I might add, you’re a sorry excuse for a self-proclaimed christian – have you looked in the mirror lately? You are projecting your own flaws upon Mr. Brannon. You are a serpent in pastor’s clothing. You’ve made some serious allegations about my friend and colleague. Sam is not sad, nor is he wasting his life. I see him regularly and he remains a hard working, upstanding citizen who values being close to his family, all of whom reside in Hays and Travis Counties. He knows more about business and government finance than most people ever will. He is educated, dedicated and extremely knowledgable and trustworthy. I won’t even justify your cheap gossip of addictions/begging and other nonsense. You have shown yourself to be an ugly, bitter, treacherous individual and I feel pity for your congregants. Will Conley on the other hand does have some fessing up to do. Neither Mr. Brannon nor his supporters have breached the subject of Conley’s dirty secrets and shameful behaviors, which are common knowledge to many. I feel sorry for his wife and family. Sam has realized more potential than many in this life and stands by his word to be transparent, responsible and accessible to the people of Hays County. Tread carefully with your allegations. Your attention-seeking mud slinging is wearing thin and you have zero credibility at this point.

  80. Padre, according to the accepted account Jesus had long hair, didn’t shave, and was not very happy. Not to say SB is remotely Jesus, but…

  81. Dear Winchester,

    I agree. Some of my closest and trusted friends in life are bearded contemplatives who either have long hair or they have lost their hair. And life is sad, as we all know, so blissful happiness is not something to be desired as it would be incongruent with the realities of our human condition which includes so much despair in the lives of so many. But Jesus did not, as far as we know, run for political office nor did he try to gain control of Ceasar’s money.

    Dear SB (One Serious Mofo) — thanks for the clarification on your bleeding hand. I am just leery of your sudden change in appearance (Republican clothes, no facial hair, shorter hair than a military cut, etc).You are a very smart and intentional man and we all know that. That is, as you well know, my point. It is not safe to put county money in your hands because you could suddenly change again in life.

    Have a blessed day.
    Columnist Gary

  82. I am NOT Sam Brannon you foolish charlatan. Sam always posts under his name. I am leary of your appearance by the way, but I wouldn’t go so far as to hold it against you as I am certain you have your share troubles in life. You are now officially a hack in the eyes of the public.

  83. Shades of Charles O’Dell – guessing at the identity of anonymous posters. As long as the board allows it there will always be anonymous posters.

  84. Dear One Serious MoFo,

    Not true that SB “always posts under his name.” SB has posted from Europe under alias names. You know that.

    Here is what a person from California wrote this morning to me: I spent some time last night digging around SB’s past. Found his old
    blog, his pix, his videos, his platform when running for Congress.
    Interesting individual with interesting views. Wonder what his former
    “longtime girlfriend” would say about him, the one he left before
    venturing around the world. Also surprised that he never names the
    companies he worked for, only the companies his employer supported.

    Thanks for playing. This is all rather sad game. Just hoping the wolf goes back to Europe. Oh, Europe does not allow folks to hang around who do not work, do not pay bills, and do not pay taxes. That’s right. I forgot about that. That is why SB came back to America…stated purpose to come back was to “run for office.” Great. And we were blessed here in Hays County to be the place where he happened to land and bless us wiht his presence.

    One blogger wrote this morning (on another blog) that SB lives with his aging father to care for him. SB told me once why he moved out of his daddy’s apartment temporarily…so that “my dad has a new hottie and he needs some more operating room in the apartment.” Does not sound like an aging father who needs caring for..well, at least from a son named SB.

    I got more to tell. Y’all want to keep playing or do you want to just ask SB to fold his cards and go back to Europe for the sake of this community?


  85. Gary you’re an idiot and your continued factually unsupported posts are ridiculous. Sam’s ‘long time girlfriend’ was his wife and they had an amicable uncontested divorce. It is common knowledge that you are, for all intent and purposes, bought and paid for by Bert Cobb, who has as a member of your church paid your salary for years. You are a charity case. Bert is pissed off because Sam has called him out, and rightly so, for flip flopping on his campaign promises and assertions. Anything you choose to post, and thus far its all been lies upon lies, innuendo (not very well executed by the way) and your lamentable jealousy of Sam’s excellent mind and professional appearance is just sad. It is also frightening that you hold yourself out to be a pastor and ‘clinical’ counselor to others when your own mental capacity and status is clearly questionable. I’ll not play with you as you are hardly a worthy opponent – like shooting fish in a barrel. I will however speak up to your Bert Cobb mouthpiece BS.

