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Texas Has its Own Jussie Smollett Wannabe with Ties to the Biden Administration

AP Photo/Paul Beaty, File

When all else fails, Democrats play the race card. In Fort Bend, Texas, a candidate for precinct commissioner is accused of creating a fake Facebook account to post racist messages against himself so he could accuse Republicans of doing it.

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Taral Patel is a former Biden administration appointee. He is the Democrat nominee for Precinct 3 commissioner in Fort Bend, an area in the Houston vicinity. 

He was arrested last week. The charges against him are online impersonation, a third-degree felony, and misrepresentation of identity, a Class A misdemeanor, as confirmed by Fort Bend County District Attorney Brian Middleton's office. 

Patel posted $22,500 for two bonds, one on each charge, and he surrendered his passport.

Incumbent Andy Meyers, Patel's opponent, initiated the investigation. He has served in the office for more than 25 years. He is a white Republican. 

Patel is accused of using another person's photo to make a Facebook profile, posting racist and xenophobic messages, then posting screen grabs of the messages to request donations from supporters in the county. The messages Patel is accused of faking also called for support for Meyers, records show.

Patel used Facebook to post fake insults about him in September 2023. He posted a photo of alleged racist posts against him. He also posted messages of support for Meyers. 

"[W]hen my Republican opponents supporters' decide to hurl #racist, #anti-immigrant, #Hinduphobic, or otherwise disgusting insults at my family, faith community, colleagues, and me - that crosses a line," he wrote. He also accused former President Donald Trump and "today's extremist Republican party" of inciting such rhetoric.

I guess Jussie Smollett must have left quite an impression on Patel. He was using the same playbook - accusing MAGA Republicans of racism to make himself a victim. 

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When the racist comments were alleged, Meyers said that the claims could not be substantiated.

Patel was arrested by a Texas DPS state trooper who pulled him over for speeding. The trooper noticed that Patel had an active warrant and took him into custody. Patel did not resist arrest. 

Dennis Spellman, Meyers' media relations manager, questioned the messages' credibility in September. "Our office investigated the individuals that commented but we were unable to find them or authenticate their existence." 

Fort County Judge KP George called Patel's arrest "an unfortunate incident." He said last week that he awaits additional information about the case. Patel is the judge's former chief of staff. 

“Recognizing the gravity of the situation, I emphasize the vital importance of upholding the principles of due process and impartial investigation,” George said in the statement. “I trust that the matter will be examined without prejudice.”

Unfortunate, indeed. If the tables were turned and this story was about a Republican who impersonated racist Democrats, the outcry from Democrats would have been much louder. The narrative that it is Republicans who are the racist xenophobes comes into play every election cycle. 

The messages called him a "dirty Pakistani," who "supports terrorists." They accused Patel of worshipping "false gods" like a "monkey" and an "elephant" in a "Christian nation." 

He created a Facebook account called  "Antonio Scalywag." That account belonged to another person, Patrick Ernst of Needville, Texas. Ernst was aware of the fake account. He was asked to come in to the district attorney's office for an interview.

Meta, Facebook's parent company, was subpoenaed for the email used to create the account. Patel used his name to create the email. 

Taral Patel has a connection to the Biden administration. According to his campaign website

  • Appointed by President Joseph R. Biden to serve in his Administration as a Liaison for the White House 
  • Served as a Law Clerk for the Department of Justice Criminal Division in the Public Integrity Section fighting corruption, bribery, and other crimes at all levels
  • Appointed as a key member of the White House Asian American Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (WHAANHPI) Committee

Public integrity, Biden-style. Heh.

Patel posed bond on June 13. He is scheduled ffor a court appearance on July 22.




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