“Thomas Ratliff’s False Sense of Security”

by Donna Garner

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Donna Gardner

The Travis County Public Integrity Unit just issued a statement on 3.14.11 (posted further on down the page) that clears Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) member, Thomas Ratliff, of conflict of interest allegations. Supported by liberal organizations and the liberal news media, Ratliff thinks he has circumvented the Rule of Law.  However, he is wrong.

The chair of the SBOE, Gail Lowe, at the request of Texas citizen, Pat Carlson of Texas Eagle Forum, sent a letter to Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott on 3.2.11 asking him to clarify the conflict of interest problem that Ratliff has since he is a millionaire lobbyist who has had long-standing business dealings with Microsoft and at least two Institutional Private Equity Money Management firms that do business with the Texas State Board of Education and the Texas Education Agency.

Travis County D. A.’s Office and Rep. Christian’s H. B. 3482

Rep. Wayne Christian filed H. B. 3482 on 3.11.11:  http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/tlodocs/82R/billtext/doc/HB03482I.doc.  For many years, the Travis County D. A.’s office has had jurisdiction to handle all cases that involve state government agencies in Austin.

The Travis County D. A.’s office is considered to be one of the most partisan and leftwing Democrat courts in the country.  It was they who have viciously tried to destroy conservative Republicans such as Tom Delay and various conservative members on the SBOE.

It was also the Travis County D. A’s office to whom Rep. Leo Berman, conservative Republican, turned in Nov. 2010 to file his two ethics complaints against Rep. Joe Straus for giving large chunks of money ($50,000, $75,000, $100,000) directly to House members and candidates in order to gain their pledge for him as Speaker.  This is against the law as found in Section 302.0191(1) of the Texas Election Code.

Even though the Travis County D. A.’s office told Rep. Berman that it had assigned its top investigator to this complaint, nothing was ever done.

Rep. Wayne Christian’s bill (filed on 3.11.11) would strip the Travis County D. A.’s office of its powers by defunding it; and in its place would create and fund a new statewide, elected court and District Attorney who would investigate, prosecute, and hear cases involving elected government officials.

For years, the heavily Democrat Travis County has elected Democrat D. A.’s  who then have had authority over all state government agencies.  H. B. 3482 would allow all voters in Texas to elect the Judge and the D. A.

THOMAS RATLIFF’S “WARTS”

Below are various documents that will help to clarify the conflict of interest problems that Thomas Ratliff has.  It is vitally important that he be removed from the SBOE because there is no way that he could ever recuse himself from the many close business relationships he has cultivated over the years. Even if he recused himself on certain votes during an SBOE meeting, the public could never trust him to keep confidences from his “lobbying buddies” outside the meetings.

Ratliff tried his best to pressure the SBOB to turn the conflict of interest issue over to the Travis County District Attorney’s office; but to Ratliff’s chagrin, the majority of the SBOE members voted to ask for an official legal opinion from the Texas Attorney General  — not the Travis County D. A.

As I stated in one of my articles, when Ratliff heard at the January SBOE meeting that the AG’s office was going to be asked by the SBOE to weigh in on the issue, the ever-dapper and confident Ratliff slapped the microphone away in a fit of rage.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott is to come out with his legal decision within six months.

TWO IMPORTANT ACTION STEPS

1.  If you believe in the Rule of Law, please write Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott because he is accepting public comments on the issue of Thomas Ratliff and his long-standing lobbying activities with clients who do business with the SBOE and the Texas Education Agency.  In this e-mail, I have supplied you with credible information that you use in your letters.  Please make sure you reference these case numbers: File #ML4667511, I. D. # 46675.

Here is SBOE Chair Gail Lowe’s letter to Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott:

https://www.oag.state.tx.us/opinions/opinions/50abbott/rq/2011/pdf/rq0948GA.pdf

2.  Please contact your Texas House members and ask them to vote for Rep. Wayne Christian’s H. B. 3482 which would strip the Travis County D. A.’s office of its broad authority over all governmental agencies.

Donna Garner

Wgarner1@hot.rr.com

=======================

3.14.11 — 2:02 P. M.

Here is Terri Leo’s reaction to the opinion the Travis County Public Integrity Unit offered yesterday regarding the allegations against Thomas Ratliff.  She has directed her comments to the liberal news media.

From: Texas State Board of Education Member Terri Leo

To:  Texas News Media

Re:  Travis County D. A.’s Office, SBOE Member Thomas Ratliff, conflict of interest

Date:  3.14.11, 2:02 P. M.

Regarding your article “Prosecutors clear Ratliff of allegations,” this is merely a letter of opinion from a prosecutor with the same liberal bent as Mr. Thomas Ratliff;  and the opinion letter deals only with the “conflict of interest issue” which is a minor point.  Members [of the Texas State Board of Education] have always dealt with conflict of interest issues, so there is really nothing new here.

