Last week, I read an article from NPR about a former Houston, TX police captain named Mark Anthony Aguirre, who’d been arrested for assaulting an air conditioning repair man in October. He believed the man was part of a voter fraud scheme involving Mark Zuckerberg and Hispanic children.
It was such a bizarre story, that I saved the link so that I could come back to it later. I mean, I’ll be honest, there’s not a whole lot going on right now in the United States that isn’t bizarre. Still, I thought maybe it warranted a deep dive, especially because this assault wasn’t just a random, red-pilled, nutjob acting of his own volition. He was paid by people to “investigate” this alleged fraud, and I wanted to know why.
The office for the District Attorney of Harris County released a statement on December 15th about the incident. I’ll post a screenshot of it below, but it states that Aguirre had been to the authorities at least once before about alleged voter fraud before the incident in October. Aguirre was arrested for running a man off the road and then pointing a gun at the man’s head, demanding to know about the voter fraud Aguirre believed to be taking place prior to the November 3rd election.
Aguirre told police that he was working for a group called Liberty Center (NPR referred to them as the Liberty Center for God and Country). The group was “conducting a civilian investigation into the alleged ballot scheme.” Aguirre then told the police that he’d been surveilling the man for several days, believing that the man was holding 750,000 fraudulent ballots in his truck. According to the D.A.’s statement, “Instead, the victim turned out to be an innocent and ordinary air conditioning repair man.” An unidentified suspect took the truck to a parking lot and abandoned it. When police searched the truck, all they found were air conditioning parts and tools.
The D.A.’s statement also says that Aguirre was paid $211,400 for this “investigation.” NPR says he was paid a whopping $266,400. The NPR article also goes a little bit more in-depth about the voter fraud that Aguirre thought he was going to stop, vigilante style. He allegedly told police that his victim was using Hispanic children to sign the 750,000 fraudulent ballots because their fingerprints wouldn’t show up on any database and that Mark Zuckerberg had given 9.37 billion dollars to fund this scheme.
Three days before Aguirre and two unnamed suspects (Aguirre won’t name his accomplices) attacked this poor man, Aguirre called the Texas A.G.’s office asking for a traffic stop to help his investigation. When Aguirre was denied help, he told them he would handle the situation himself. Concerned that he would make good on his threat, the A.G.’s office called the police. Aguirre also called the Texas Rangers and the Texas Department of Public Safety.
After Aguirre had exhausted all of his legal and law enforcement outlets, he and his two accomplices set up shop at a local Marriott and planned the heist.
This is the first time I’ve read about one of these conspiracy theorist wackadoodles actually contacting law enforcement or anyone in government before carrying out their plan. Admittedly, Aguirre didn’t give these people any of the details of the assault, but he did reach out. Generally speaking, most of these people are distrustful of anyone in positions of authority, because they believe that those, at least in the government, are part of the fraud. It’s an interesting dichotomy, because the vast majority “back the blue” but also fervently believe in the Deep State. I don’t know if they don’t think the long arm of the Clintons extends out to local law enforcement, but it’s still odd that Aguirre would contact anyone he doesn’t implicitly know. I’m guessing that his time spent as a law enforcement officer (there’s some good research out there about cops and their penchant for QANON if you’re interested) allowed him to feel comfortable with making the calls that he made.
At any rate, Aguirre was arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, which can carry up to a 20-year stent in prison. An article written about the case on one of ABC’s affiliate stations in Houston, Channel 13 Eyewitness News, a copy of the full affidavit is available. You can read it in its entirety HERE.
I also found it odd that the incident took place in October, but the arrest didn’t come until earlier this week. I assumed they were building a case. The Texas A.G.’s office said they’d called the police, but it seemed as if nothing happened with that phone call, since Aguirre was clearly not being followed or investigated when the incident happened. However, the affidavit reports that the contact in the A.G.’s office merely reported the incident to his supervisor, not that he contacted the police. So, it’s possible that the information never made it out of the office at all (which is a huge failure on their part, if that’s the case).
The affidavit also confirms the sum of money $266,410 (as reported by NPR) that Aguirre was paid by the Liberty Center. $25,000 was paid on September 22, 2020; $25,000 was paid on October 9, 2020; and a final sum of $211,400 (probably where the A.G.’s office got their number) on October 20, 2020, which was the day after the incident. The affidavit was issues on December 10, 2020.
