SPECIAL REPORT

PORT POLITICS


Hidden in Plain Sight When disgraced former Congressman Blake Farenthold resurfaced as the Calhoun Port Authority's first full-time lobbyist at annual salary of $160,000, the public was outraged. Farenthold later said in a deposition that he and the port board thought they could weather this initial storm and continue to do business as they always had outside the public view. All other state and national media quickly moved on from the story, but the Victoria Advocate kept digging, learning that Farenthold's hiring was done during an illegal secret meeting. From there, the Advocate, although only a small, family-owned newspaper, filed a Texas Open Meetings Act lawsuit on behalf of the public. And kept reporting ...



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Blake Farenthold is deposed for the Victoria Advocate vs. Calhoun Port Authority lawsuit.

Special investigations

Ongoing coverage

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After several months of discussion, the Calhoun Port Authority adopted bylaws on Wednesday for the first time in its history.

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The Calhoun Port Authority approved a ground lease agreement with Max Midstream Texas on Tuesday that will allow the Houston-based company to use about five acres on the North Peninsula.

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POINT COMFORT – The Calhoun Port Authority went into a closed session for about an hour Wednesday during its monthly meeting to discuss the employment and role of David Knuckey, its director of engineering.

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POINT COMFORT – Night fell on the Calhoun Port Authority office Monday as the board discussed a rough draft of bylaws for nearly two hours during a special meeting.

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POINT COMFORT – Board Director Charles Hausmann got approval from the board on Wednesday to start looking for proposals to create a port master plan, which he said will help promote the port to more industry.

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POINT COMFORT – The Calhoun Port Authority board voted Wednesday to reject a bid from RLB Contracting Inc. to dredge the port’s berthing areas and instead pay the government to complete the work.

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POINT COMFORT – The Calhoun Port Authority Board, which has been under scrutiny since hiring a disgraced congressman as a lobbyist in 2018, voted on Wednesday to stop emailing its agendas to the public.

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POINT COMFORT – The Calhoun Port Authority Board met in closed session for almost an hour Wednesday to discuss acquiring more real estate for development.

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The Calhoun Port Authority, which secretly hired a disgraced congressman as a lobbyist much to residents’ chagrin in 2018, stopped emailing its meeting agendas to the public this week.

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The Calhoun Port Authority spent more on a conference in San Francisco this year than it did on one in South America last year.

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POINT COMFORT – The Calhoun Port Authority tried to close an unflattering chapter of its history as well as its books Monday.

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Calhoun County is trying to get into the party planning business.

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POINT COMFORT – Newer Calhoun Port Authority board members admonished its staff after they had to change the scope of a contract not once, but twice.

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POINT COMFORT – The Calhoun Port Authority Board met Thursday to discuss a Texas Open Meetings Act lawsuit, but the result was the same as previous meetings.

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POINT COMFORT – People crowded inside the Calhoun Port Authority on Wednesday to bear witness to a rare transition of power for the public entity.

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PORT LAVACA – The board member who directed port staff to hire former Congressman Blake Farenthold as a lobbyist was trounced Saturday, and so was his staunch ally.

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PORT LAVACA – Incumbent board members said the No. 1 issue facing the Calhoun Port Authority is the Matagorda Ship Channel’s failing jetties.

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Before Calhoun Port Authority board chairman Randy Boyd hired disgraced Congressman Blake Farenthold, the board made a strikingly similar move.

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An appellate court Thursday dismissed a lawsuit against the Calhoun Port Authority, ruling former Congressman Blake Farenthold’s resignation as a lobbyist had made the case irrelevant.

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Calhoun Port Authority board members Wednesday again refused to settle a Victoria Advocate lawsuit that contends the board broke the Texas Open Meetings Act.

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Calhoun Port Authority Board Chairman Randy Boyd outspent all of his opponents combined by more than 5 to 1.

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The Calhoun Port Authority rejected Monday a longstanding offer to end a Texas Open Meetings Act lawsuit filed by the Victoria Advocate.