  86. Dear One Serious MoFo/SB,

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and vocabulary with me and others. I think 120 other church members and community leaders and the Women’s Shelter and the Youth Shelter and the Food Bank would slightly disagree with your assessment of the situation after they have worked closely with me for 9 years now…which is about 7 years longer than You (SB) have been operating in the county. 31 years of service in the military leads one to a point where one can be freed up from the sorts of strings and situations you just fabricated (if you can read between these lines then do so). Where do you go to church and where do you serve others in the community? Just curious. I am sure you serve others in a meaningful way somewhere.

    Funny that your SB supporters are acting like I am the candidate. Y’all must have run out of stuff to say about the election itself. Not that I mind but I just find it interesting when someone asked ME today in town if I was running or if SB is running. Funny stuff, life is, huh?

    Thanks for playing and I hope you have a good afternoon. Try to stay focused on the upcoming election if you get a chance. (Yes, I know this is thin attempt at humor. Just kind of fun in a sad way.) I enjoy these discussions but I am afraid we may be losing the interest of the more serious voters as we banter back on forth on non-candidate issues. I like to stay focused on you (SB) and like to see you stay focused on Will Conley.

    I need to get back to my other column to write more on that blog to my army buddy whose bets and dollars are going to SB. I think he is starting to wake up on this issue.

    Column #1 and Column #2 writer

  87. LMAO, Gary you definitely sound like you are a candidate…for the puzzle house. Let’s do move on to doing good works and staying focused on the issues that are important to Hays County. You must admit you started this whole distraction with your insane posts. If you cannot admit it to yourself, it is apparent to all either way. I stand by Sam Brannon as a friend and colleague and while I don’t reside in Hays County, but rather in Travis County, I want nothing but the best for our neighbors down the road in Hays. I am not the type of person who will stand for BS when it is thrown in the direction of good people. vaya con dios.

  88. Dear One Serious Mofo,

    Thank you for getting back to the serious issues at hand…the fact that you, the SB, are not a truthful person.

    You mentioned that I probably have some of my own problems in life. Yes, you are correct. One problem I have is that my mother raised me to tell the truth. She raised me to understand that if you tell the truth always then you do not have to keep track of what you say. She taught me that when you lie you have to work very hard to keep track of what you say because you are telling lies that will catch up with you later in life. She taught me to live my life as if everything I did would be on the front page of the small town newspaper the next day.

    I realized later in life that she was right. She also taught me that you can not trust people who lie and that you should not even associate with people that lie. They will get YOU in trouble simply because they are living a lie and they soon will lead YOU over the cliff with them.

    Problems? Yes. Mom is nearing 80, is in end stage of colon cancer, and has very little time left on this earth. But can look her in the eye to this day and tell her that I live like she raised me…to not lie, to not trust people who do lie, and to not hang around with liars for they, like you Mr. SB, will lead me and others over the cliff if we run with you.

    I love my mother and I love the way she raised me. She would never let me get by with even trying to lie so I just gave up early in life as a kid on even trying to fib or tell little lies…like any kids tries early in life. I have many, many faults and weaknesses and shortcomings and errors in life, but one thing I do not do is lie. Nor do I tolerate liars in my life. Liars hurt everyone around them.

    Liars abuse the people around them. You, Mr. SB, have abused the trust I and many others put in you prior to your real identity coming out. You know that. You are just hoping that I and others who know who you are will just keep quiet enough that you can win this election and then you will just lead an entire county astray. Like my mom taught me, one should not trust or run with or follow liars.

    I was very, very encouraged to read just a few minutes ago that the head of the Hays County Republican Party sent out a mass mailing this week telling people to not vote for Mr. SB. That is wonderful and encouraging news. Now we ARE focusing on the real issue…none of us wants a liar in office. My dear mother taught me that long ago and that lesson still hold water today, Mr. SB.

    Thank you for playing. Withdraw from the race, admit your problems in life (folks are starting to view your web site nude photos and really telling communication with non-publishable stuff in them…stuff not legal to distribute on the internet), shake your opponent’s hand and wish him well, and go try and get some help before you run again for office. You had great potential once in life…you had it all apparently…looks, charm, brains, success, articulate beyond the norm, business and political astuteness…but like my mother taught me, lying eventually catches you in a web. Your own web (site) is beginning to alarm many to the dangers you present to others.

