RELEASE: Missing money, deadlines among discoveries while reviewing Justice Thomas J. Baker's paperwork


Aug. 16, 2019
Media contact: Andy Hogue, Communications Director, 
[email protected]

AUSTIN ⁠— A freshman Democratic appeals court justice may have run his campaign touting his experience in the courtroom.

But Justice Thomas Baker's experience in running a campaign apparently has much to be desired, according to several inconsistencies discovered in his legally required campaign finance paperwork.

Travis County Republican Party Chairman Matt Mackowiak filed a sworn complaint on Tuesday (Aug. 13), noting the numerous errors and miscalculations.

"When considering the complicated nature of his profession and researching caselaw, how can we expect Justice Baker to issue competent rulings if he cannot file accurate campaign finance reports?" said Matt Mackowiak, Chairman of the Travis County Republican Party. "The problems we discovered are indicative of mismanagement and could foreshadow ethical problems. The voters of Texas demand better out of our elected jurists."

Below are the campaign finance violation allegations included in the complaint:


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RELEASE: 2 new campaign finance violations discovered from District 1 Austin Council member


July 18, 2019
Media contact: Andy Hogue, Communications Director
[email protected]

BREAKING: 2 new campaign finance violations discovered from District 1 Austin Council member

Additional examples of Natasha Harper-Madison's neglect raise questions of competency, ethical standards

AUSTIN -- A single campaign finance rule violation for a first-term office-holder was enough to make local headlines this week following the release of semiannual filings.

Now, two new violations have been discovered following a careful investigation of District 1 City Council member Natasha Harper-Madison's campaign finance paperwork.

Travis County Republican Party (TCRP) Chairman Matt Mackowiak filed a sworn complaint to the City of Austin on Wednesday (July 17) detailing the violations. Austin-area media outlets picked up on one of the problems: Harper-Madison's acceptance of $3,695 in campaign contributions after her runoff victory — a clear violation of Austin city campaign finance rules. Harper-Madison dismissed it via KXAN-TV as an "innocent error."
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Homeless given more rights than property owners under new camping policy

UPDATE: Read further comments on this situation from TCRP staff via the Austin American-Statesman here.

July 3, 2019
Media contact: Matt Mackowiak
[email protected]

Homeless given more rights than property owners under new camping policy

Chairman Matt Mackowiak supports Gov. Greg Abbott in calling for Texas Legislature to reverse city decision

AUSTIN -- A recent change to city ordinance allowing homeless camps on private property, business frontage, and even public sidewalks has ignited a firestorm from both sides of the political spectrum.

It has now become legal in the City of Austin for homeless persons to camp on the front of one's private property or on public rights-of-way in the Capital of Texas. Even the Austin Police Association is expressing discomfort with the idea, which allows camping "on sidewalks, alleyways, and other public places (except parks and City Hall), which includes in front of your house, provided the people camping are not making the sidewalk unreasonably inconvenient or hazardous."

"This ill-advised homeless camping policy is the latest example of our all-Democrat City Council continuing its war on private enterprise and taxpayers," said Matt Mackowiak, Travis GOP Chairman. "There are better ways to incentivize businesses and homeowners to help alleviate homelessness in Austin, but chiseling away at our rights and public safety is not the answer.

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Ruddle succeeds Davis as TCRP Executive Director

Media Contact: Matt Mackowiak
(512) 423-6116 | [email protected]

April 15, 2019

Ruddle to Succeed Davis as TCRP Executive Director
Veteran of the Abbott Campaign Joins TCRP for the Rest of the 2020 Cycle

AUSTIN – Travis County Republican Party (TCRP) chairman Matt Mackowiak announced the appointment of Brian Ruddle to the position of Executive Director, effective immediately. Ruddle succeeds Spencer Davis who has served in that position since January 1, 2019 and is moving on to another role that he will announce soon.