Conspicuously left off out of this opinion letter [from the Travis County D. A.’s office] is the real issue: whether or not a state law has been violated.  This is about the Rule of Law.

Texas Education Code, Subsection 7. 1 03(c) provides that a person “may not serve as a member of the board” if that person is subject to registration as a lobbyist “by virtue of the person’s activities for compensation in or on behalf of a profession, business or association related to the operation of the board.”

The law could not be clearer. Mr. Ratliff is a registered lobbyist, and the companies he represents do business with the State Board of Education.

Terri Leo
State Board of Education District #6
23516 Twin Oaks Drive
Spring, Texas 77389
www.terrileo.com

======================

3.14.11 — Houston Chronicle — http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/tx/7471429.html
AUSTIN, Texas — The [Travis County] Public Integrity Unit has cleared an active lobbyist to serve on the State Board of Education.

The ruling came after the board chair asked whether it was legal for Thomas Ratliff to serve and lobby the Legislature at the same time.

In a letter released Monday, an attorney in the unit said it investigated Ratliff’s behavior and the role he would play on the board. The unit said Ratliff has notified his clients about his new position and has informed the board of all of his clients, therefore no conflict of interest exists.

In November Ratliff defeated former board chairman Don McLeroy, a controversial conservative on the board. Ratliff has said conservative groups are trying to keep him off the board.


From Texas Eagle Forum — IMMEDIATE PRESS RELEASE 1/21/11

Contact: Pat Carlson

Phone: 817-819-8020/ E-mail: pat@texaseagle.org

Texas Eagle Forum President asks SBOE to investigate conflict of interest of new board member, Thomas Ratliff, a registered lobbyist.

Austin, Texas – January 21, 2011 – At the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) meeting on Wednesday January 19, 2011, new board member Thomas Ratliff had to constantly recuse himself because of conflicts of interest between his position on the board and his job as a lobbyist.

These conflicts of interests have not gone unnoticed by the public as Pat Carlson, president of Texas Eagle Forum, testified before the SBOE Friday.  Mrs. Carlson read the Texas Education Code, Subchapter A, Section 7.103, which states:

A person who required to register as a lobbyist…..by virtue of the person’s activities for compensation in or on behalf of a profession, business, or association related to the operation of the board, may not serve as a member of the board or act as the general counsel to the board.

Thomas Ratliff has been registered as a lobbyist with the Texas Ethics Commission since 1998.  Microsoft is one of his most lucrative clients earning him between $25,000 – $50,000 each year.  This one client has the potential of having the most glaring conflict of interest between the SBOE and Mr. Ratliff, because Microsoft is one of the top five publicly traded companies of the Permanent School Fund (PSF).  The SBOE is the caretaker of the PSF. Microsoft stock was worth $157.16 million as of September 2010.

The Microsoft connection should also cause additional concern because Bill and Melinda Gates have been behind the Obama Administration’s Common Core Standards/Race to the Top agenda.  Governor Rick Perry and Commissioner of Education Robert Scott have rejected these standards on behalf of Texans.

Mrs. Carlson never mentioned Thomas Ratliff’s name but it was apparent who should  be investigated.   “We live in a country that follows the rule of law and Texas voters want to be sure our elected officials are ethically and legally in line with our laws,” stated Mrs. Carlson.  “I would ask the Chair and the TEA Commissioner to petition for an investigation to assure all Texans that our SBOE members are complaint with this law.”

The request for investigation should now be made to the Texas Attorney General’s office.

==========================

“Bad Day at the SBOE Meeting”

By Donna Garner

1.20.11

Excerpts from this article:

I do not know any other way to explain what happened at the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) today without using descriptive labels.  I hesitate to do so because labels are stereotypical; and on various issues, people’s positions can and do change.  However, I have to use the labels to give the public a clear understanding of what transpired today at the SBOE meeting.

Our SBOE in Texas is elected by the voters; but unfortunately for our public schools, many of our voters in the March primaries and in the November elections did not take the time to study the various SBOE candidates.

Elections do have consequences, and today we saw those consequences in action.

In the March 2010 primaries, we lost Don McLeroy, a strong conservative leader who was replaced by Thomas Ratliff (a RINO lobbyist with major conflicts of interest). Strong conservative leader, Cynthia Dunbar, left the Board to become a law school professor; and Tincy Miller was defeated by George Clayton (RINO).

The six conservatives who are presently on the SBOE are Gail Lowe, David Bradley, Barbara Cargill, Terri Leo, Ken Mercer, Charlie Garza.

Because of the voting blocks that were formed today, the Executive Committee is now made up of Gail Lowe (strong conservative chair appointed by Gov. Perry), but RINO Bob Craig became the vice-chair.  Far-left-leaning Democrat Mary Helen Berlanga became the secretary. That set up a committee of 2 liberals to 1 conservative.  It is the Executive Committee that decided who would be placed on the three committees.

