Dan Patrick buys $3 million in Israeli bonds

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick announced his campaign would purchase $3 million in Israeli government bonds to help the country in its “fight against terrorism” — a sum that equals the contribution made to his campaign from the embattled conservative group Defend Texas Liberty (DTL) PAC.

“Recently, I condemned Nick Fuentes, an avowed anti-Semite, when I learned he had met with the President of Defend Texas Liberty PAC,” Patrick said in a press release. “I was assured changes would be made. I have also learned there are other so-called Republicans who share these hateful beliefs and are trying to spread their anti-Semitic views within the GOP.” 

“Let me put this as clearly as I can — if you are anti-Semitic, if you admire Hitler and don’t believe the Holocaust happened in Europe, if you hate Jews, you are NOT a Republican and you are not welcome in our party.”

He then said, “Today I am announcing my campaign is purchasing $3 million in bonds for Israel. Israel needs our help now in the fight against terrorism.”

Earlier this year, Patrick received a $1 million donation and a $2 million loan from the PAC, which has been a supporter of the lieutenant governor both on the campaign trail and in his legislative endeavors.

A couple of weeks ago, Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar announced the state would purchase $20 million in Israeli government bonds to provide the country “financial liquidity” in its war against Hamas. Those bonds were 5-year maturity notes with a 5.74 percent interest rate.

It’s unclear what the details of Patrick’s bonds are as of publishing. Current rates for Israeli bonds, at various maturity levels, are all in the 5 percent range.

Initially, the purchase could cost Patrick’s campaign $5 million since the $2 million loan must be paid back — that is, unless it is forgiven by DTL, something the PAC has done before. But Patrick doesn’t have to seek re-election until 2026, and after the bonds mature, the interest accrued will amount to an extra sum.

The lieutenant governor’s decision comes after the PAC met with right-wing gadfly and antisemitic commentator Nick Fuentes earlier this month. Fuentes was photographed by the Texas Tribune exiting the Fort Worth office of Pale Horse, the PAC’s underlying consulting firm, six and a half hours after going in.

At the time, DTL and Pale Horse were both run by former state Rep. Jonathan Stickland (R-Bedford); he has since been removed as the PAC’s president.

The immediate aftermath of the meeting led to another high-profile spat between Patrick and Speaker Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont), in which the latter called on the former to return the $3 million, citing the Hamas attack in his statement. Patrick returned fire with a call for Phelan’s resignation: “For anyone to try to use these invectives for their own political gain is below contempt.”

In recent days, a growing number on the State Republican Executive Committee (SREC) — the body that governs the Texas GOP apparatus — have signed onto a circulated letter condemning DTL and Stickland.

“Jonathan Stickland has forfeited his right to any leadership role in conservative politics and accordingly complete disassociation from DTL, including its benefactors and the RPT is the only reconcilable outcome which is now being formally called upon to accomplish instanter,” the statement reads.

Phelan addressed Patrick's announcement in his own statement, saying, "As I have pointed out repeatedly over the last two weeks: there is no place for antisemitism within the Republican Party. We must remove its terrible influence, both root and branch. Lt. Governor Patrick correctly points out that we have problems that need to be addressed in the formal structure of the Republican Party of Texas."

He then took aim at another figure: "If we are to ‘root out this cancer,’ as Lt. Governor Patrick states, those efforts begin with Matt Rinaldi's resignation as the Chairman of the Republican Party of Texas."

"Additionally, the donors to Defend Texas Liberty PAC, Texans for Strong Borders, and any other organization affiliated with Pale Horse Strategies and its corrupting web of influence, should request an immediate return of any funds donated. Defend Texas Liberty PAC and Texans for Strong Borders should then be dissolved.”

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