Collin County Politics: Do Extraordinary Things

April 5, 2022

Covid Update: Collin County has 209,878 confirmed Covid cases. That’s 1,107 more cases than I reported last week and 1,495 of our Collin residents have died (an increase of 16 people). Cases are still decreasing but the death rate went up.

Schools: While the news about schools is still bad, there have been some bright spots. Remember how I said last week that we need to start playing offense? Well, some people are doing just that. With their jobs no longer on the line, three outgoing superintendents – Michael Hinojosa (Dallas), Kent Paredes Scribner (Fort Worth), and Jeannie Stone (Richardson) – spoke somewhat freely about what’s really been going on in schools. No one said affirmatively that they felt supported by Greg Abbott or TEA commissioner Mike Morath. Hinojosa went further and said the varying messages on public health early in the pandemic left superintendents out to dry. Yeah, no kidding.

They were even blunter about the polarization brought on by the fight over what can be taught in schools. All three superintendents agreed that the CRT, SEL, and book banning outrage are a “manufactured crisis” that isn’t representative of the broader school community. Hinojosa said, “This is not real. This is a national playbook by some very smart, organized people, who pay people to go out and wreak havoc.” Remember that quote when you’re reading the McKinney School Board section below. Scribner summed it up as an “imbalance in the ecosystem,” as the voices of a “well-organized, nationally funded, strategic small group” are being heard while the majority of the population remains silent (emphases mine). Fellow Democrats, we can no longer be silent.

If it’s too scary to stand up on your own, join groups working on the side of democracy. One such group is the Teach the Truth (TtT) campaign launched by the Texas Freedom Network. TtT is comprised of 13 state and national education and civil rights groups like the Children’s Defense Fund, the Human Rights Campaign, and Texas AFT trying to eradicate censorship in Texas public schools. They plan on informing and mobilizing the community by educating people on how to testify at school board meetings, pressure state representatives, and organize against attempts to limit what’s taught in classrooms.

The stakes are high. As Michelle Castillo put it, “A book in this moment is not only a friend to children, it’s a lifeline. It’s a liberation manual. It’s a reminder that we are not alone in these bleak times.” Yep. So, what are you waiting for? Sign up!

Another group battling censorship is the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) a caucus of 50 US nonprofits, educational, labor, and civil liberties groups. They’re going after Frisco state representative Jared Patterson for his heinous efforts to remove certain books from schools. If you’ll recall, he worked with a Prosper PAC to take Gender Queer off the shelves. Emboldened by his success, he then asked school leaders to pledge they won’t partner with book vendors that supply “pornographic materials” to campuses. Prosper ISD has thus far given in to his demands without a fuss. If you live in Prosper, start contacting your school board and superintendent!

The NCAC wrote a letter to Patterson calling him out for trying to censor books “by intimidating and misleading every school district in his state.” That’s every Republican’s dearest wish! But here’s a line from the NCAC letter that you can use in your complaints to those siding with fascism: “Let’s be honest. You are not protecting students from obscene and explicit content. You are censoring books and denying students the well-rounded education that is essential to preserving a healthy democracy.”

Commissioner’s Court: Not much happened in the 16-minute meeting. Although there were numerous citizen protests over the murder last year of Marvin Scott III, there’s been nary a whisper from the court about the situation even as ramifications from it continue to unfold. As a result of Scott’s death, 7 jailers were fired and another resigned. A grand jury declined to indict any of them but recommended that a group of community leaders, criminal-justice officials, and mental-health professionals study the circumstances of Scott’s death to prevent anyone else from dying in a similar manner. Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis said he would form the group but (shocker!) he hasn’t.

One of the fired jailers was reinstated last year and two more were reinstated last week by the Collin County Civil Service Commission. The Commission denied the appeal of the captain and a sergeant also asking for reinstatement. I’m confused by this decision. Although the commission found that all four officers violated well-established procedures and policies, they went ahead and reinstated two of them. Why not deny all of them? I imagine it’s because we need the jail staffed and no one else wants the job. Also, if none of the 7 officers followed the rules, you have to wonder just how “well-established” these procedures actually are.

