Ben Barnes emerges as Democratic Puppeteer

Immediately below is the telephone message that I began to run today in Houston, Austin, San Antonio and Laredo.  Tony Sanchez and Marty Akins, the Republican turncoats, must be stopped at any cost from seeking the Democratic nomination for governor.  Both these men are controlled by Ben Barnes who was forced out of the lt. governor's job in the early seventies by the citizens of Texas due to his suspected association with the Sharpstown scandal.

By their actions, Ben Barnes and his operatives have blatantly stated that they are the real determiners of who is and who is not going to run for office in Texas.  God only knows how many offices and elected officers they control.  It is incredible that these people think they can buy and sell political positions like so much real estate.

The time for this kind of immoral and unethical manipulation of the citizens of this state by those who have gigantic war chests with which to place candidates into office for the sole purpose of allowing them to make even more money by operating in the shadows of their straw men must come an end.

In the article, Mr. Akins says people want him to run for U. S. Senator.  This is so ridiculous that I cannot write about it to any great length without fear of dying of laughter.  The people of Marble Falls, Marty's home, say that he could not be elected dog catcher there. 

Akins and company are too politically naive to understand that by even suggesting that he may sell out to Barnes, it will kill whatever funding he would have received.  Most people are not going to finance someone who is not sure of what he is going to do.  It is just a matter of time until Marty is history.  Marty's lies, his dealings with Barnes, and his overall political naiveté are sure to leave him with an empty bag in the end.

John WorldPeace
August 29, 2001
The next governor of  Texas

Telephone message to the people of Texas - August 29, 2001

Texas is being taken over by godless men whose corruption is without bounds and this corruption and immorality in high places is about to destroy Texas. Godless men with histories of worshiping money and power openly plot the plundering of Texas.

This is John WorldPeace, Attorney at Law, and the next governor of Texas.

On August 28, 2001, R G Ratcliffe of the Houston Chronicle exposed the blatant political manipulation at the top of the Democratic Party.

Ben Barnes who 30 years ago was determined by the people of Texas as being unworthy and unfit to be the lt. governor of this state after his suspected involvement in the Sharptown scandal, is obviously trying to use his power to rape and pillage our great state. Mr. Barnes and his candidate for governor, Tony Sanchez, the 600 million dollar man from Laredo, Texas, are even at this moment conferring on how best to plunder our state.

This is the Tony Sanchez whose failed S & L laundered 25 million dollars in drug money. The Tony Sanchez who just five months ago tried to destroy the good name of Henry Cuellar by calling him a homosexual. This is the Tony Sanchez who is about to sell the bankrupt Camino Columbia Toll Road outside Laredo to Texas. This is the Tony Sanchez who is now plotting with his former mentor Ben Barnes to cut a deal with Marty Akins to drop out of the governor’s race: And it is painfully obvious that Marty Akins is open to the idea by virtue of his meeting with Ben Barnes on Monday night.

It is obvious that Barnes has just not offered enough money to Akins for Akins, a proven liar, to withdraw from the governor’s race. He has only offered Akins enough to consider dropping out according to Mr. Ratcliffe’s article.

It is time to clean house. It is time to say no to evil. It is time to say no to Tony Sanchez and Marty Akins and their current puppeteer Ben Barnes. It is time to vote for WorldPeace. It is time for an end to politics as usual. Vote for WorldPeace the new face of politics in Texas.

For more information, go to on the internet. Thank you and God Bless Texas.

Aug. 28, 2001, 11:05PM

Akins passes offer to exit governor race 
Copyright 2001 Houston Chronicle Austin Bureau 

AUSTIN -- A key ally of Laredo businessman Tony Sanchez this week tried to get Marty Akins to drop out of the Democratic gubernatorial race in advance of Sanchez's formal announcement as a candidate next Tuesday. 

Former Lt. Gov. Ben Barnes, who once employed Sanchez as a legislative aide, tried to broker a deal with Akins on Monday in which Akins would drop out of the governor's race in exchange for the backing of Democratic leadership in a race for Texas land commissioner, according to several sources familiar with the exchange. 

Akins, a lawyer and former University of Texas football star, considered the deal, but decided to stay in the governor's race after incidents later in the day made him believe Barnes was not acting in good faith, the sources said. 

After a published report Tuesday indicated Akins would drop out of the governor's race, he issued a statement reaffirming his commitment to the contest. 

He said the "political establishment" had been trying for months to get him to run for U.S. Senate, land commissioner or comptroller. 