    Praying for you. You are redeemable. Just not at taxpayer expense.

    Columnist for two blogs now thanks to you.

  89. Dear One Serious MoFo SB,

    Interesting to note that your supporter does not even live in this Hays County. I guess it is hard to find a good supporter in the county you hang around in most of the time. Interesting…

    Gotto go do columnist writing on the other blog now

  90. Two very good things happening today.

    One, it is raining and we all need the rain.

    Two, Kent “Bud” Wymore, head of the Hays County Republic Party, has mailed out a letter to Republicans around the county to NOT vote for SB.

    It is a good day for all of us in Hays County. Rain and intelligence and integrity refreshing our parched souls and lives.


  91. Dear Chuck,

    Let me clarify another misstatement you made today in your FCC history report. Just a little church history for the record, so to speak.

    Before I resigned from First Christian Church on March 7, 2005, over 100 members of FCC had resigned their membership at the church after a St. Valentine’s Day Massacre (as it is lovingly called by many)that happened on February 14, 2005 which was over two weeks prior to my resignation. The congregation had a “venting session” that turned into a lynch mob mentality, group think dynamic that spun out of control as the “Bishop” (regional minister from Fort Worth) and the Area Minister (from San Antonio) decided to not manage the unruly part of the crowd and a 90 minute meeting/discussion turned into what many called “the worst night of my entire life” as church members fought with each other over issues from 10 years earlier, etc.

    Over 100 active members of the FCC church resigned within a week. I stayed at FCC. The 100 who left FCC did so in protest against the lack of civility and dignity displayed that St. Valentine’s Night. Several told me, “I can never again go back into that building again after witneesing such horrible and dispicable lack of basic civility and dignity.” Some members moved membership to churches in Wimberley like Darrly Krebs and his wife who remain active to this day in leadership roles at the Episcopal Church out there. Some quit church altogether after being so deeply disappointed in the actions of the mob crowd. Had there been a rope and a tree there would have been a hangin that night by the crowd. It was a feeding frenzy built up by over 17 years of fiscal and staffing and vision frustrations as various camps formed over the years. One Board member resigned that night and has not been in any church since then, saying he is “a recovering Board member.” He is a West Point graduate and has seen war…he says the February 14th mob crowd at FCC was the most horrible thing he has ever seen anywhere and anytime.

    Some church members began attending in Austin and San Antonio. One Board member moved his money and membership to the large Cypress Creek church in Wimberley. Over 100 members resigned in protest against the uncivil actions of their own colleagues and business partners. Some took business losses and moved membership, saying they could not ever go back into the building where such horrible things were said and done in the name of religion.

    These folks that left took their money with them also. Right after February 14, I began to inquiry about serving in the Episcopal Church in San Antonio as the Episcopal Church there has many military families and retirees and they were eager to talk with a retired military chaplain about serving the military congregations in San Antonio.

    Between February 14th and March 7, a very small group of people met and discussed forming a new church in San Marcos. They wanted to start a church that would be 1) open to visitors as FCC really had trouble wiht my having brought in so many new members in my 18 months there…some did not like all the new members 2) the new church group wanted a church where children were cental to worship and a huge part of the worship service…at FCC when I had 55 kids come up front for Children’s Sermon during Christmas I had three elderly people tell me “we will make sure you never have the chance to have that many noisy kids in worship again” 3) open to college kids…one Sunday I fed steaks to 45 fraternity students and they all came to church nicely dressed and sitting together and beaming…after worship one Board member told me “we do not want college kids in our church…they do not pay anything and they cause trouble” and that was directly opposite the sentiments of other board members who wanted me to come up with ways to attract college students to the church 4) the group wanted a church that was community service oriented rather than a church that was ingrown and not that interested in community service as an official vision and purpose. The FCC Board was split over these issues of new members, children in worship, college students in worship, and other issues central to the life of a church. The Board had been split for years before I came…that is why the job was open in the first place. as I told you in a previous email. Some Board members wanted me to bring in new visitors, include children and college students and newcomers in worship while other Board members did not share the same vision to include new people, children, college students, etc in the life of the Church. Of course, finances were also a GREAT problem as the church had been steadily losing members and money for years while at the same time expanding staff prior to my arrival…they were spending money on staff that they did not have and no one seemed to be in charge of the problem. So some of the Board members, about half, got excited about bringing a military “Lt Col” chaplain with a reputation for attracing new families and children to worship and the practical experience in the military as an officer to FIX the systemic situation rather than bringing in a person with a Doctorate degree to preach an academic sermon each Sunday to a well educated congregation. I thought they should have hired a woman with a doctorate but half the Board members liked the idea of bringing in a military male chaplain to fix the broken system, as they told me during my interview.