“I am excited about working with Brian to elect more Republicans, grow the party and advance conservatism,” said Mackowiak. “Brian’s years of experience working with grassroots activists across the country, including the past two years for the Abbott Campaign, align perfectly with our goal to aggressively campaign and elect more Republicans in Travis County.”

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Austin-area Republicans support giving taxpayers power to tap brakes on runaway property taxes

Families and businesses continually being run out of Austin by high property tax burdens is a major concern for Travis County Republicans, who are now firmly standing with state legislative leaders to empower Texas taxpayers.

If passed by the Texas Legislature this session, House Bill 2 would require voter approval for local property tax hikes that represent a 2.5 percent increase. ....

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Spencer to succeed Teal as Executive Director

AUSTIN – Travis County Republican Party (TCRP) chairman Matt Mackowiak announced the appointment of Spencer Davis to the position of Executive Director, effective immediately. Davis succeeds Gary Teal who has served in that position since March of 2017. Teal will be announcing his next move soon.

 “I am excited that Spencer is joining TCRP at this important time,” said TCRP chairman Matt Mackowiak. “Spencer has exactly the kind of experience TCRP needs to soberly analyze the 2018 election cycle and develop our plan for 2020. Spencer shares our vision of a county party that raises considerable money and deploys it efficiently to help elect as many Republicans as possible. I have great confidence in his ability, drive, and experience.”

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LETTER: Travis County GOP Chairman Mackowiak to Tarrant County GOP: Reject Bigoted Effort to Remove Muslim

Thursday, November 29, 2018

The Honorable Darl Easton
Tarrant County GOP
7524 Mosier View Court, Suite 230
Fort Worth, TX 76118

Dear Chairman Easton –

I am writing today to encourage you to reject a bigoted effort launched by at least one of your precinct chairs to remove a Muslim individual from your leadership and remove another precinct chair who is married to a Muslim.

The Republican Party is the Party of Lincoln, whom you honor with an annual event which will be held again this coming February. I am quite sure that Lincoln would agree that the Republican Party has no religious test for affiliation. Our party is a big tent party. There is no place for vicious bigotry in it.

We have a platform that is passed by our convention delegates every two years that proclaims what we stand for as a party. As party officers, we work to implement our platform as much as we can at the local, state and federal level.

Some individuals may harbor fears or suspicions about other individuals. This is unavoidable.

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Election Night Party to celebrate Republican victories in Austin

AUSTIN -- The Travis County Republican Party will gather Tuesday evening in anticipation of victories up and down the ballot and in celebration of record GOP turnout in Austin.

Travis GOP's official Election Night Party is set from 7 to 10 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 6, at Cover-3 (Anderson Lane location), 2700 W. Anderson Lane, NO. 202, Austin.

Candidates and Travis GOP staff will be on-hand for media interviews and analysis of the incoming numbers. Local election results as well as key state and national races will be tracked throughout the evening.

All members of the media are welcome. For any accommodations please contact Andy Hogue, Communications Director, at (512) 298-9996 or [email protected]

WHAT: Election Night Party
WHEN: 7 to 10 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018
WHERE: Cover-3, 2700 W. Anderson Lane, Austin
WHO: Austin-area Republicans excited about change
Contact: (512) 298-9996 or [email protected]


Travis GOP unanimously endorses Todd Phelps for Mayor

AUSTIN -- The Travis GOP voted Tuesday night to "save the soul of Austin."

Todd Phelps, candidate for Austin mayor, received the unanimous endorsement of the Travis County Republican Executive Committee Tuesday evening. Phelps, a native Austinite who has made waves and built momentum with his message of cutting outrageous property taxes and ending corporate giveaways, has said if we fail to make Austin more affordable -- especially for our small businesses and local artists -- Austin will "lose its soul."