Aguirre was arrested and booked into the Harris County Jail on $30,000 bond, which seems pretty low to me, considering the huge sum of money Aguirre recently acquired. He could easily bond himself out, and so could his benefactors at the Liberty Center.
Oddly enough, I have some experience with offenders locked up in the Harris County Jail (it’s a long story), so I knew where to go to do an inmate search. Predictably, Aguirre was no longer listed as an inmate. A search for his name yielded no results.
I did a little more digging and found that he had, in fact, bonded out. I found that info through a VINE search. It doesn’t say who bonded him out, and I couldn’t find the bonding info anywhere. I found conflicting info about if the bonding record could even be found online, but I haven’t found it yet. If I do, I’ll update this story. There’s really no way to guess who provided the money, because it’s clear that Aguirre has the funds to do it himself. My other guess would be the dudes over at Liberty Center, who we’ll discuss later.
If I were the victim of this assault, or a member of his family, I would be concerned about Aguirre making bail. I think Aguirre and the people who paid him for this “surveillance” turned violent are dangerous, and I wouldn’t put it past them to continue harassment of this family, because it is likely that Aguirre and anyone else who might be involved still believe in the victim’s supposed involvement in this lie of voter fraud.
I’ve got a lot of ground to cover, so I won’t go into more detail about the affidavit, but I encourage you all to read it. It’s really interesting stuff.
Before we get into the players behind the Liberty Center, who are really at the heart of all of this, I think it’s probably important to write a little bit about Mark Anthony Aguirre.
In 2002, Aguirre was a police captain for the city of Houston. At the time, he had 23 years on the force when he oversaw a raid in a K-Mart parking lot that ended up going very, very wrong. The original plan had been to stop illegal drag racing in the area, with undercover cops roaming around, trying to find out who was planning to race. Bystanders were supposed to be sent home. However, according to a 2003 article in the Midland Reporter Telegram, when the police found no evidence of drag racing, they began to arrest people en masse. More than 270 people were charged with trespassing and curfew violations (a recent Heavy article put the number at 425), which included patrons of the K-Mart, the nearby Sonic, and the nearby James Coney Island drive-in restaurant.
The arrests caused such a public outcry, that it sparked the largest internal affairs investigation in the Houston police department to date. All of the charges against the individuals arrested were eventually dropped and the records were expunged at the department’s expense. Several lawsuits against the city and department were filed, and Aguirre and 13 other officers were suspended with pay. Aguirre and another officer were eventually charged with 5 counts of oppression over the incident. Aguirre’s attorney said that he expected the department to fire Aguirre and that Aguirre would “fight any departmental discipline.”
I found another article in the Houston Chronicle dating back to September of 2002 (the raid happened during the summer of 2002) that reported Aguirre ordered someone within the police department to buy more than $260 worth of “No Trespassing” signs the day before the raid. They were posted on private property prior to the raid, which is illegal. Police can’t place trespassing signs anywhere but city property. This suggests to me that Aguirre at least had a hunch that he would need more than a drag racing charge to arrest people.
Anywayyyyyyy…Aguirre was eventually acquitted of all charges in June of 2003, but Aguirre had already been fired by the department, and he was not offered his position back on the force. A 5 Fast Facts article on Heavy reported that at the time of the raid, Aguirre was angry that momentum in the force to crack down on crime had waned, and he had at least once been the subject of an anonymous complaint to the department about threatening other officers using profane language. The article also reported that after Aguirre’s acquittal, he was angry with the force for his treatment, felt he’d been betrayed, and wanted his job back as well as any back pay.
After leaving the Houston police force with what many would accurately describe as a tarnished record, Aguirre went on to become a private investigator of sorts. Both his private page as well as his business page make this distinction. His Facebook business page, while stating that he is a private investigator, is listed as a “lawyer and law firm.”
Both pages are fairly sparse, and I’m not sure if that’s because they’ve been scrubbed since his arrest made national news, or if they were just always that way. There are no public posts after 2016 on his private page and no posts after 2017 on his business page.
Obviously, the trolls have found him.
I can’t find any evidence that he was in any kind of legal trouble between 2002 and 2020.
Whatever the case, Aguirre is in some pretty hot water now, as he should be. However, it remains unclear whether or not the bros over at Liberty Center will be charged with any misdeeds.
Who are those guys, anyway?
The NPR article reported the names of two other men. One man is a Houston-area lawyer named Jared Woodfill, who represents a man named Steven Hotze. Steven Hotze is the CEO of Liberty Center. He is also an M.D. and big time Republican donor and activist.