Thomas Ratliff is not even eligible to serve on the SBOE because of the Texas Education Code (Subchapter A, Section 7.103 (c)) that expressly forbids lobbyists from serving on the Board.

To make matters even more illegal, Ratliff is a lobbyist for Microsoft which is one of the top five investments of the Permanent School Fund (PSF).  The PSF has $157.16 Million  invested in Microsoft Corporation, and the SBOE has the fiduciary responsibility over the PSF.  In other words, as an SBOE board member, Ratliff would have authority over the PSF whose big client is the company from which he has made millions as a lobbyist!  This would truly be like the fox guarding the henhouse!

Guess who the Democrat/RINO dominated Executive Committee chose to put on the Committee on School Finance/Permanent School Fund — Thomas Ratliff!  Ratliff will join RINO Bob Craig, RINO Pat Hardy, Democrat Lawrence Allen, and strong conservative leader David Bradley — 4 liberals to 1 conservative.

This unbelievable decision puts Ratliff on a committee with which he has a direct conflict of interest. Surely the legal authorities in our state are not going to allow this travesty of justice to continue. I have sent my complaint about Thomas Ratliff to Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott for consideration.

Donna Garner
wgarner1@hot.rr.com

=========================

9:35 A. M., 1.22.11 — from Donna Garner — Texas State Board of Education Meeting

BREAKING NEWS:

Pat Carlson, president of Texas Eagle Forum, in the public hearing time at the Texas State Board of Education has just requested the SBOE chairman and the Texas Commissioner of Education Robert Scott to draft an opinion letter to the Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott questioning whether all SBOE members are in compliance of Texas Education Code: Subchapter A, Section 7.103(c).  Without naming the person involved, this has to do with whether Thomas Ratliff, newly elected to the SBOE, is in compliance with the TEC because he is a lobbyist.

Commissioner Scott, an attorney himself, said that if this becomes a “question of fact,” then it will have to go before a court of law but that the correct place to direct such an opinion at this time is to the Texas Attorney General’s office.

Thomas Ratliff immediately suggested that the place to turn was to the Travis County D. A.’s office; but we all know why he said that:  The Travis County D. A.’s office itself has been known for being one of the most biased and controversial courts in our state and almost proverbially rules in favor of Democrats and against conservative people and causes.

After making his statement, Ratliff, who fancies himself to be above the law, “slapped” the microphone in a show of rage.

Posted below is the letter that I wrote to Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott on 1.7.11 that detail the events that lie behind Texas Eagle Forum President Pat Carlson’s request that the Rule of Law be followed:

To:  Open Letter to Texas Attorney Greg Abbott

Re:  Thomas Ratliff, newly elected Texas State Board of Education Member — direct conflict of interest — lobbyist for Microsoft — against the law (Texas Education Code:  Subchapter A, Section 7.103 (c)):

Date:  1.7.11

From:  Donna Garner, Texas citizen

Thomas Ratliff, newly elected Texas State Board of Educating member, has now posted his bio on the Texas Education Agency website (see below).  Thomas Ratliff admits in writing that he is a lobbyist, and it is against the law for a State Board of Education member to be a lobbyist:

Texas Education Code — Conflict of Interest Wording

http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/ED/word/ED.7.doc — Subchapter A, Section 7.103 (c)):

(c)  A person who is required to register as a lobbyist under Chapter 305, Government Code, by virtue of the person’s activities for compensation in or on behalf of a profession, business, or association related to the operation of the board, may not serve as a member of the board or act as the general counsel to the board.

Texas Attorney Greg Abbott, I am requesting that you begin a formal investigation into Thomas Ratliff’s conflict of interest as a lobbyist and as an upcoming Texas State Board of Education member.

As a State Board of Education member, Ratliff will be voting on issues surrounding the Permanent School Fund.

On Nov. 30, 2010, the PSF had $157.16 Million in Microsoft CorporationThomas Ratliff has been a lobbyist for Microsoft for many years and has made thousands of dollars from them and from other education-related businesses.

I say again, “This is a direct conflict of interest, and Thomas Ratliff must never be allowed to be seated on the Texas State Board of Education.  He is not above the law; and whether he likes to admit it or not, the laws do apply to him.  Attorney General Abbott, please take action against this matter.”

Donna Garner

Wgarner1@hot.rr.com

=================================================================

Thomas Ratliff’s bio as posted on the Texas Education Agency’s website Jan. 1, 2011 — indicates he is still a lobbyist:

http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index4.aspx?id=3713

Thomas Ratliff (R)
P.O. Box 232
Mount Pleasant, TX 75456
(903) 717-1190
thomas@thomasratliff.com

Term of office: January 1, 2011 – January 1, 2013

Thomas Ratliff, a governmental relations consultant and lobbyist from Mount Pleasant, was elected to the State Board of Education in 2010. He represents a sprawling district that stretches from Collin County to the Red River and down to Grimes County in the southern tip of his district.

