Scratch a rich person, find a crook

Somehow, all the money has ended up in the hands of lunatics. Or maybe getting rich causes the derangement?

The nonprofit group, the Liberty Center for God and Country…

Wait wait wait wait, stop right there. Doesn’t the name alone tell you that this has got to be an evil organization? Just find every group with an over-the-top title touting how good and godly they are, and arrest them on suspicion. You know a little investigation is going to discover all kinds of scumbuggery carried out under the sanctimonious pretext of their name.

But do continue.

The nonprofit group, the Liberty Center for God and Country, paid 20 private investigators close to $300,000 to conduct a six-week probe of alleged illegal ballot retrievals in Houston leading up to the election, the group has said. None of its allegations of fraud have been substantiated.

What did I tell you? There have been so many cockroaches crawling out to feast on the garbage trail left by Republican election lies. As expected, they found nothing, because there is nothing to find, but that just motivates them to make shit up, and carry out extraordinary illegalities to support it.

David Lopez-Zuniga, an air-conditioner installer, had just left his mobile home for his typical predawn commute when he noticed an SUV’s headlights closely trailing his small cargo truck.

Within seconds, the SUV swerved alongside the passenger’s side, striking the truck and forcing Lopez-Zuniga to the side of a highway. There, he said, the SUV’s driver feigned an injury before ordering Lopez-Zuniga to the ground at gunpoint.

“I was very scared,” Lopez-Zuniga, said in an interview with The Washington Post. “I didn’t know who this person was.”

As it turned out, the incident was the extraordinary culmination of a misguided undercover surveillance operation — financed by a conservative nonprofit group and carried out by private investigators — that sought to uncover a massive election fraud scheme before the November election.

Police said that Lopez-Zuniga, 39, was the victim of a bogus conspiracy theory alleging he was involved in transporting 750,000 mail-in ballots fraudulently signed by Hispanic children whose fingerprints could not be traced.

You’ll never guess what they found in the truck. Air conditioning repair equipment! Who woulda guessed it?

The guy who assaulted an air conditioner repairman is an ex-cop who was fired for his abuses, but he’s pleading not guilty. He’s guilty. Of course, the real criminal is the conservative twit who founded the Liberty Center for God and Country, Steven F. Hotze.

The nonprofit was created by Hotze, a natural health doctor and megadonor to Texas conservatives, who has taken a leading role in election litigation in the state. Hotze filed a series of lawsuits before November’s presidential election seeking to limit mail-in voting and dismiss ballots submitted via drive-through voting sites.

Most of Hotze’s recent election lawsuits were unsuccessful. However, the Texas Supreme Court in one case prohibited Harris County from sending out applications for mail-in ballots to all registered voters.

Hotze also has spearheaded anti-gay rights campaigns, claiming in 2015 that the legalization of same-sex marriage would lead schools to teaching kindergartners to “practice sodomy.”

Hotze’s nonprofit group was created “for the purpose of ensuring election integrity primarily,” said Jared Woodfill, Hotze’s personal lawyer and the former executive director of the Harris County Republican Party, the county that includes Houston. Woodfill is listed on state incorporation records as a director of the nonprofit group, along with Jeffrey Yates, the former longtime chairman of the county’s Republican Party. Yates did not respond to phone messages.

“The socialist Democrat leadership in Harris County has developed a massive ballot by mail vote harvesting scheme to steal the general election,” a now-deleted fundraising page for the group alleged. “We are working with a group of private investigators who have uncovered this massive election fraud scheme.”

The group raised nearly $70,000 through a GoFundMe page from Oct. 10 through last week. Hotze has said publicly that he donated $75,000 to the probe and that an unnamed individual had donated another $125,000.

Hotze is a filthy rich quack who seems to have made a fortune with a drug store that peddles “supplements”. He’s a member of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons — not a credible organization — and QAnon — also not a credible organization. And now he pours his ill-gotten cash into ludicrous schemes to undermine democratic elections. I guess that makes him a True American Patriot™.


  1. Akira MacKenzie says

    Will someone kindly explain to me why allowing religious, fascist assholes like this into our society is “just the price we have to pay to live in a free society?”

    The “price” is both too high and for a shoddy product.

  2. pilgham says

    I’m guessing this is another case of accusing the dems of doing what the GOP has been doing. Before the election the mantra was “Win by a big enough margin that the GOP can’t steal it.”