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Calhoun Port Authority Chairman Randy Boyd, whose seat has gone uncontested for more than a decade, has gone on the attack by placing multiple advertisements in the Port Lavaca weekly newspaper.

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POINT COMFORT – Residents may cast their votes for the upcoming Calhoun Port Authority election in one of five places.

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A man who voted to retain disgraced U.S. Congressman Blake Farenthold as the lobbyist is now fighting to retain his seat on the board of the Calhoun Port Authority.

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The Calhoun Port Authority Board’s has spent so far $360,000 to fight a lawsuit alleging it violated the Texas Open Meetings Act when it hired former U.S. Congressman Blake Farenthold as its lobbyist.

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Longtime Calhoun Port Authority Board Chairman Randy Boyd now has four challengers for the May 4 election.

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Calhoun Port Authority Board Chairman Randy Boyd has held the leadership role for more than a decade despite a rule that the chairman serve for only a two-year term.

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A Republican congressman plans to introduce legislation inspired by and named for former U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold to prohibit members of Congress from following in the disgraced legislator’s footsteps.

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A fourth man has entered the race to represent District 4 on the Calhoun Port Authority board.

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Calhoun Port Authority Board Chairman Randy Boyd has election challengers for the first time in more than a decade.

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Paul Lauterbach isn’t particularly excited about running for public office.

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Disgraced former Congressman Blake Farenthold submitted his resignation as lobbyist for the Calhoun Port Authority, officials announced Thursday.

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More than a year after Blake Farenthold was blasted by Republicans and Democrats alike for using taxpayer money to settle a sexual harassment claim, a new bill would mandate that members of Congress be personally liable to pay for such claims.

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The board of the Calhoun Port Authority met with its attorney in closed session for more than an hour on Wednesday but took no action afterward.

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The Victoria Advocate is asking the 13th Court of Appeals to order the Calhoun Port Authority to stop paying former U.S. Congressman Blake Farenthold as a lobbyist until a judge or jury decides whether his hiring was illegal.

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The Calhoun Port Authority spent about $19,000 to send three board members and their wives to an October conference in Chile.

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POINT COMFORT — Board Chairman Randy Boyd floated the idea of the Calhoun Port Authority not collecting taxes during a meeting on Wednesday.

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Calhoun County Port Authority board members ignored or refused to answer why they give themselves retirement benefit that no other Gulf Coast port board provides.

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The 13th Court of Appeals in Corpus Christi has granted the Calhoun Port Authority an extension in the Texas Open Meetings Act lawsuit it is embroiled in.

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Judge Bobby Bell denied on Wednesday the Calhoun Port Authority’s latest motion to dismiss a Texas Open Meetings Act case filed by the Victoria Advocate.

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The Calhoun Port Authority Board will meet Thursday in closed session to discuss replacing a board member who was arrested on suspicion of possessing synthetic marijuana.

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The Calhoun Port Authority thinks the Texas Open Meetings Act lawsuit it is facing is “pointless.”

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Blake Farenthold is deposed for the Victoria Advocate vs. Calhoun Port Authority lawsuit.

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Less than 24 hours after the Calhoun Port Authority appealed a ruling in a Texas Open Meetings Act case, an appellate court in Corpus Christi denied it.

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Former U.S. Congressman Blake Farenthold will have to testify in a Texas Open Meetings Act lawsuit, a judge ruled Monday.

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A judge is expected to decide Monday whether the Victoria Advocate can take testimony and information from Calhoun Port Authority officials.

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Former U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold does not want to give testimony in a Texas Open Meetings Act lawsuit between the Victoria Advocate and his employer, the Calhoun Port Authority.

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In less than five minutes Wednesday, the Calhoun Port Authority board of directors unanimously approved the next year’s budget, which projects a net revenue of about $4.1 million.

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The Calhoun Port Authority in a court filing this week officially denied violating the Texas Open Meetings Act.

Opinion

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The Calhoun Port Authority’s $400-an-hour lawyer claimed in court that he didn’t know what public notice was lacking before former Congressman Blake Farenthold was hired May 9.

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