Ratliff, the father of a son and a daughter, has been an active volunteer at their public schools.  He has served as a room parent, booster club officer, fall carnival chairman, and lunch room volunteer.  He has also been a member of a campus leadership team, district leadership team and served on a district committee involved in preparing a bond package.

In 1998, he opened the Ratliff Company, which provides governmental relations consulting services, as well as lobbying the Texas Legislature.

In 2007, he moved back to Mount Pleasant where both he and his wife grew up so their children could be surrounded by their extended family.

Ratliff earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Texas Tech University in 1989 and a Masters in Public Affairs in 1994 from the University of Texas in Austin.

As the District 9 board member, Ratliff represents the following counties: Anderson, Brazos, Camp, Cherokee, Delta, Falls, Fannin, Franklin, Freestone, Grimes, Henderson, Hopkins, Houston, Hunt, Kaufman, Lamar, Leon, Limestone, Madison, Navarro, Rains, Red River, Robertson, Titus, Upshur, Van Zandt, Walker, Wood and parts of Collin.

Although State Board of Education members are normally elected to a four-year term of office, all seats will be up for election in November 2012 due to redistricting.

===============================================================

12.8.10 — From Donna Garner:

“Why Thomas Ratliff  Is Not Eligible for SBOE”

As I said in my 11.21.10 article posted below, “Thomas Ratliff [elected to the Texas State Board of Education on 11.2.10] has been a lobbyist for Microsoft for at least ten years.  He has long-standing relationships with MS.  When issues come up before the SBOE that involve his lobbying cronies, how could Ratliff possibly be impartial?”

Please notice this latest Permanent School Fund (PSF) report (posted below) from the third quarter that lists Microsoft in the top five stocks in the PSF portfolio in the amount of $157.16 Million.

The Texas Education code is clear: Thomas Ratliff is in clear violation of the TEC because he cannot become a member of the SBOE since he is a registered lobbyist with the state of Texas.

It is obvious that the SBOE through the PSF most certainly does do business with Microsoft, and such a relationship would offer a definite conflict of interest for Thomas Ratliff.

Donna Garner

Wgarner1@hot.rr.com

=================================================================

Texas Permanent School Fund Discloses $10.8B Public Portfolio – cbl

November 30, 2010

http://dallas.citybizlist.com/16/2010/11/30/Texas-Permanent-School-Fund-Discloses-10.8B-Public-Portfolio–cbl.aspx

Irving-Based Exxon Mobil Stock Leads With $265M

By citybizlist Staff

AUSTIN — Texas Permanent School Fund‘s top five publicly traded stocks in September were worth $930.95 million, according to an SEC filing.

The Austin-based state fund, established in 1854, disclosed a total of 1,518 holdings worth $10.82 billion.

The Permanent School Fund’s top five stocks at the end of the third quarter were:

• Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM), of Irving, Texas, $265.12 million;
• Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL), Cupertino, Calif., $218.45 million;
• Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), Redmond, Wash., $157.16 million;
• GE Corp. (NYSE: GE), Schenectady, N.Y., $146.4 million; and
• Johnson and Johnson (NYSE: JNJ), New Brunswick, N.J., $143.82 million.

The Permanent School Fund was created with a $2 million appropriation by the Texas Legislature in 1854 for the benefit of the public schools of Texas. The Constitution of 1876 stipulated that certain land and all proceeds from the sale of that land should also constitute the fund.

Randy Metzger, manager of investment technology, was named the reporting person.

Form 13F-HR filing: http://tinyurl.com/3y2c4sy

=====================================================

“New Tex. State Bd. of Ed. Member in Violation of Law?”
by Donna Garner

11.21.10

The members of the Texas State Board of Education at their November SBOE meeting last week made recommendations to the Texas Legislature about the issues they regard as priorities for the Legislature to consider when the Session starts on Jan. 11, 2011.

The SBOE has had several situations arise with ethics issues in the last several years (some valid; some not), and the members want to make sure that all of their members are in line with the Texas Education Code (TEC).

Now a newly elected SBOE member, Thomas Ratliff, appears to violate the TEC ruling because he is a registered lobbyist with the state of Texas.

Thomas Ratliff, who was elected to the Texas State Board of Education on Nov. 2, 2010, is a registered lobbyist for the state of Texas. He lists his occupation as a “Legislative Consultant.”  That is a fancy name for a lobbyist.

In other words, Thomas Ratliff feeds at the trough of public monies. [Those are our tax dollars.]