    So, in late Februay of 2005, a small group of previous FCC members organized a new church start in San Marcos with this focus on Children, families, college students, new members, community service, and women and men serving equally in leadership roles in worship and in the various ministries of the church. This group offered me the senior minister position to help them launch a new church in San Marcos. I resigned from FCC, I then accepted the position at this new church start, and we held our first service on March 27, 2005.

    Just to set the record straight. You can go read all sermons and history of the new church on the web site which is very transparent and reflective of the focus on families, children, college students, welcoming of visitors and new members, etc.

    Thanks for asking.

  92. Foxes (SB’s) get into henhouses all the time, with the singular goal to feed on whats inside. So blinded by hunger the fox may underestimate the collective ability of so many hens to make so much noise that, the farmer awakes and alas a more formidable opponent for the fox to contend with. Or perhaps the farmer sleeps through it all and the hens just chase the fox out of the henhouse where it gets squashed by a truck trying to make its getaway. Foxes are sly, but with a singular goal of feeding on what it can snatch, his vision and common sense are impared, resulting in demise.

    Beware foxes (SB’s), there is a farmer in the house and a truck coming down the road.

  93. Seriously Lee David, making veiled threats… that’s a keeper. You be careful out there, ya hear? You two nut jobs play with yourselves. There’s way too much crazy going on in what’s left of your mind Gary. Which confirms my assessment that you truly are a charity case and you’re simply not mentally nor emotionally able to participate in reality.

    Back to the real issues: It was heart warming to see the Brannon/Conley debate hosted by the Women’s League. Boy, that Conley was red in the face, stuttering and stumbling around like an angry confused Baby Huey, making bizarre and offensive statements to the room full of Hays County voters, all of whom took note that Sam Brannon is clearly the competent candidate. Enjoy…

    Part 1 of Debate

    Part 2 of Debate

  94. That’s an interesting characterization of the debate. Not really grounded in reality, but interesting.

    I’m not a huge fan of Conley, but he’s looking more and more like the better candidate in this particular race.

  95. Kent E. “Bud” Wymore IV, ESQ
    Chairman, Hays County Republican Party
    Fighting for conservative leadership for our future!

    May 9, 2012

    Dear Republicans,

    As chairman of the Hays County Republican Party, I write with an urgent message about our upcoming Republican Primary election. Very seldom do I weigh in on a primary campaign, but the stakes for Hays County and our party could not be higher than they are in this election.

    Less than two years ago, a man named Sam Brannon moved to Hays County after concluding a failed campaign for U.S. Congress as an independent candidate with a campaign committee registered in a Dallas suburb.

    Now, he is running for Precinct Three County Commissioner in Hays County against Commissioner Will Conley. Unfortunately, Mr. Brannon is trying to scare Republicans into voting for him by spreading purposely misleading information about Commissioner Conley and many of our local Republican elected leaders.

    I will not stand idly by as a political opportunist and outsider to our community falsely attacks and tried to divide our party for nefarious purposes.

    Central to Mr. Brannon’s message is Hays County’s debt. He manipulates percentages and statistics to create the appearance that the county’s debt is very high. However, Mr. Brannon’s message is just smoke and mirrors. He hides some very important facts.

    First, the vast majority of the debt on Hays County’s balance sheet comes from the road and park bond program approved by voters in 2007 and 2008. As you know, we live in a rapidly growing county. That is why voters overwhelmingly supported a $207 million bond program to improve crowded and unsafe roadways. Commissioner Conley and his fellow Republicans on the commissioner’s court have worked hard to implement these road improvements on time, under budget, and without ever voting to raise tax rates.

    These road improvements include such vital roads as Ranch Road 12, FM 2325, I-35 through Hays County, the San Marcos Loop, Hwy 290, Hwy 21, and FM 1626 to name a few. Mr. Brannon believes that we did not improve need to improve any roads and that we should abandon these projects immediately – a position so ridiculous it could only be taken by an outsider who does not understand the issues that matter to Hays County families.

