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Dade Phelan Challenger Announces, Immediately Suspends Campaign
Candidate quality matters.
In Texas politics, one of the most controversial and disliked figures by the grassroots right is House Speaker Dade Phelan. Current Revolt has written no less than a dozen articles criticizing Phelan and the damage he has done to Texas conservative values, either through his actions or inaction.
With that being said, we actively welcome and encourage people to run for political office, and primary those who who are not advancing Christian conservative values. This is not an easy ask, as the pickings seem incredibly slim in our state, which is odd considering we’re larger than many countries.
This brings us back to Dade Phelan’s race. The first challenger to attempt to primary House Speaker Dade Phelan was Shilo Platts for HD21. We say “was” because he has suspended his campaign less than 24 hours after announcing.
We were originally made aware of Platts’ run due to an article published by The Texas Voice yesterday highlighting issues with Platts that were not immediately disclosed to his supporters and donors.
We decided to fact-check this article ourselves, as one does, and we uncovered additional information
Shilo Platts is a Jefferson County GOP precinct chair that moved to Texas around 5 years ago. He is a former Utah native.
The Texas Republican grassroots is desperate to have someone primary Dade Phelan, and when Platts’ announcement came people were ecstatic. Some had already donated to his campaign. Donors we spoke to said they would donate to anyone and everyone who would run against Dade Phelan. Some told us they had already signed up to volunteer on his campaign. But none had Googled Shilo Platts.
In Utah, Platts had applied for an insurance license and was subsequently denied. In a press release posted yesterday, seemingly directly released to Texas Scorecard who was also the first to announce Platts’ run, Platts explains that he had a Class B misdemeanor shoplifting charge that, before being expunged from his record, was uncovered during his application for an insurance license. Because of this misdemeanor, his application was denied.
A full copy of the report can be found here:
In addition, Platts’ mentions that he “clicked the like button” on provocative online content. He goes on to blame social media for seducing him and says that he has reached out to God (maybe also his wife?) for forgiveness.
Below are some of the photos he is referencing, a warning as they are explicit although we’ve censored out the more graphic content.
Platts also goes on to mention that he previously struggled with “alcoholism and addiction,” which we have also independently verified via his own social media posts.
On a page belonging to Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue, Shilo Platts posts, from his current and active Facebook account, about his struggles as a junkie and alcoholic.
We applaud those who are able to overcome their personal demons and maintain a path of sobriety. Although, this allegedly wasn’t the case, as we’ll touch on later.
Platts also mentions an argument with an “agitated, disgruntled customer” who had a disagreement with him over a business deal. Platts claims that “one particular individual” chose to produce a video “assaulting” him over a transaction.
That business owner, Chris, actually made multiple videos in 2017 (only 5 years ago), and they can be seen here:
We reached out to Chris of Vapors Dream about his videos and for further explanation about his interaction with Platts. He confirmed that the Shilo Platts running for office in Texas is indeed the Shilo Platts that allegedly pulled a “bait and switch” on his store. Chris told us he placed a very large order for specific vape juices from Platts, and when the order finally came in, it was completely wrong. Additionally, the juices were from a brand he had never heard of, as well as some with no label at all. When we asked if he had filed any suit against Platts, Chris told us that he was just starting out as a small business and did not have the financial means to sue Platts. Chris alleges that Platts wiped his social media accounts and completely disappeared when he attempted to reach out to him. Chris also claims that he took a complete loss on the order from Platts and sold the unknown product for .50 cents a bottle. We asked if Platts ever reached out to apologize or make him whole, Chris told us he had not.
The original Facebook page where these videos were posted are filled with over 100 comments and many other business owners who had negative experiences with Platts.
We did find a business registration filing for Shilo Platts and Capo Consulting LLC out of Utah.