  3. stwriley says

    I’d say that the derangement goes first. To get to be truly rich in this country, you basically need to be either 1) extremely lucky or 2) employed at some of the few occupations that don’t promote anti-social behavior but are still well-rewarded by society or 3) at least a borderline sociopath. The lucky ones are the very few rich people who aren’t deranged and act more or less like normal people. Those in the well-rewarded occupations may or may not turn out well (athletes, actors, etc.) depending on how stable they were to begin with. The rest, those who clawed their way to the top of our dog-eat-dog capitalist system, got there by means that most people would be resistant to employing: exploiting those below them, cutting legal and ethical corners, taking unfair advantage of others, etc. They must employ what are basically the behaviors of sociopaths to succeed, so by and large they are sociopaths to one degree or other to begin with. What we’ve ended up with is a bunch of kooks and moral reprobates with a lot of money and the moral and ethical compass of criminal delinquents. So when we have someone like Hotze behaving like this, it’s just an extension of the same sociopathic behavior that he used to get rich in the first place.

  4. PaulBC says

    Akira MacKenzie@1 Probably for the same reason school shootings and a raging pandemic are the “price we pay.” We just have to suffer for being so fucking exceptional.

  5. says

    I would still like to see an explanation of how this patriot seized on Lopez-Zuñiga. (And BTW the Post consistently misspells his name.) An air conditioner repairman living in a trailer seems an unlikely suspect. There’s a story there waiting to be told.

  6. PaulBC says

    An air conditioner repairman living in a trailer seems an unlikely suspect.

    Maybe he was seen servicing the AC at a pizzeria. We know what goes on in those places!

  7. whheydt says

    As for “where does the money come from?”, the UK has an interesting law that can result in an “Unexplained Wealth Order” (UWO). There doesn’t even need to be a criminal charge. You can just be told to either explain where your large amount of money (legitimately) came form, or lose it.

  8. Akira MacKenzie says

    An air conditioner repairman living in a trailer seems an unlikely suspect.

    No! That’s exactly what (((THEY))) want you to think!

    (Those parenthesis are totally ironic.)

  9. unclefrogy says

    you thought that only criminals and delinquents in the ghetto used PCP(angel dust) and Speed.

  10. says

    Liberty Center for God and Country is the group behind I’ve looked into them before. They also have ties to Epoch Times and New Tang Dynasty, a “news” site for Evangelical Christian Chinese Americans. It’s all deep in crazytown.

  11. says

    Hey, this piece is totally unfair. Very few “crooks” are as morally, ethically, and intellectually bankrupt as “rich people,” especially those with generations of inherited wealth (usually derived from one or more of slavery, land-ownership scams ranging from mere “sharp practices” to disregard for prior inhabitants including First Peoples, war-profiteering, environmental rapine, or outright theft). Now add in the “prosperity gospel” for even more fun! The average small-time crook, doing fifteen-to-life as a “career criminal” for three low-level property crimes, can’t compare.

  12. erichoug says

    “a conservative nonprofit group”

    Yeah, you know. The kind that takes donations, pays no taxes and pays all of their “board members” $100K a year while asking for volunteers to do all the ground work.

    Seems totally legit.

  13. wzrd1 says

    I’m sure that the next Q dump will happily inform all that they forgot to search the trailers basement for the ballots.

  14. Jazzlet says

    @9 You can forfeit not just any unexplained wealth, but anything you could have bought with unexplained wealth. There’s even a TV showing the relevant police unit from one police force going through the possessions of the holders of unexplained wealth and seizing pretty much anything you can buy. It’s ll sold off and the money goes to the General Fund.

  15. says

    An air conditioner repairman living in a trailer seems an unlikely suspect. There’s a story there waiting to be told.

    I wonder to myself if they had some prepared ballots that they wanted to plant in the truck. “Oh, look what we found!”

  16. ffakr says

    I was curious about the lack of critical thought required to believe a HVAC guy was driving around with 750K ballots over a month after the election.. so I did the simple math.

    Being an adult who’s voted.. I started with the premise that ballots, especially those in Presidential elections, are larger and thicker than a sheet of copy paper. So, assuming 2x the mass of an 8×11″ sheet of typical copier paper.. I figured out you’re looking at around 30,000 lbs of paper and, if they were boxed and perfectly stacked… you’d need about 300 ft^3 of space to hold them.

    So you could theoretically fit 750k ballots in a larger trades van (like a new Ford Transit Cargo van) if you could stack them with almost no wasted space (and if you packed it floor to ceiling and maybe removed the front passenger seat), but you’d be about 10x over it’s rated towing capacity.. so it wouldn’t be able to move. You’d probably blow out its tires if you tried.

    Took me maybe 5 minutes to see if this conspiracy theory was even vaguely plausible.. only because Ford’s cargo capacity took a bit of time to confirm.
    This guy spent FOUR DAYS surveilling this HVAC guy before running him off the road. Didn’t wonder at any point in 4 days whether 750k ballots could even fit in a van.