    Second, Mr. Brannon fails to mention that Commissioner Conley personally negotiated a
    $133 million repayment from the State of Texas to reimburse Hays County for these road
    improvements. Thus, the bond debt incurred from our voter-approved road improvement projects is actually much smaller than it appears, since the state will pay about two-thirds of the bill.

    Third, Mr. Brannon also fails to mention that some of the debt on the county’s balance sheet is actually an investment that pays for itself. For example, the county paid about $6 million to

    (page one of two)

    acquire our Juvenile Justice Center. As a result, surrounding counties are paying Hays County to utilize this excellent facility, and these payments are much larger than the cost than the cost to acquire the center. Thus, while shows as “debt” on our balance sheet, we are actually making money from the project.

    What I have mentioned in this letter accounts for the vast majority of the debt on Hays County’s balance sheet. As for the rest? We are investing in a new office building to consolidate several county departments and save taxpayer money over the long term. We also improved an old county road as part of an agreement to secure a new hospital and medical center.

    As you can see, Commissioner Conley and his fellow Republicans on the commissioners court are making sound financial decisions. That is why a recent independent audit said that Hays County’s finances are so good, “most governments would envy” our solid financial position.

    The facts speak for themselves:

     Commissioner Conley and our Republican county commissioners have never voted to increase taxes and Commissioner Conley authored some of the largest tax cuts in county history.

     Since taking office, Commissioner Conley has worked to triple Hays County savings account to more than $30 million, and earn one of the highest credit ratings possible for a county government.

     As a result of strong conservative leadership by our Republican-led commissioners court, Hays County has achieved the third highest rate of job growth in the nation, and we are improving our roads for the future.

    On several occasions, Mr. Brannon has been caught lying about Commissioner Conley. It is imperative that we not allow this to stand. Join me in rejecting Sam Brannon’s dishonest message about Commissioner Conley and our Republican county leaders, and also Mr. Brannon’s dangerous position that Hays County should stop improving our roads and preparing for our future.

    Now is the time for Hays County Republicans to celebrate strong conservative leadership. I endorse the efforts of our hardworking Republican leaders in Hays County and ask you to join me in moving our community forward with proven conservatives like Commissioner Will Conley.


    Bud Wymore (signed)

    Kent E. “Bud” Wymore, IV, esq
    Chairman, Hays County Republican Party*

    *Title used for identification purposes. Pd. Pol. Adv. By Will Conley Campaign, 701 Mountain Crest, Wimberley, Texas 78676

  96. Gary Smith
    May 12, 2012 – 5:45 am
    Dear Melissa,

    Good morning.

    I agree that many of my emails were far too long. When the election is over then I will disappear and that guy can sign back up for his cable as all of this SB drama will be over.

    Ok…some one liners/two liners to shorten this up a bit:

    The reason I will not let go of this is because SB is a dangerous stalker. He repeatedly comes to my house with “Let’s talk” notes and words and he stalked a woman in town by following her around town in his car after she left her house to get away from him. I will give you her name if she gives me permission. She is not the only woman he stalks.

    The Secretary of State in Texas has received an official complaint/allegation concerning illegal campaign fund expenditures for the campaign of SB. Investigation forthcoming.

    The “hiring of a felon” is a false accusation that SB made against Will Conley in the League of Women Voters debate last week as it turns out. Will never hired a felon. The “felon” served as a volunteer on a county committee of concerned citizens. Never paid. Never hired. Volunteer, which is legal. Turns out, IF you and others did any objective research on the matter, you would find that the man served time for trumped up political charges…it was all politics and as, we are seeing in SB, often politics are filled with wolves like SB who are less than honest.

    Ok. Little long. Sorry. Hope this is digestable. Next comment will take a few cups of coffee. Thank you. Gary

  97. Mr. Smith,

    You are an excellent typist or really know how to copy and paste. It is interesting that the bullet points and the bold letters converted to online posting with little boxes and lack of bold type print where it shows in the original letter.

    Now I have a question for you and I hope you will tell the truth. Were you given an electronic version of this letter to post?

  98. Pastor Smith,

    I am curious about your educational background in religious studies, theology and counseling. Would it be possible for you to let the “church of the San Marcos Mercury” know your credentials?