"I am Marty Akins, and I am running for governor of Texas," Akins said. 

Barnes did not return calls from the Houston Chronicle. 

Sanchez campaign manager Glenn Smith said Barnes was not acting on behalf of the campaign. Smith also said Sanchez is not going to support any other specific candidates in primary races. 

The Democratic Party leadership has rallied behind Sanchez, a multimillionaire, in the belief his Hispanic heritage and wealth will make him a viable opponent to Republican Gov. Rick Perry. 

Akins also can tap personal wealth for his campaign, but many party leaders want Akins out of the race because they fear a tough primary would leave a weakened nominee who could not beat Perry. An Akins nomination also would spoil the game plan of having a high-profile Hispanic on the ticket to drive up turnout in that heavily Democratic voting bloc. 

Barnes' role in the deal brokering could give Perry's campaign additional fodder for a potential general election contest with Sanchez. 

In speeches around the state last year, Barnes promoted tax hikes and the possible creation of a state income tax. Perry aides privately have said they will use those opinions and Barnes' association with Sanchez to challenge Sanchez on state fiscal policy. 

Barnes invited Akins to his Austin office on Monday to discuss the possibility of Akins seeking the land commissioner's post. Barnes also invited former Land Commissioner Garry Mauro to explain the land office operations to Akins. 

Mauro, the 1998 Democratic gubernatorial nominee and a Sanchez supporter, said he did not ask Akins to switch races during the Monday meeting because he had asked Akins last December to consider a race for some office other than governor. 

"My feeling always has been Marty would be a great candidate for the Democratic Party, just not in a year when a strong Hispanic is heading the ticket," Mauro said. "Timing is everything in politics." 

Mauro said he also talked about the land office last Friday with Sen. David Bernsen, D-Beaumont, who is considering a run for the office. 

Democratic operatives said Barnes assured Akins that if he got into the land commissioner race there would be no Democratic opponent and that Sanchez and Democratic leaders would support his campaign. Akins told Barnes he would consider the offer. 

Barnes then called Bernsen and urged him to stay out of the race, operatives said. Bernsen in turn called Akins to tell him he already had lined up support from some of the same Democratic leaders that Barnes had told Akins he could bring on board his campaign. 

At that point, Akins decided Barnes was not acting in good faith and decided to stay in the governor's race, the operatives said. 

Kyle Garrison, Bernsen's chief of staff, confirmed the senator is contemplating a race for land commissioner and will make a decision "very shortly." 

The incident marks the second time this year that Sanchez political associates have made headlines. 

Earlier this year a pair of private detectives hired by a lawyer working for Sanchez questioned people throughout South Texas and in the Legislature about whether Perry's secretary of state, Henry Cuellar of Laredo, had threatened physical violence against Sanchez. The investigators also spread rumors that Cuellar is gay. 

Cuellar called it a "smear" campaign. Sanchez put blame on the private detectives, but apologized.

Texas Monthly September 2001 (Excerpt)

Ben Barnes
So what if he never got to be governor or president? 

Thirty years after Sharpstown, Barnes is more powerful than ever.

by Paul Burka

...then the Securities and Exchange Commission filed suit against Houston banker and real estate developer Frank Sharp, alleging that Sharp had manipulated the price of his bank's stock. The stock happened to be owned by some prominent Texas political figures, including Governor Preston Smith, and at Smith's request, the Legislature had passed two bills that would have eased Sharp's problems with bank regulators. (Ironically, Smith had vetoed the bills when other bankers protested.) Barnes owned no stock and had no dealings with Sharp that anyone could find. The entire legislative session of 1971 went by without a suggestion that he was involved. But that summer, Sharp was seeking a plea bargain to avoid a trial and prison time, and he told federal investigators that his political operative had told him, "Ben is smarter than those other politicians—he only takes cash." The operative denied having made the comment, and to this day there has never been any evidence to link Barnes to the Sharpstown scandal. But his meteoric career worked against him; who knew what such an ambitious young man might have done?

As 1972 began, he had a big lead over his most serious opponent in the gubernatorial primary, Uvalde rancher Dolph Briscoe. But as the vote drew near, House Speaker Gus Mutscher was convicted of conspiracy to accept a bribe in the form of bank stock. And lieutenant governor candidate Bill Hobby had billboards that read "Bill Hobby will make a good lieutenant governor . . . honestly." Ouch. "We could see the polls dropping in the final weeks," Barnes told me. "I went from over fifty percent to the forties, to the thirties." In the end, he didn't even get twenty....