The TEC clearly states that an SBOE member cannot be a registered lobbyist.  Here is that section from the TEC:

Texas Education Code:  Subchapter A, Section 7.103 (c):

(c)  A person who is required to register as a lobbyist under Chapter 305, Government Code, by virtue of the person’s activities for compensation in or on behalf of a profession, business, or association related to the operation of the board, may not serve as a member of the board or act as the general counsel to the board.

Ratliff has been a lobbyist for Microsoft for at least ten years.  He has long-standing relationships with MS.  When issues come up before the SBOE that involve his lobbying cronies, how could Ratliff possibly be impartial?

How could we possibly trust Ratliff to make the best educational decisions for our Texas students when he might be trying to get a sweet deal for himself and his family members?

Ratliff might recuse himself from voting directly; but as an SBOE member, he certainly could influence the votes of the other SBOE members not to mention the fact that he would have insider information to feed to his various lobbyist friends, thus giving them a decided advantage.

How could Ratliff possibly sit on the SBOE and make fair decisions for our Texas students and classroom teachers when he has deep alliances with the “the good old boy network”?

This is the same network that has an insatiable appetite for raising school taxes and spending endless dollars on education fads.  Ratliff’s campaign manager was Dr. Jenny Preston, the former superintendent of Allen ISD, Forney ISD, and Graham ISD.

Ratliff’s Microsoft ties should be of particular concern to voters because it is Bill and Melinda Gates of Microsoft who are behind the Common Core Standards/Race to the Top, an effort by the federal government to take over the public schools with national standards, national tests, national curriculum, and a national database.

Thankfully Gov. Rick Perry and Commissioner of Education Robert Scott told the government “No,” and Texas is not a part of the Common Core Standards/Race to the Top.

However, how much of this Big Government nonsense would Ratliff try to implement through his position on the SBOE?  He might try to tie teachers’ evaluations, contracts, salaries, and training to a Microsoft national database.  The possibilities for Ratliff in a position of authority as an SBOE member are endless!

In my mind, Thomas Ratliff should never have been allowed to run for the SBOE since his election would put him in direct violation of the TEC.

Under Subject Matter Categories, Ratliff has marked such categories on his lobbyist registration as state agencies/boards/commissions and also education among others.

Here are the links to the Texas Ethics Commission site. I have listed some of Ratliff’s various education-related clients.  Below these, I have posted his lobbyist client lists and the amount of money he has made from each.

It is obvious that Thomas Ratliff and his family members have made a fortune as lobbyists over the years.

2010 — http://www.ethics.state.tx.us/tedd/lobcon2010d.htm — Microsoft

2009 — http://www.ethics.state.tx.us/tedd/lobcon2009d.htm — Microsoft

2008 — http://www.ethics.state.tx.us/tedd/lobcon2008d.htm — Microsoft

2007 — http://www.ethics.state.tx.us/tedd/lobcon2007d.htm — Microsoft

2006 — http://www.ethics.state.tx.us/tedd/lobcon2006d.htm — Microsoft and Texas Association of School Boards

2005 — http://www.ethics.state.tx.us/tedd/lobcon2005d.htm — Microsoft

2004 — http://www.ethics.state.tx.us/tedd/lobcon2004d.htm — Microsoft

2003 — http://www.ethics.state.tx.us/tedd/lobcon2003d.htm — Microsoft — JR3 Education Associates

2002 — http://www.ethics.state.tx.us/tedd/lobcon2002d.htm — Microsoft — JR3 Education Associates

2001 — http://www.ethics.state.tx.us/tedd/lobcon2001d.htm — Microsoft

2000 — http://www.ethics.state.tx.us/tedd/lobcon2000d.htm — Microsoft

1999 — http://www.ethics.state.tx.us/tedd/lobcon9d.htm — Microsoft

1998 — http://www.ethics.state.tx.us/tedd/lobcon8d.htm — Microsoft

============================================================

http://www.ethics.state.tx.us/tedd/lobcon2010d.htm

TEXAS ETHICS COMMISSION

2010 Lobby List with Concerns (Employers and Clients)
Sorted By Lobbyist Name
Part IV – (N-S) Printed November 19, 2010

Ratliff, Robert Thomas  (00031723)