In case you’re wondering, Mr. Scott’s family is still waiting for a federal grand jury review. Unfortunately, justice is unlikely to be served. That seems to be a theme in Collin County.

Speaking of justice (or lack thereof), Darrell Hale saw fit to blame his constituents for the incredibly high number of ballots denied in Collin County during the primary election. It couldn’t be that the change in law designed to make mail-in voting difficult is what’s driving this denial of voting rights. No, according to Hale, “There were over 700 mail-in ballots that had to be denied because they were not filled out correctly. This was not a Republican or Democrat problem. It was a lack of following instructions.” Hale (as usual) is wrong. It’s definitely a Republican problem because they believe in voter suppression and Democrats believe in democracy.

“One of the penalties of refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.”


McKinney City Council: The adulation showered on former council member Frederick Frazier during the February 15th meeting hasn’t aged well. We should’ve had some inkling that he can’t be trusted (well, less so than usual) when Frazier responded to the glowing statements of his former council colleagues by saying his campaign would never go negative because he wants to serve everyone. But in the very next breath, he added that people aren’t going to hurt him “especially some commissioner who can barely get out of his seat and he’s sitting there talking on Facebook all day long. Congratulations Darrell Hale.” So, when Frazier said he’ll never go negative, he meant just for the length of time it took to say that sentence. Got it. It gets worse.

Frazier’s now being investigated by the Texas Rangers for accusations that he impersonated a public servant and stole Republican opponent Paul Chabot’s campaign signs. The two are in a run-off in May. I’m not going to tell you the whole story (read it yourself and appreciate the fun sign) because it doesn’t matter. Frazier and Chabot are both terrible. Even if he did nothing wrong this time, Frazier was once sued by the widow of a slain Dallas police officer for mismanagement of funds for the police charity he ran. He also is required to inform DPD (where he still works) that he’s under investigation. He failed to do so. And Chabot is a terrible grifter. The state of California almost literally shoved him out the door. He’s legally prohibited from running a charity there and lost at least one election, so he came to Texas because we’re friendlier to charlatans. Neither is well-suited to represent us in the state legislature.

Do you know who is well-suited? Sheena King, the Democratic challenger. She’s a business leader and mother of three who’s deeply invested in community leadership. Unlike her opponents, Sheena is a person of integrity and values helping others. She’s the clear choice and I hope everyone in House District 61 not only supports her campaign now but also votes for her in November.

McKinney School Board: How I long for the days when school board meetings were dull. Sadly, they aren’t anymore and future meetings promise to be just as lively and annoying. For whatever reason, the Book Banners (we really need a better name for these folks) decided to take their show on the road and held a protest on the corner of Hardin and 380 (in front of Costco). Approximately 30 of them showed up, including MISD school board member Chad Green who remembered to bring his big hat prop.

Fortunately, an equal number of Liberal Women of Collin County showed up to counter-protest and support our teachers, librarians, authors, public education, and democracy. The picture above is from them. As expected, the Angry Crowd got even angrier at the sight of reasonable people (especially women) not allowing themselves to be bullied. True to form, they came with guns, and verbally threatened women who had the nerve to disagree with them. The people who claim to be against exposing children to foul language had no problem calling LWCCers foul names in front of their children and ours. The group that says they believe in law and order also gleefully milled about on the 380 median. Remember how angry they were when protesters for Marvin Scott III did that?

The group putting on the 380 protest, Freedom Rallies North Texas (FRNT), didn’t spring up by accident; they’re well coordinated. They send their followers to various rallies all over North Texas. While some live in Collin County, many others do not. Several of the worst “protesters” were from Mineral Wells and one guy was even from San Antonio. FRNT is basically the same group as Patriots for America (PfA) because many of the same people are involved. And they’re all planning on being at the next MISD school board meeting on April 26th. We need to show up too.