  99. I post this letter which was dated May 11, 2012, from two former Hays County Republican chairmen.

    Dear Republicans,

    We are writing you today regarding a recent political flyer issued by the Will Conley Campaign. The May 9th mailer purports to be an “urgent message” from current Hays Republican Chairman Bud Wymore warning voters about Mr. Conley’s opponent, Sam Brannon.
    While Mr. Wymore is free to endorse whomever he chooses, Wymore should not seek to imply that local Republican Party has endorsed Commissioner Conley. The local Party should try to avoid being seen as the incumbent protection team and Wymore’s views should not be seen as anything more than an outgoing “cheap shot” from a Chairman not seeking reelection.

    The fact remains that, according to the Texas Bond Review Board, Hays County’s debt has increased 810% under Will Conley, and he voted for every dollar of it. There are no “smoke and mirrors” here, as Wymore claims.

    We are very disappointed in Chairman Wymore’s decision and suggest this will do nothing to rally Republicans around the nominees in November. Wymore has failed in his duty to promote fairness in the process. Wymore’s letter reeks of desperation on behalf of the Conley camp and it is blatant attempt to mislead potential voters. This appears to be part of the deliberate and contrived smear campaign against Brannon, whom we both know to be an honest candidate dedicated to Fiscal Responsibility, Transparency and Local Decision Making.

    Sam Brannon has our vote, and we urge you to give him yours as well.

    Craig Young
    Wimberley, Texas
    Former Hays County Republican Chairman (Current Pct. 337 Chair)

    Lee Schroeder
    San Marcos, Texas
    Former Hays County Republican Chairman

  100. As reported in the Hays County Roundup on Jan. 22, 2012 concerning Conley’s and Jones’ appointment of two convincted felons and about which Conley continues to lie:

    “Very recently, there was a flareup over two county appointments to a citizen advisory group. Not all the facts have been revealed nor reported about how an ex-convict and a man who reportedly pleaded guilty to public lewdness in 2001 came to be appointed by county commissioners to the current Hays County transportation plan citizens advisory group. The same two offenders served on a 2008 transportation advisory committee. One has mysteriously resigned from the current transportation advisory group (and been replaced) and the other remains listed on the county’s website but is supposed to have resigned. While the resignations are appropriate, the two commissioners (Messrs. Conley and Jones) who made these appointments should explain why they made them in the first place. Constituents have a right to know if any ethics related policy was violated. But as in so many other cases, this matter is likely to be brushed aside as irrelevant. No need for accountability and no need to clean up the appointment process. So the story line remains the same: “The people don’t think it’s important, we can handle it. It is business as usual for Hays County Government.”

    The name of the ex-con appointed by Conley to the Citizens Advisory Group of Hays Co. Transportation is Michael Moeller. Moeller’s wife (birds of a feather) Nora Linares Moeller, was also dismissed from her position at the Texas Lottery Commission during another scandal, and all of this was known by Conley. They, both prominent Democrats at the state level, were among Conley’s public supporters during his 2008 campaign.

    The other Conley appointee is a dentist who was caught on tape molesting a patient. Yes, caught on tape molesting a patient under the influence of medication given by the dentist.

    These were appointments of volunteers, BUT really? Doesn’t the public deserve to have decent law abiding citizens providing oversight? Why did Conley appoint these felonious individuals for such an important position? As stated by a commentor on the Roundup article, “Will Conley uses no judgment — just cronyism — in his political dealings. He MUST be defeated in his re-election bid for County Commissioner, Place 3.”

  101. nakedtruth
    May 12, 2012 – 7:30 am
    Pastor Smith,

    I am curious about your educational background in religious studies, theology and counseling. Would it be possible for you to let the “church of the San Marcos Mercury” know your credentials?


    Dear Naked Truth,

    You show me yours and I will show you mine. You first. Who are you? What are your credentials?

    Thanks. Waiting.

  102. Gary,

    Fair enough, I found what I wanted to know doing an internet search. You have an impressive background and many years in the ministry, you are a writer and a story teller also. As for me, I am a registered voter reading the accusations of a “man of God” trying to understand why you have gone to great lengths trying to convince those with opposing views they are wrong and need to see the light.

    I am also trying to understand why you find it necessary to give us a history lesson of your church affiliations with details that have nothing to do with the upcoming election. In my opinion, it makes you look like a gossip and a trouble maker. Clearly, we have a different opinion regarding the role of a pastor preaching politics in the manner you have engaged.

    Keep the faith, Gary, if he really is a wolf, you’ll go down as a shepherd who know how to sound the alarm.