(512)494-9180

816 Congress Avenue Suite 1270 Austin, TX 78701

Advantage Capital Management Corporation

909 Poydras Street Suite 2230  New Orleans, LA 70112

Type of Compensation: Prospective

$10,000 – $24,999.99

Client Start Date: 01/19/2010

Client Term Date: 12/31/2010

AIG

2929 Allen Parkway Suite L4-02  Houston, TX 77019

Type of Compensation: Prospective

$10,000 – $24,999.99

Client Start Date: 01/19/2010

Client Term Date: 12/31/2010

American Insurance Association

500 West 13th 3rd Floor  Austin, TX 78701

Type of Compensation: Prospective

$25,000 – $49,999.99

Client Start Date: 01/19/2010

Client Term Date: 12/31/2010

Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

P. O. Drawer 1210  Durant, OK 74702-6170

Type of Compensation: Prospective

$25,000 – $49,999.99

Client Start Date: 01/19/2010

Client Term Date: 12/31/2010

El Paso Electric Company

P. O. Box 982  El Paso, TX 79960

Type of Compensation: Prospective

$25,000 – $49,999.99

Client Start Date: 01/19/2010

Client Term Date: 12/31/2010

Microsoft Corporation

One Microsoft Way  Redmond, WA 98052

Type of Compensation: Prospective

$25,000 – $49,999.99

Client Start Date: 01/19/2010

Client Term Date: 12/31/2010

Stonehenge Capital Company LLC

236 Third Street  Baton Rouge, LA 70801

Type of Compensation: Paid

Less Than $10,000.00

Client Start Date: 01/19/2010

Client Term Date: 12/31/2010

T-Mobile USA

12920 SE 38th Street  Bellevue, WA 98006

Type of Compensation: Prospective

$25,000 – $49,999.99

Client Start Date: 01/19/2010

Client Term Date: 12/31/2010

Verizon Wireless

P. O. Box 3373  Little Rock, AR 72203-3373

Type of Compensation: Prospective

$10,000 – $24,999.99

Client Start Date: 01/19/2010

Client Term Date: 12/31/2010

Ratliff, William R.  (00020737)

(903)572-1295

1103 So. Williams  Mt. Pleasant, TX 75455

Raise Your Hand Texas

816 Congress Ave Suite 990  Austin, TX 78701

Type of Compensation: Prospective

$10,000 – $24,999.99

Client Start Date: 01/07/2010

Client Term Date: 12/31/2010

================================================================

http://www.ethics.state.tx.us/tedd/lobcon2009d.htm

TEXAS ETHICS COMMISSION

2009 Lobby List with Concerns (Employers and Clients)
Sorted By Lobbyist Name
Part IV – (N-S) Printed January 12, 2010

Ratliff, Robert Thomas  (00031723)

