in Houston, Texas
Daughters of the Republic of Texas misused state funds, failed to preserve Alamo, attorney general finds
Wednesday, Nov 21, 2012, 11:47AM CST
By Mark Lisheron

Judging by a Texas Attorney General’s report, the only thing the Daughters of the Republic of Texas weren’t responsible for at the Alamo was killing off Crockett, Bowie and Travis.

The volunteer custodian for the Alamo for more than a century failed to preserve and maintain the shrine to Texas independence, misused and used state funds for its own benefit and violated state nonprofit organization laws in the process, according to a 38-page report provided to the Texas Legislature.

(You can read the entire report here.)

The Attorney General’s office released the report more than a year after concluding an investigation that began with a complaint of mismanagement by the DRT made in June 2010, the report says.

Daughters of the Republic volunteers continue to provide services at the Alamo, but under the direction of the state General Land Office, given authority over operations by the Legislature in 2011.

Even then, the report says, DRT leaders were not altogether honest in describing their stewardship of the Alamo to lawmakers.

Only because the Legislature removed the DRT from direct control of the Alamo is the Attorney General’s office refraining from legal action against the group, the report says.

Karen Thompson, president of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, told the San Antonio Express News the organization was shocked “at the outrageously inaccurate conclusions within the report.” Thompson said the report was not an accurate picture of her organization today.

The Attorney General’s report makes clear that much of its criticism is directed at DRT leadership.

“This report recognizes that the DRT and its members have committed countless volunteer hours to serving the Alamo and the State of Texas,” the report says. “Indeed, generations of DRT members have demonstrated tireless commitment to the Alamo.”

Contact Mark Lisheron at 512-299-2318 or or on Twitter at @marktxwatchdog.

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Photo of the Alamo by flickr user Rhubarble, used via a Creative Commons license.

Stephen Maynard
Saturday, 12/01/2012 - 10:36PM

So much as already been written - and surely much more will - about the Daughters of the Republic of Texas and their poor money management at the Alamo. You know. The Alamo. Surely, someone remembers.

Among other misdeeds, reports indicate the Daughters initially hid damaging financial information from the Texas Legislature. (Apparently, the Daughters had placed a Post-It note over two square inches of their records, thuse rendering lawmakers unable to find the incriminating info for months.)

Secretive ladies and legislative prowess aside, let's consider the lemons laying at the doorstep, as it were, and make some lemonade. Just across the street from the Alamo is a property of one of the world's more successful "attractions" companies: Ripley's.

Coincidence? Hey, believe it or not.

Surely I don't have to spell this out for you (as I would for Republicans), but I'm thinking the manager's of the Odditorium on one side of the street could take a stroll a few times a day and very efficiently manage the Odditorium on the other side of the street.

So, let's make Ripley's an offer: Hire them to manage the Alamo and take better care of the place than the Daughters have (making sure they install a 4D Cinema system so John Wayne will be 28 feet tall and we can smell his breath), then cut Ripley's a tax break on their next big purchase of Bigfoot key chains and other must-have merchandise.

At least then we'll know the revenue is going for something worthwhile.

Stephen Maynard

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