  103. Ok, One Serious MoFo,

    I will show many more verifiable, with dates and places,credentials than SB or any of you seem willing to share…

    — B.A.A.S. — Southwest Texas State University, May 17, 1980, highest honors
    — Attended one year at Austin Presbyterian Seminar in Austin while my wife finished her undergraduate work at Southwest Texas State (1980-1981)
    — Completed 6-month month Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE)course through Austin Presbyterian Seminary as CPE student doing daily supervised counseling at Austin State Hospital, specifically in the Alcohol and Drug Rehabilitation ward of the hospital
    — Master of Divinity, Brite Theology Seminary, Texas Christian University, May 1984 (full academic scholarship,Divinity major, Pastoral Counseling minor)
    — Completed the 97 Accredited Hrs with A.A.P.C — American Association of Pastoral Counselors (supervised post-graduate work in counseling, May 1984)
    — 31 years service with USAF from 1971-2003 with small 5-month break in service (7 years enlisted and 6 years in USAF Reserves plus 19 years as chaplain after graduate school)
    — 19 years as USAF chaplain, promoted ahead of schedule up through ranks to Lt. Col,
    — First chaplain in USAF to be promoted Early to Major (1991) since the early days of the Viet Nam war 30 years earlier
    — Served First Christian Church in San Marcos as Youth Director 1979-1981
    — Ordained into full time Christian Ministry at FCC San Marcos on May 6, 1984 following graduate school.
    – Served University United Methodist Church in Fort Worth as Youth Minister 1981-1984
    — Served Wm. C. Martin UMC as Associate Minister 1984-1985 and then selected for USAF chaplain position
    — USAF chaplain 1984-2003 and doing institutional counseling with Church, AAPC, and military training in Counseling
    — As chaplain, flew with B-52 bomber crews and KC-135 tanker crews on training missions 1985-1989, providing counseling to crews and family members in high stress Combat Alert environment (during Cold War when Alert Crews lived on the flightline and were on 5-minute response time in case of war with Russia, as you recall.)
    — Assignments included Teaching Faculty Member at USAF Air Univerity 1994-1997
    — Only chaplain in US military history to graduate #1 out of a class of 604 line and international officers at Squadron Officer School in 1991 at Air Force University in Alabama
    — Turned down full colonel promotion to end 31 years of service and to move to San Marcos to retire and serve a church and community where we loved the people and the River.
    — Senior Minister at FCC San Marcos July 13, 2003- March 7, 2005
    — Senior Minister and founding minister at Christ the Redeemer Church in San Marcos March 27, 2005-present
    — Additionally, currently serving as Interim pastor to “the San Marcos Mercury congregation” as one of you called it today. Term is very limited to election 2012 season. May 4, 2012 (day this election editorial and response blog ministry began) to current

    Ok guys. Show me yours.
    Rev Gary

  104. Dear Naked Truth,

    Thank you. This was one of the most difficult and contemplated decisions I have made in my ministry. I have always successfully and easily stayed out of politics. Yes, perhaps I should have just registered my points and concerns in one brief editorial or in just one blog response. This SB guy had me very concerned and it seemed time to me for someone to step up and call out the guy so that he would quit abusing people. I use that word abuse very seriously. Perhaps all my years of counseling with deeply troubled con artists came into play. I just made the decision to go public, within certain paraments (I have not told all I know about the guy), and to warn others. I may have been wrong, I admit. But I did what I felt I needed to do for the good of others.
    Thanks. Gary

  105. Dear Naked Truth,

    I did not bring up any of the church stuff or inside information or any of that until folks brought it up in an attempt to discredit my history and my opinion. It is an ugly string of exchanges, I agree. I did not go down that road…I only responded to false statements (or different opinions!) about my own background and history. Has nothing to do withe election which is why I found it interesting that others would bring up stuff about me when the discussion is on the Conley/SB election.


  106. All I can say I am happy that I did not go to that church I was in the military for 30 years and if I pastor had done this he would be booted out

  107. I’m a rookie at this so bear with me as I get signs together and arrange for some press.

    I could use a little help here.

    And so it goes.

    This election fiasco has called into question the integrity of the County’s election system. Not only that, it begs the question as to what the County Judge and Commissioners are going to do about it — other than dodge the issue by replacing (or trying to) the election machines we currently use in the County. Well, in my opinion, the skunk is out of the bag. There are systemic problems with the Hays County election process that need to be addressed. Replacing the voting machines IS NOT the answer. If you want to engage on this issue, get hold of Jim Meeks (e-mail Use his flier to write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper. Make a stink. — Chuck Walts

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