(512)494-9180

816 Congress Avenue Suite 1270 Austin, TX 78701

Advantage Capital Management Corporation

909 Poydras Street Suite 2230  New Orleans, LA 70112

Type of Compensation: Prospective

$10,000 – $24,999.99

Client Start Date: 04/23/2009

Client Term Date: 12/31/2009

AIG

2929 Allen Parkway Suite L4-02  Houston, TX 77019

Type of Compensation: Prospective

$10,000 – $24,999.99

Client Start Date: 02/20/2009

Client Term Date: 12/31/2009

Alltel Communications LLC

P. O. Box 3373  Little Rock, AR 72203-3373

Type of Compensation: Prospective

$10,000 – $24,999.99

Client Start Date: 02/20/2009

Client Term Date: 12/31/2009

American Insurance Association

500 West 13th 3rd Floor  Austin, TX 78701

Type of Compensation: Prospective

$25,000 – $49,999.99

Client Start Date: 02/20/2009

Client Term Date: 12/31/2009

Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

P. O. Drawer 1210  Durant, OK 74702-6170

Type of Compensation: Prospective

$25,000 – $49,999.99

Client Start Date: 02/20/2009

Client Term Date: 12/31/2009

City of Center

P. O. Box 5678  Center, TX 75935

Type of Compensation: Prospective

Less Than $10,000.00

Client Start Date: 02/20/2009

Client Term Date: 12/31/2009

City of Daingerfield

108 Coffey  Daingerfield, TX 75638

Type of Compensation: Prospective

Less Than $10,000.00

Client Start Date: 02/20/2009

Client Term Date: 12/31/2009

City of Gilmer

P. O. Box 760  Gilmer, TX 75644

Type of Compensation: Prospective

Less Than $10,000.00

Client Start Date: 02/20/2009

Client Term Date: 12/31/2009

City of Gladewater

P. O. Box 1725  Gladewater, TX 75647

Type of Compensation: Prospective

Less Than $10,000.00

Client Start Date: 02/20/2009

Client Term Date: 12/31/2009

City of Hallsville

P. O. Box 899  Hallsville, TX 75650

Type of Compensation: Prospective

Less Than $10,000.00

Client Start Date: 02/20/2009

Client Term Date: 12/31/2009

City of Henderson

400 W. Main  Henderson, TX 75652

Type of Compensation: Prospective

Less Than $10,000.00

Client Start Date: 02/20/2009

Client Term Date: 12/31/2009

City of Jefferson

102 N. Polk  Jefferson, TX 75657

Type of Compensation: Prospective

Less Than $10,000.00

Client Start Date: 02/20/2009

Client Term Date: 12/31/2009

City of Kilgore

P. O. Box 990  Kilgore, TX 75662

Type of Compensation: Prospective

Less Than $10,000.00

Client Start Date: 02/20/2009

Client Term Date: 12/31/2009

City of Longview

P. O. Box 1952  Longview, TX 75606

Type of Compensation: Prospective

Less Than $10,000.00

Client Start Date: 02/20/2009

Client Term Date: 12/31/2009

City of Marshall

P. O. Box 698  Marshall, TX 75671

Type of Compensation: Prospective

Less Than $10,000.00

Client Start Date: 02/20/2009

Client Term Date: 12/31/2009

City of Mineola

P. O. Box 4550  Mineola, TX 75773

Type of Compensation: Prospective

Less Than $10,000.00

Client Start Date: 02/20/2009

Client Term Date: 12/31/2009

City of Mt. Pleasant

501 N. Madison  Mt. Pleasant, TX 75455

Type of Compensation: Prospective

Less Than $10,000.00

Client Start Date: 02/20/2009

Client Term Date: 12/31/2009

City of Mt. Vernon

Drawer 597  Mt. Vernon, TX 75457

Type of Compensation: Prospective

Less Than $10,000.00

Client Start Date: 02/20/2009

Client Term Date: 12/31/2009

City of New London

P. O. Box 428  New London, TX 75682

Type of Compensation: Prospective

Less Than $10,000.00

Client Start Date: 02/20/2009

Client Term Date: 12/31/2009

City of Pittsburg

200 Rusk  Pittsburg, TX 75686

Type of Compensation: Prospective

Less Than $10,000.00

Client Start Date: 02/20/2009

Client Term Date: 12/31/2009

City of Texarkana

P. O. Box 1967  Texarkana, TX 75504

Type of Compensation: Prospective

Less Than $10,000.00

Client Start Date: 02/20/2009

Client Term Date: 12/31/2009

City of White Oak

P. O. Box 98  White Oak, TX 75693

Type of Compensation: Prospective

Less Than $10,000.00

Client Start Date: 02/20/2009

Client Term Date: 12/31/2009

El Paso Electric Company

P. O. Box 982  El Paso, TX 79960

Type of Compensation: Prospective

$25,000 – $49,999.99

Client Start Date: 02/20/2009

Client Term Date: 12/31/2009

Emergency Service Partners L.P.

6300 La Calma Drive Suite 200  Austin, TX 78752

Type of Compensation: Prospective

Less Than $10,000.00

Client Start Date: 04/23/2009

Client Term Date: 12/31/2009

Enhanced Capital

201 St. Charles Avenue Suite 3700  New Orleans, LA 70170

Type of Compensation: Paid

Less Than $10,000.00

Client Start Date: 04/23/2009

Client Term Date: 12/31/2009

HBH Gas Systems

5656 Bee Cave Rd.  Suite F-201  Austin, TX 78746

Type of Compensation: Prospective

Less Than $10,000.00

Client Start Date: 04/23/2009

Client Term Date: 12/31/2009

Microsoft Corporation

One Microsoft Way  Redmond, WA 98052

Type of Compensation: Prospective

$25,000 – $49,999.99

Client Start Date: 02/20/2009

Client Term Date: 12/31/2009

North Atlantic Trading Company

257 Park Avenue South  New York, NY 10010

Type of Compensation: Prospective

$10,000 – $24,999.99

Client Start Date: 02/20/2009

Client Term Date: 12/31/2009

Polaris Industries

2100 Hwy 55  Medina, MN 55340

Type of Compensation: Prospective

$10,000 – $24,999.99

Client Start Date: 04/23/2009

Client Term Date: 12/31/2009

Stonehenge Capital Company LLC

236 Third Street  Baton Rouge, LA 70801

Type of Compensation: Paid

Less Than $10,000.00

Client Start Date: 04/23/2009

Client Term Date: 12/31/2009

T-Mobile USA

12920 SE 38th Street  Bellevue, WA 98006

Type of Compensation: Prospective

$25,000 – $49,999.99

Client Start Date: 02/20/2009

Client Term Date: 12/31/2009

Texas Retailers Association

504 West 12  Austin, TX 78701

Type of Compensation: Paid

$10,000 – $24,999.99

Client Start Date: 04/23/2009

Client Term Date: 12/31/2009

Ratliff, Shannon H.  (00010219)

(512)493-9601

600 Congress Avenue Suite 3100 Austin, TX 78701

Texas Civil Justice League

401 W. 15th St. Suite 975  Austin, TX 78701

Type of Compensation: Prospective

$25,000 – $49,999.99

Client Start Date: 03/23/2009

Client Term Date: 12/31/2009

Ratliff, William R.  (00020737)

(903)572-1846

P.O. Box 1218  Mt. Pleasant, TX 75456

Raise Your Hand Texas

816 Congress Ave Suite 990  Austin, TX 78701

Type of Compensation: Prospective

$25,000 – $49,999.99

Client Start Date: 01/01/2009

Client Term Date: 12/31/2009

============================================================

2.18.11:   “Ratliff: Attempting to Hoodwink the Public”

http://www.educationnews.org/commentaries/107986.html

Donna Garner – Here’s the situation: Thomas Ratliff was elected to the Texas State Board of Education even though he is a highly paid lobbyist whose long-standing client is Microsoft.