And boy howdy, is Hotze active.
Hotze has a long record of donations to Republican PACS, candidates, and the Republican Party. The website Open Secrets has a running list of all of his donations, and I calculated that he’s donated at least $272,000 over the years. $62,900 of that are donations to Ted Cruz alone (can’t wait to tweet old Count Chocula later about that), and he also donated money to that pedophile from Alabama, Roy Moore. If you want to see the records for yourself, you can do that HERE. I didn’t find any other records of donations, but it’s likely that the more than quarter of a million reported by Open Secrets is just a fraction.
Hey, if you’ve got it, flaunt it, I guess?
The problem is that Hotze is a pretty well-known extremist who has spent years lobbying on an anti-LGBTQ+, pro-life agenda. It’s like his whole life has been leading up to the events of October, in some sick culmination of hatemongering of epic proportions.
I found a 1982 scanned PDF of an article from the Austin Bulldog about Hotze that is…well, it’s pretty fucking gross. The article is titled “Decency Ordained: Austin’s Anti-Gay Crusade.” The author, Kenneth W. Martin, gives the reader quite a bit of insight into the psyche of Steven Hotze. In 1982, Hotze was the founder of an organization called Austin Citizens for Decency, and he was on a mission to make sure housing authorities could discriminate against gay people. Martin writes that an ordinance was passed in 1977, that banned discrimination based upon sexual orientation in public accommodations and employment practices. This ordinance displeased Hotze, and he wanted to keep the ordinance from including housing in that discrimination.
Hotze began to share inflammatory media around town about “the gays taking over the city and schools.” He stormed a city council meeting with bible thumping Christians who yelled scripture condemning homosexuality, and Martin writes that Hotze managed to get a measure the housing discrimination measure on the ballot.
(Hotze’s effort failed, and the people of Austin voted down the measure.)
Martin goes all the way back to 1967, when Hotze was in high school. He organized a patriot parade, where attendees carried signs that had written slogans like “Christ is Cool” and “God Is Not Dead.” Martin also notes that the Hotze family was neighbors with the Bush family, which I think is absolutely fascinating and probably pretty telling in that so far, he’s managed to escape any kind of real trouble over the years.
I’m not suggesting the Bushes helped Hozte, but I am suggesting that there is a certain kind of privilege that comes with being a rich white guy in Texas.
Hotze’s firebrand of hate wasn’t limited to the gay community. I guess organizing patriotic parades wasn’t enough for him, and he started his campaign of terror against abortion in 1969 (even though it was not yet federally legalized). He lobbied with his mother to keep laws against abortion in the state of Texas from being abolished, and they were successful. Hotze’s father at the time of the ’82 article, was the president of the Texas based Foundation for Life, and his mother was the editor of the Life Advocate Newspaper. Clearly, anti-abortion ideals started at home. He continued to be an anti-abortion lobbyist through at least 1981. From there, his focus seems to have shifted, at least in part, to the anti-gay movement. Martin ends the article by quoting Hotze: “Homosexuals want public acceptability; they want homosexuality taught in public schools, in sexual education programs, and they want to abolish laws that make it illegal to have sex with minors.”
Her’s a picture of a very young Steven Hotze from around that time.
Hotze’s ideals weren’t exactly revolutionary for the time. There were (and still are) many people who agree(d) with Hotze. It’s possible that people who believed like Hotze did in the 60’s, 70’s, and even 80’s have changed their opinion about abortion and homosexuality. Hotze, however, isn’t one of them, and he’s spent his life watching the world change without him.
I think that’s made him very, very angry, and he’s made a career of methodically amping up his hate.
Hotze’s Twitter feed is preoccupied with medical remedies and election fraud. Weird flex, but okay.
This is his medical practice’s webpage.
This is the Liberty Center for God and Country’s webpage, which is basically just a forum for Hotze to write weird blog posts in the “news” section. It’s patriotic in the way only neo-conservatives know how to be conservative—by mentioning patriotism and God in every other word (if you’re playing a drinking game, DO NOT visit this page). Recently, Hotze’s posts on the Liberty Center page have been centered upon voter fraud (soooooo shocking).
The Liberty Center for God & Country’s Facebook page does not hold back. Hoetz doesn’t seem to have any issue posting (or allowing others to post) divisive rhetoric.
When he’s not espousing rage and praying for Communists (read: Democrats) to be murdered, Hotze is an M.D. with a medical practice to run. I guess if you were looking for a doctor in the Houston area, and weren’t aware Google existed, you might be lulled into believing he is just a regular dude with a license to heal.