Another business owner we spoke with alleges that they had placed a very large order for over $15,000 of vape juices through Platts. Delivery of these vape juices was expected at a particular time, and not only did the delivery not meet the deadline, but when the order showed up 60 days past deadline, it contained product from a brand they had never heard of and contained nothing of what they had ordered. The business owner claimed that when they confronted Platts, he explained that he was “struggling and going through a hard time” and admitted that he was having an issue with heroin and meth. This was alleged to have happened around 2017. When we asked why they never sued Platts, they claimed that they were a brand new small business and didn’t have the financial means to sue. Platts did not address this experience in his press release to Texas Scorecard. We asked the business owner if Platts ever reached out to make them whole or apologize. He did not.
Both of these business owners, located in different states, have similar stories involving an alleged bait-and-switch type of scam.
We have several other business owners who have agreed to talk to us about their negative experiences with Platt but we have not spoken to them yet at the time of publication.
We reached out to Platts directly for comment via phone, voicemail, and text. Platts never returned our calls or messages but did issue his press release to Texas Scorecard around 5 hours after we contacted him.
Multiple grassroots activists we spoke to, as well as people close to the Platts campaign, pointed to Tom Slocum as the campaign manager. At an event earlier this week, sources who spoke to us said Slocum introduced himself as Platts campaign manager, and grassroots activists we spoke to said Platts himself was referring to Slocum as his campaign manager.
When we reached out to Tom Slocum directly for comment, he denied any connection with Platts stating that he is working on getting people registered to vote. When we asked Slocum, via text, about the meetings and calls he was attempting to set up on behalf of Platts, he stopped responding.
Tom Slocum is a former candidate for office who received his largest campaign donation from a transsexual woman.
Tom Slocum and Shilo Platts both work in the Texas oil and gas industry.
So why does any of this matter?
Dade Phelan is arguably one of the most powerful, competent, and well-funded candidates in the state of Texas. So well funded, in fact, that he gives millions to other Republicans across Texas. He has been a kingmaker in recent Republican primaries, giving millions to loyal incumbents against challengers from the right.
Candidates running against Phelan and any establishment politician should be squeaky clean, well funded, well connected, and highly strategic in their efforts to unseat the incumbent. The Platts campaign is less than a week into launch and already filled with former drug and alcohol abuse, alleged scams, and pornography.
Our movement really isn’t as large as we are lead to believe by those who claim to empower us. Events we attend in DFW, Houston, Austin, and other places across Texas are generally attended by the same several hundred activists, give or take a couple hundred.
Texas political group chats we’re part of have a lot of the same people in them, copying and pasting and spamming the exact same Twitter posts, memes, and links in every group chat. You know what we’re talking about; if you’re like us, there are so many of these grassroots group chats that you have most of them on mute because it’s just constantly regurgitated and repetitive content.
In order to win, we have to grow our base. Not simply rage-post and conspiracy-post all day about the politicians that betray us and the screwjobs they curse us with. There are over 17 million registered voters in the state of Texas. Simply hating a candidate and having anyone run against them isn’t enough to win. Just ask Hillary Clinton. The average Republican voter wants intelligent, successful, and strategic candidates running for office who also surround themselves with good people. Having high quality candidates attracts new voters.
Candidate quality matters.
We did a very unscientific poll on our Twitter page (which you should follow, by the way) asking if one would donate to a Republican who was previously addicted to heroin. The results aren’t surprising if you’re not emotionally invested in a political race.
What’s interesting is the comment-replies are almost exclusively people saying they would support a candidate with a previous drug problem, but the actual votes overwhelmingly reflect the opposite. Although the voices are louder from one side, the actual votes that matter are much different.
In Platts’ press release he says he is “unsurprised” that the claims in the article came to light as they are easily found in a Google Search. We wonder why he didn’t reserve part of his campaign page to talk about his struggle with addiction and drug use. Why wait until a blog exposes it? Why not be upfront with your supporters and donors?
We do agree on one thing. Texans deserve better.
When it became obvious that all of this was going to come out and eventually sink his campaign, Platts released the following statement on Thursday morning—two days before his official campaign kickoff.
Welp, what can you say.
We look forward to additional candidates announcing in the race for HD21.
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