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Trustee John Perez and Candidate Matthew Cone call for transparency and accountability

On Friday, March 29th, Matt Cone, candidate for SBISD school board, took to Twitter and called for “transparency” and “accountability” in “all areas” of SBISD.

Yesterday, SBISD Trustee John Perez posted an eight-minute video vigorously supporting Matt Cone’s candidacy. In endorsing Mr. Cone (again), Mr. Perez said “I have spent a lot of time with Matt”, and added “I've seen him make the hard financial decisions, I’ve seen him manage [my campaign’s] money.”

Mr. Perez made a point to add “At the end of the day, don’t forget you are electing a Trustee.”

We have edited Mr. Perez's statement for length if you'd like to hear it yourself:

Mr. Perez then issued this directive to all the constituents of SBISD:

"I would caution folks, look for the red flags, do your research, and really dig in", adding that it was clearly appropriate to then “Lay it all out there for people to see, for people to weigh in on, and for people to make a choice."

Aight, bet. Save SBISD is all over that for you, already.

After a cursory Google search and a few hours following the leads where they took us, Save SBISD has identified at least six civil matters across multiple jurisdictions in Texas and one Federal Court involving Matthew T. Cone and / or his related entities from at least as far back as 2014 through at least 2022.

Judgements against Matthew T. Cone and his related entities in certain of these matters range from $70,000 to over $500,000.

This was not a difficult thing to discover. The information is all out there for anyone to easily find. In just a few hours, the Save SBISD team has surfaced hundreds of documents and over a thousand pages of court filings for us to review.

Red flags identified.

As we are preparing our first of MANY updates on these findings, let’s first be sure to codify for the permanent record which political organizations are already endorsing Matt Cone in his race for SBISD school board.

Mr. Cone’s campaign website lists these organizations as endorsers of his:

Moms for Liberty is a national organization with local chapters that vet school board candidates via an application and interview process. Only after a review of a candidate’s application and an interview with chapter membership, does the local chapter vote whether, or not, to endorse the applicant and interviewee.

Leadership of the Harris County Moms for Liberty Chapter is listed as:

The Harris County Chapter of Moms for Liberty completed their formal diligence and endorsed Matt Cone’s candidacy on March 19th. It is unclear whether this chapter of Moms for Liberty either 1) scrutinized Matt Cone and didn't care about his extensive legal history, or 2) didn't bother to perform basic background diligence at all.

The next organization listed on Mr. Cone’s website is Parents for Improved Public Education (PIPEline). PIPEline’s website does not specifically name the leadership of the organization.

However, PIPEline’s website does go into great detail about their historical candidate vetting process. In referencing a previous SBISD election, PIPEline claims to have “spent months vetting 15 potential board candidates in order to be confident with our endorsement”.

The final organization to endorse Mr. Cone is Spring Branch Families PAC. We updated you last week about their recent change in mission and the associated change in funding sources for this political action committee.

Interestingly, Spring Branch Families PAC and PIPEline issued a joint press release at 12:44 pm on February 16th endorsing Matt Cone. The spokesperson for both organizations is Mary Chamberlain.

In the press release located on their own website, PIPEline and SBF PAC state that their endorsement for Matt Cone is simple in that he is a “dedicated advocate for our schools and the future of our children.” It graciously repeats a portion of Mr. Cone’s platform, citing Mr. Cone’s own charge that voters “requir[e] accountability and fairness by ensuring that…the board is held accountable by its voting community”.

Ms. Chamberlain is quoted as a board member of PIPEline and SBF PAC that they “have faith in [Matt Cone’s] candidacy and look forward to him representing the interests of all students and families in SBISD.”

In a break from their prior process, PIPEline and Spring Branch Families PAC strangely chose to endorse Matt Cone before the deadline to file for office even arrived. David Slattery did not file to run for the Board until the next day. PIPEline, it seems, has changed the way it vets candidates, as the organization failed to consider all the candidates in the race.

Given PIPEline’s and SBF PAC’s disregard for considering a complete candidate field, and given that PIPEline likely spent “months” getting to know Mr. Cone, we must conclude that PIPEline and SBF PAC were well aware of these red flags and got comfortable with Mr. Cone anyway.

So comfortable, in fact, that they endorsed Matt Cone on February 16th, before the field was known and locked the next day.

We now have a lot of work to do, so we are going to get back to it. Save SBISD will be burning the midnight oil and turning out updates over the coming days and weeks. So, if you haven’t already, subscribe and follow us on Twitter. These are going to be the most intriguing updates you have ever read from Save SBISD.

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