"Todd Phelps understands that we are in an epic battle for the future of this city, as our city leaders make affordability and transportation worse with their actions," said Matt Mackowiak, chairman of the Travis GOP. "We are thrilled to endorse Todd and grateful that he will offer voters a real choice in the Mayor’s race. I have asked a lot of people what meaningful difference there would be between four more years of Steve Adler and the election of Laura Morrison, and the difference is negligible. Our executive committee was impressed by Phelps' creative and practical approaches to solving the problems our hardest working citizens and small businesses face. We look forward to spreading our message of cutting taxes and reigning in government spending and regulations with him in the days approaching the Nov. 6 general election. We believe he can make the runoff and he needs help from fed-up Austin taxpayers to get there."

Phelps is a small business owner, farmer, and musician with experience in commercial lending, property management and spearheading a wind energy company in North Texas. 

"I am not a rich guy, I don’t live in a multi-million-dollar home, and I don’t have $300,000 to loan to my campaign," Phelps said. "But I know what it’s like for the hundreds of thousands of average people that are trying to run a business, cultivate the land, protect the environment and preserve the music and culture of Austin. I'm a man deeply saddened as retirees must leave behind their homes and friends because Austin is simply too expensive for them to live. I'm running for mayor because I want to do everything I can to save the soul of Austin."

For more information on the Todd Phelps for Mayor campaign visit

The mission of the Travis County Republican Party is to elect more Republicans and promote time-honored conservative principles in Travis County and the greater Austin area. For more information visit



Travis County GOP unanimously endorses Frank Ward for Austin City Council District 8

UPDATE: Frank Ward made the Runoff! Early voting starts Nov. 28 and ends Dec. 7, with Runoff Election Day on Tuesday, Dec. 11.

AUSTIN -- In a unanimous vote at last night’s monthly meeting (Aug. 21), the Travis County Republican Party Executive Committee endorsed Frank Ward for Austin City Council in District 8.

Currently representing the Southwest Austin district is Ellen Troxclair, who announced last month she would not seek re-election for a second, four-year term. She voiced her support for Ward as her successor soon after her retirement announcement and his candidate filing.

According to Matt Mackowiak, Chairman of the Travis County Republican Party, Ward is the best choice to carry on the strong leadership tradition begun by Troxclair, who was not only the first representative of District 8 under the 10-1 plan but the youngest woman ever elected to Austin City Hall.

"Frank Ward wants to fight for taxpayers and his experience, vision, platform, and unwavering commitment to conservative principles has earned the unanimous endorsement of the Travis County GOP," said Mackowiak. "Austin is suffering from an affordability crisis that City Hall is not only refusing to make better, but actively making worse. Frank Ward wants to seriously address our out-of-control property taxes, rising city spending and will support sensible transportation solutions. We strongly believe that Frank Ward is the right choice for District 8 citizens who have faithfully supported Troxclair for these past four years. I would urge all Republicans in the city of Austin to directly support Frank’s candidacy to ensure at least one conservative will be serving on the City Council come January."

“I’m honored to have the support of hard-working Austin conservatives who love this city, but also recognize that, increasingly, there are numerous challenges to people’s livelihoods here that must be addressed,” Ward said. “The persistent rise in our property taxes is unsustainable and will continue to drive out families and individuals who contribute much to Austin’s vibrancy and want to remain in our city. The way to deal with an affordability crisis is not to push for hundreds of millions of dollars in new bond spending on the backs of middle-class families or to maintain expensive, time-consuming, and unnecessary bureaucratic red tape that harms individuals and small businesses. Ellen has fought hard to change the status quo in Austin; I will do all I can to continue building on her important progress on behalf of all Austin taxpayers.”

Ward lives in Circle C with his wife, Marion, and their three children. He is a Partner with Austin-based public affairs firm, The Mach 1 Group, where he serves as Vice President of Client Services. With a Master’s degree in Government from Johns Hopkins University, experience working at the Export-Import Bank of the United States—as well as a record of dedicated service in The White House, the U.S. Senate, the Republican National Committee, and the Texas Capitol—Ward would also bring experience as a small businessman to the Council dais.

To learn more about Frank Ward, visit his campaign website,

The Travis County Republican Party exists to elect more Republicans in Travis County and the greater Austin metro area, while supporting the time-honored principles of the Republican Party. For more information visit