The Texas Tribune describes how former police captain Mark Aguirre took the action outlined above as part of an even more elaborate plan to detect suspected election fraud in Harris County, Texas. Former officer Mark Aguirre wasn’t out there just overtaking vans for fun. He was paid for this by a group funded by a Republican megadonor.
Aguirre was paid $ 266,400 by a group called “Liberty Center for God and Land”, directed by GOP Power Broker Steven Hotze. Hotze would be the same man who called Texas Governor Gregg Abbott in June to give him instructions on how to deal with protests against Black Lives Matter.
“I want to make sure he has a National Guard down here,” Hotze said to Abbott’s chief of staff, “and they have orders to shoot to kill if one of those sons of bitches gets upset like them.” Dallas, start pulling down stores – shoot to kill the son of a bitch. This is the only way to restore order. Kill her. Thanks. “
Hotze was also the money behind an effort to successfully overturn an LGBT non-discrimination ordinance in Houston, as well as the originator of the Texas version of the “bathroom bill”. Hotze has repeatedly sued the state over social distancing restrictions aimed at lessening the spread of COVID-19, including a new one filed just last Friday to block local mask mandates.
With this kind of well-founded leader at the top, it’s not shocking that the Liberty Center hired Aguirre to “investigate electoral fraud ahead of the 2020 election”. And it wasn’t just Aguirre. He hired 20 private investigators, all of whom were out and about to track down suspected fraud. How Aguirre became aware of this particular air conditioning technician, who was labeled “innocent and common” by Houston police, is not clear, but the former police officer and a team of his investigators followed the man for four days. Then Aguirre finished the man’s van, forced him off the street, and held him at gunpoint.
When police arrived and found that Aguirre was holding the technician at gunpoint, he stated that the man was at the center of a “huge” election fraud program. Aguirre directed the police to a parking lot where one of his employees had taken the van and told them it contained 750,000 fake ballot papers. Amazingly, it contained … air conditioning parts and tools.
Aguirre isn’t just a retired officer, he’s a retired captain. He has been in an “indefinite suspension” since 2002. What did Aguirre do in 2002 that earned him an 18-year suspension? At this point, Aguirre designed and directed the Great Texas Kmart Raid. Aguirre led a large group of officers into a Kmart parking lot where a total of 450 people, none of whom were drag racing, were arrested. People were arrested when they came out of the store. They were arrested while buying groceries in a restaurant. A ten year old girl was arrested and taken from her unarrested father. Much of this has been done at gunpoint, with officials pointing shotguns at Kmart buyers as they forced them into police cars.
The result of all this was an astonishing series of lawsuits that took years to process. And Aguirre’s extremely long suspension. But of course, that didn’t stop Hotze from putting Aguirre at the head of his fraud investigation team. For Hotze, this Kmart raid was probably a huge plus.
Aguirre was arrested in Houston on Tuesday. The only question is … what took so long?