The chair of the SBOE (Gail Lowe) has been requested by a citizen to send a request to Texas Attorney Greg Abbott to have Ratliff’s ties to lobbyists investigated since the Texas Education Code clearly states:

Texas Education Code:  Subchapter A, Section 7.103 (c):

(c)  A person who is required to register as a lobbyist under Chapter 305, Government Code, by virtue of the person’s activities for compensation in or on behalf of a profession, business, or association related to the operation of the board, may not serve as a member of the board or act as the general counsel to the board.

Thomas Ratliff is very closely tied to Microsoft and Bill Gates, having been a lobbyist for Microsoft for many years.

Gates is tied to Obama and U. S. Secretary Arne Duncan, and all three of them want to indoctrinate our nation’s public school children into their agenda through Common Core Standards/Race to the Top (CCR/RTTT).

[The arrows mean “lead to.”]

National standards  →  national assessments  →  national curriculum → teachers’ salaries tied to students’ test scores  →  teachers teaching to the test each and every day  →  national indoctrination of our public school children  →  national database of students and teachers

Gov. Perry and Commissioner of Education Robert Scott early-on saw CCS/RTTT as an attempt to place our public schools under the control of the federal government. They said “No” to Obama’s plan.

Obviously, Bill Gates and Microsoft stand to make billions from CCS/RTTT because of the online assessments, digitized curriculum, and national database — all requiring large expenditures of taxpayers’ dollars for technology.

Thomas Ratliff’s biggest lobbying client, Bill Gates, is a prime contributor to Thomas B. Fordham Institute having given them $1.4 Million.

Surprise, surprise!  This week Thomas B. Fordham Institute declared that our Texas Social Studies standards are poor and gave them a grade of “D.”

[Liberty Institute which monitored the development of the Texas Social Studies standards all the way through the process has given Thomas B. Fordham’s report an “F.”]

Ratliff with his instinct for colluding with disgruntled people to achieve his own designs has linked up with LULAC, NAACP, and the Democrats in the Texas Legislature.  Because Ratliff won as a Republican, he is now working with the left-leaning Republicans in the Texas Legislature to try to bring them on board, too.

This “groupie” wants to make sure that SBOE Chair Gail Lowe does not get confirmed by the Texas Senate,  and Ratliff and company also want to make the general public think Texas’ curriculum standards (English, Science, and Social Studies) are poor.

Obama has just announced that his 2012 budget proposal will include  $900 million for CCS/RTTT, but this time the federal money will be rewarded to school districts instead of states.

Knowing this, Ratliff/Gates/Microsoft believe with their power and influence, they can convince Texas school districts to hook up directly with the CCS/RTTT, thus circumventing Gov. Perry’s position.

Because Texas is the largest supplier of textbooks in the United States, if Microsoft could get Texas tied to the Common Core Standards, MS could make more billions; and Thomas Ratliff would be the recipient of this largesse.

How can I say this loudly enough?  Thomas Ratliff has a direct conflict of interest and must be removed from our Texas State Board of Education.

What can we do while we are waiting for Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott to issue his opinion about Thomas Ratliff’s obvious ineligibility to be on the SBOE?

(1)  First, we can tell all of our friends and neighbors what is happening so that they will not believe the liberal media as it tries to sow seeds of discontent about our elected SBOE members, particularly those who worked so hard to adopt the most fact-based, patriotic Social Studies standards in the entire United States.

How good are our new Social Studies standards?  I ask you this:  In what other state will students, beginning next school year, start studying American exceptionalism, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Declaration of Independence, and hundreds of heroes and heroines who have contributed to the greatness of our nation?

(2)  Next, we can contact our Texas Senators and tell them that they absolutely must give their formal consent for Gail Lowe to continue as the chair of the SBOE.  Lowe has won the respect of nearly everyone on the Board and has been widely praised for her fairness and common sense handling of difficult issues.

(3)  While we are talking to our Texas Legislators, we need to emphasize how important it is to maintain an elected State Board of Education.  It is because we elect these members that we can oust them if they do not do what is best for our public school children.

In 2012 all of the SBOE members will be up for re-election because of redistricting, and this will be our chance to elect a solid majority of conservative SBOE members, making sure that we never again elect a hoodwinking-lobbyist such as Thomas Ratliff.

Donna Garner

Wgarner1@hot.rr.com

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