As I mention in every column (and as the outgoing superintendents all said), these protests aren’t about the outrage of the month. The locals yelling at the school board meetings may think they’re sincere but they’re being used. If they’re truly upset about these books, why protest now? Those books have been in school libraries for quite some time. The ultimate goal of these groups is to destroy public education however they can. That includes taking over school board positions (which is why Chad Green is there), defunding public schools, and creating enough chaos so administrators, teachers, and other staff members leave. They are serious and unrelenting. If we want to keep our public schools and ensure our children can compete with the rest of the country, we must work to save them!! Now is no time to be complacent.

Local Politics: Do you all remember that terrible winter storm we had in February 2021? You know, the one that caused the deaths of more than 240 people because Texas Republicans can’t be bothered to fix our grid. That one. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is giving the state of Texas $26.4 million to help the recovery of low- and moderate-income neighborhoods and improve their resilience to future disasters and climate impacts. Thanks, Biden Administration! Texas appreciates the assist. For such an independent state, it sure seems like we constantly need to be bailed out. Before getting the money, each jurisdiction has to create a plan explaining how the funds will be used and make it publicly available for comment for at least 30 days. I don’t know if Collin County will get any of that money but if we do, we have to be vigilant about how the funds will be spent.

We especially need to be watchful about housing and infrastructure since our population is growing. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, Collin County was among the top 10 counties in the U.S. for population growth last year. Our growth has been termed “past explosive,” since homes are going far above asking price and our infrastructure is struggling to keep up. We also will need to monitor our water supply. Last year, ground broke on a $490 million lake project in Fannin County meant to help North Texas handle our surging water needs. Even that may not be enough. We have major challenges ahead and, let’s face it, Republicans have no idea how to meet them. Democrats do.

To prove my point, Collin County Judge Chris Hill used the news of our population growth to gloat about having the lowest property taxes in the state, as if that’s any metric of a great life. He also said we lead the way in county government efficiency and excellence. Yeah, I’m going to need some proof of that. The court’s inability to adequately staff county departments and provide needed services doesn’t translate into excellence, only misery. Hill also used the news as a way to bash Democrats. Classy, especially for someone who’s supposed to lead all of us.

We have a fantastic group of Democratic candidates determined to serve their community, including Josh Murray who hopes to defeat Chris Hill. In order to help them do that, CCDP put on an amazing Candidate Bootcamp designed to improve their campaigning knowledge and abilities. Ten talented volunteers gave up their Saturday to work personally with candidates to hone their skills. It was a great success and all of us – candidates and volunteers – left feeling enthusiastic and inspired. Democrats are awesome!!

“A change is brought about because ordinary people do extraordinary things.”

Barack Obama

We can’t let our candidates do all the heavy lifting. If we want to save our democracy, each and every one of us must be willing to fight. That means we must know where the fight is, whether it’s school board chaos, voter suppression, or water resources, it’s vital to know what’s going on at the municipal level. Please sign up to join the team covering your city council or school board. Everyone is welcome. All you need to do is contact me at and let me know you’re interested.

Comments 8

  1. The lawsuit filed against Fred Frazier and the Assist the Officer (ATÓ) Foundation was brought because the widow of the slain DPD officer wanted all of the ATO dispersements solely to herself, and the ATO was splitting the dispersements equally between the widow and the children of the deceased officer and not for any insinuated reason of wrongdoing by Mr Frazier and the ATO he was representing. Let’s not slam Fred for looking out for the kids of slain police officers. ,

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    2. The ATO could set minds at ease by releasing the results of the audit they claim to have had last autumn.

  2. Great column as always Misty. Thank you for taking the time to keep us informed.

  3. This was a slightly more positive missive … mainly because our peeps are showing up and doing things! Thank you to the brave responders at the school board meetings. And thank you to LWCC for showing up to stand up for democracy, literacy, public education, and the common good. We know we can’t count on Republicans to do anything but create chaos (Chad Green), grift (Paul Chabot), misrepresent (allegedly Frederick Frazier), showboat (what is UP with Chris Hill sending his “county updates” from his campaign emails), and corrupt (any number of leadership Republicans, but especially Ken Paxton).

  4. Remarkable reporting as always. Hearing the best things about the Candidate Bootcamp. Thank you Misty.

  5. Rejected mail ballots is a Republican problem. The more votes they lose to their own silly laws, the more likely they lose their own elections.

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