Dr. Hotze has quite a lot of opinions about women—especially their health. He’s clearly a man of many strong opinions, especially about issues that do not directly apply to his specific medical credentials.
I found a 2005 Houston Press article that was a little bit about Hotze’s extremist political views, but it was mostly about Hotze’s extremist medical views. In part, they noted:
After writing those interesting views on women and health for the Coalition of Revival (if you grew up like I did, both of those words mixed together ought to send shivers down your spine), Hotze opened his own medical practice. The Press notes that much of the money he made from his private practice went into his political interests, and in 2000, his political action committee, Citizens for American Restoration (which is now defunct) had been fined at least $5000 for violating various campaign finance laws.
At one time, somewhere between 2000-2004, Hotze reported to the State Board of Medical Specialties that he was a board-certified otolaryngologist, which was a total fabrication. That information has since been removed, and Hotze shifted tack to hormone replacement therapy and yeast infections (gross, dude). Basically, he’d become more of a “natural medicine” type of physician, and by his own admission, most insurance companies do not (or at least in 2005, did not) accept his therapies as “medically necessary.”
It gets even weirder from here. The Press obtained a medical booklet that Hotze provided to potential patients, and here’s what it said:
I’m providing this insight into Hotze’s medical practice because, at least in part, it provides a bit of backdrop for his political ideologies. Hotze, despite the fact that (I assume) he is supposed to believe the Hippocratic Oath, he does no such thing. He believes himself to be of superior mind in all things.
Makes sense for a guy who believes homosexuality is of the devil and that women could not possibly be attractive while taking birth control.
And WTF is that about men not being able to read maps if they lose a testicle? How utterly fucking bizarre is that???
My dude is a straight up quack.
I assume Dr. Hotze still has both of his testicles, but he sure can’t read a room to save his life.
Because much like Donald Trump, Steven Hotze is a loser, and I’m not writing that just because I find him personally morally bankrupt. It’s just the truth. He keeps finding himself on the losing side of, well, everything. It’s not just that he lost his anti-abortion fight in the 70’s when Roe v. Wade prevailed or that he lost the vote in Austin to allow housing discrimination against gay people or even that he runs a financially and ethically questionable medical practice, which has been fined and written about with disdain since the early 2000’s.
His anger continued to escalate.
In 2015, Hotze pulled out a literal sword on stage at a rally and asked the audience to drive the “gay nazi satanic cults out of Houston” and “back to San Francisco where they belong.”
In the background, you can see his PowerPoint presentation has the words “The Homosexual Manifesto” written on it, which is a satirical essay that was written by Michael Swift in 1987.
In 2016, The Liberty Center for God and Country was labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, probably for shit like the picture above.
That same year, the Texas Freedom Network wrote a series of posts about Hotze’s failed effort to install his buddy Jared Woodfill (yeah, the same lawyer from the NPR article) as the chair of the Texas Republican Party. Oh, and he lost his bid for Vice Chair, too, when he supported Cathie Adams, who the TFN reported was the head of the Texas chapter of Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum (really hoped I’d never have to hear Schlafly’s name again after she voted for Trump the first time around and then promptly died).
I’m not going to spend a lot of time going into Woodfill, mainly because my gag reflex has been activated way too many times while writing this, but I also won’t go into it, because this blog post is already pretty long, and we ain’t even done. Suffice it to say Jared Woodfill is every bit as gross as his BFF Hotze. Here’s a little taste:
After Hotze and Woodfill failed to prove they’ve got both testicles in 2016, they slunk out of their swamps once again to be horrible in 2020.
After the murder of George Floyd this summer, The Texas Tribune reported on a voicemail that Hotze left for Governor of Texas Greg Abbott regarding protestors:
Lettin’ the light of Christ shine right on through, isn’t he?
In June, as the Covid-19 pandemic continued to ravage the country, there was an anti-mask rally in downtown Houston, to protest the Harris County mask order that required people to wear masks inside public businesses.
Naturally, Steven Hotze was there, mingling among the 60 or so anti-maskers who’d gathered to protest. According to a June 29th article in Out Smart, which is one of Houston’s LGBTQ+ magazines, there were also several people there who were in favor of the order.
