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Harris County Taxpayers Set to Pay Democrat Consultant $300/Hour
By: Mark Mccaig of the Texas Voice
Harris County Commissioners Court is set to approve a contract with a consulting firm owned by a prominent Democratic political consultant at their meeting this Tuesday. According to the agenda posted for the October 10 meeting of Harris County Commissioners Court, the Court will consider a contract with Angle Strategies, Inc. “for consulting services related to redrawing Harris County Election Precinct boundaries to comply with Chapter 42 of the Texas Election Code.”
Angle Strategies, Inc. is a Washington, DC-area consulting firm owned by prominent Democratic political Consultant Matt Angle. According to the proposed contract, “Matt Angle will help the County comply with Texas Election Code Chapter 42 by redrawing the boundaries of Harris County Election Precincts that are required to be redrawn.” Under the terms of the proposed contract, Angle Strategies will be paid $300 per hour for services rendered under the contract.
Matt Angle is the founder and director of the Lone Star Project PAC, which supports Democratic candidates across Texas. Among those assisted by the Lone Star Project include Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, who received an in-kind contribution valued at $35,000 from the Lone Star Project last year. According to a report from Axios published in June, Angle is also a senior advisor to a SuperPAC that intends to spend millions of dollars opposing Ted Cruz in the 2024 election.
On social media, Angle has been very complimentary towards Democratic officials in Harris County while spewing vitriol towards conservatives. In 2020, Angle praised Democratic Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis for his role in creating an election administrator’s office in Harris County.
“Harris Co was plagued for years by @TexasGOP vote suppressors in Clerk & Tax Assessor Collector offices. @RodneyEllis is taking the lead to assure fair & efficient elections,” wrote Angle. After a series of elections plagued with irregularities and mismanagement, the Texas legislature passed a bill earlier this year that shut down the Harris County elections administrator’s office and transferred the duties of the office back to the elected Harris County Clerk and Tax Assessor-Collector.
Among Republican leaders attacked by Angle include Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan, who Angle claimed supported racist “Jim Crow election laws” and “racially gerrymandered maps intended to undermine Texas voters & democracy itself.” Angle also described a property tax relief proposal supported by Phelan as an “appraisal cap boondoggle.” State Representative Briscoe Cain also drew the ire of Angle, who described Cain as “the essence of stupidity mixed with bad intentions.”
The proposed contract with Angle Strategies that is up for consideration this week is not the first time that Harris County has done business with the firm. According to payment records from the Harris County Auditor, Harris County taxpayers paid Angle Strategies $194,225.33 last year. Angle Strategies has also done work for Dallas County related to redistricting.
This is where things become nefarious, Harris County has been using the DNC juggernaut donor Civis Analytics to data mine from the county. All Angle has to do is PIA the data and use it to determine the best polling locations for the Democrats.
Civis Analytics was born out of President Obama’s re-election campaign and changed the game from gut-level guesswork to data-driven campaigning. Much of the direction of this effort was reportedly originally based on the counsel of Google’s Eric Schmidt, who made an investment to keep the Obama Campaign’s analytics group, previously known as “the Cave,” together.
The company, Civis Analytics, is headed by Dan Wagner, who is often credited as having produced Obama’s 5 million-vote margin of victory through his bottom-up analytics strategy that let the data do the directing. Businessweek reports that the company will be staffed by two dozen of his former employees during the campaign, with ownership being shared by both the team and their angel investor, Schmidt.
Gabriel Burt, the Lead Analytics Engineer for the 2012 Obama campaign will serve as the company’s CTO. Burt has a background developing web and analytics software at Novell and IBM, as well as work during college at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for the Nuclear Radiation Laboratory, the Institute for Computational Cosmology, NASA, and the NCSA.
During the election campaign, the group developed analytic models in which they ran over 65,000 simulations each night to project who was winning in battleground states. Armed with voter contact data, they would make as many as 9,000 calls in a night to measure broad public opinion in order to develop statistical models (including social networks) that they would then use for highly targeted campaign efforts, leveraging a network of volunteers.
“Thousands of staff and millions of volunteers from across states and backgrounds spoke to millions of their fellow Americans,” says the company website. “The strategy of the campaign was built by the voters we spoke to, and analytics was the bridge. From millions of data points, we constructed the most accurate voter targeting models ever used in a national campaign. We predicted the election outcome in every battleground state within one point. And our work guided decision-making and resource optimization across the campaign.”
Starting to see where this is going? A data analytics group who worked for Obama’s Campaign is receiving LARGE contracts through partisan County contractors to pull your data. Remember how the 2020 Elections drop boxes and drive-thru voting locations were *strategically placed* in order to allegedly manipulate the turnout of the elections results? That was decided by companies like Civis Analytics, inc.
Why do organizations need data science?
Organizations are more reliably able to predict the future with certainty and with accuracy are more likely to win. In the case of the Obama campaign, they were able to say, "This is where things are at right now. This is where things are likely to go in the future. Let's make a bet on what that predicted future is likely to be."