As tensions heightened, Hotze was caught on camera punching a sign out of a pro-masker’s hands and walking away with it, ripping it up and throwing it on the ground in the process. You can view that video HERE. The protestor was understandably shaken up by the incident, and I don’t think it was a coincidence that the protestor was wearing a mask with a rainbow on the front, a popular moniker of the LGBTQ+ community.
Despite the fact that this incident was caught on tape, which looks a whole like assault to me, nothing, to my knowledge, ever came of Hotze’s rage-induced attack.
After Governor Greg Abbott issued a state-wide mask mandate in July, Jared Woodfill filed a lawsuit against it on behalf of, you guessed it, Dr. Steven Holtze and a few of his buddies. According to extensive and informative posts by Charles Kuffner on his website, Off the Kuff, the Supreme Court of Texas in August rejected this and many other petitions and lawsuits filed by Woodruff on behalf of Hotze.
Then in September, Kuffner reported that Hotze and the Harris County GOP sued the Harris County Clerk to keep main-in ballot applications from being sent out. Later that month, they also filed a writ of mandamus to stop an extra week of early voting, which allowed voting to continue through October 13th instead of the original October 9th deadline. They also filed a lawsuit at the end of September to limit in-person and absentee voting options in Harris County.
It should be noted that Harris County is, according to Kuffner, a Democratic stronghold as well as the most populous county in Texas.
In October, the SCOTX ruled that the extra week of voting would stay, but they also ruled that the Harris County Clerk could not send mail-in ballot applications to every registered voter in Harris County, citing the fact that election law does not allow it.
On November 1st, Woodfill and Hotze asked a federal judge to throw out 127,000 votes that were cast via drive-thru voting, but their request was rejected the next day, just one day before the 2020 Presidential Election.
After the arrest of Mark Aguirre broke to the media last week, as well as the information about Hotze’s clear role in the violence, Hotze and Woodfill held a press conference. Hotze claimed he wouldn’t support the account of the incident if it were true, but he also said that Aguirre’s arrest was “fishy” and clearly “political.” He also made a strange claim about the alleged assault, wondering aloud why the police didn’t take Aguirre’s gun away from him if he’d been holding someone down at gunpoint.
Uh, they did.
It’s right there in the affidavit I mentioned earlier. They confiscated TWO PISTOLS from Aguirre. I don’t know if Hotze didn’t read the affidavit or if he’s just, once again, making up his own facts to support his world view.
That wouldn’t surprise any of us at this point, would it?
I truly don’t know if Hotze had any knowledge of Aguirre’s plan to ram into the work truck of an innocent air conditioning repair man and then hold a gun to his head while spewing bile about ballot fraud. Unless more information becomes available or Aguirre flips on his co-conspirators and/or on his meal ticket, we might not ever find out. However, while I doubt Htoze ordered the assault, I do think it is incredibly likely that Hotze knew about the plan and didn’t stop it. It’s likely that he didn’t care who got hurt along the way in his futile journey to prove that the evil, gay, abortion loving Democrats stole the election.
We can only hope that the money trail leads to Hotze’s arrest—money that was, by Hotze’s own admission, raised through a now defunct GoFundMe campaign that he claims raised over $600,000. If nothing else, perhaps this little stunt will finally culminate in Hotze being completely ostracized by the GOP, although I doubt it.
He’s got too much money.
He’s got so much money and pull, that he was arrested for a DUI in 2000, refused a breathalyzer test, and managed to have the case against him dropped completely.
Guys like Hotze exist in spades all over. They aren’t relegated to the state of Texas, although I’ve got to admit, Texas is rife with them. They are always going to use their money, their influence, and their power to grab what they want. Mark Anthony Aguirre should be held accountable and punished appropriately for what he did, he’s not the real problem.
He’s the effect; he’s not the cause.
Hotze is smart. He’s never going to get his own hands dirty. He is, as my mother would say, slicker than snot. He will take all of the credit and none of the blame, and that’s precisely why he’s so dangerous. He’s a profiteer who’s spent his entire life on a mission oppress others in the name of God.
I wish I could say that I’ve covered all of Hotze’s misdeeds and hate-mongering, but I know that I haven’t. Every time I think I’ve got the whole pictures, I remember or find something else. He’s got 51 years worth of this kind of behavior under his belt.
I’m going to leave you with the voicemail I mentioned earlier. You’ll hear a measured, self-assured man on the phone demanding that the Governor of Texas send in the National Guard to murder people.
This is who Dr. Steven Hotze is.
He’s not afraid to show it, and we shouldn’t be afraid to call him out, repeatedly, every single time he speaks.