Op-Ed: Alexandra Mealer’s Gang of Liars, Bigots, and MAGA Extremists

by | Jul 29, 2022 | Houston, Opinion, Republican Party

Harris County GOP candidate Alexandra Mealer claims to be a moderate. On national issues such as abortion, she not only avoids the tough questions, but often dodges discussing the issue entirely. In conservative spaces both online and in-person, she uses rightwing talking points, but in more mainstream circles, those talking points are suspiciously absent from her speech. If you look at her profile on the extreme rightwing social media network Gettr, you will see a picture of her holding a firearm and claiming to be a “liberty-minded conservative,” two distinctions from her Twitter profile, where she leaves out any partisan language and uses a more traditional picture. She also throws out populist claims in an attempt to appear moderate, going so far as to (laughably) imply that she believes in taking on gun violence even while denouncing any studies of gun violence as a “waste of resources” and saying nothing about the shooting in Uvalde.

The unavoidable truth is that Alexandra Mealer is baked from the exact same extremism that we have come to expect from far-right leaders in Texas and across the United States. In spite of her moderate charade, at every opportunity, Mealer supports the same positions as Greg Abbott, Dan Patrick, and Donald Trump. Mealer is a longtime proponent of voter suppression, offering full-throated support of Senate Bill 1 which would stymy the vote by purging voter rolls, limiting voting hours, limiting voting locations, and disproportionately curtailing the vote for Black communities, Latino communities, people with disabilities, and working families across the state. She remains noncommittal on whether or not the 2020 election was “stolen.” Mealer has consistently peddled questionable, unsupported COVID-19 policies that would place Harris County at further risk of spread, going so far as to say that opposing scientifically supported mask policies were part of her main motivation for running for office. Mealer scoffs at “pronouns” on her website, virtue signaling to transphobes that she’s their pick.

In addition to her positions—which she waffles, misrepresents, and lies about on a regular basis—it is the company that Mealer keeps that reveals the extremist ideology she believes in.  Mealer’s connections to extremists and her gratitude for their support is well-documented and rings a loud alarm bell. Her candidacy aims to bring rightwing experimentation to Harris County that will turn back the clock for decades, if not hundreds of years.

Meet Alexandra Mealer’s Gang of Bigoted Extremists.

Doc Greene

Doc Greene is a local bigot who is obsessed with LGBTQ events. He was once banned from the Freed Montrose Library for taking pictures of children and harassing their families. Not to be deterred, he returned to the library with a firearm and was arrested for trespassing because he didn’t like the children’s story time book reading that was taking place.

That wasn’t his only time using firearms and intimidation to express his political beliefs. At an open carry rally at the San Jacinto Monument, Greene quoted General Patton and called for violence, saying, “I want to remind you what General Patton said: ‘It’s not your job to die for your country, it’s to make the other poor dumb bastard die for his… I’m not so interested in what you’re willing to die for, my friends… “I am interested in what is so important to you that you’re willing to kill for it.”

Mealer made sure to use some of her airtime in the interview demonizing immigrants, labeling them a “burden” on the county.

Greene is also a member of the King Street Patriots, a group who consistently harasses and intimidates people at the polls who they believe won’t be voting Republican in an effort to rig the election through strong-arming.

Just like the national liars and fraudsters making fabricated claims about the 2020 Election, Greene peddles falsehoods in concert with the Harris County Republican Party and Mealer herself to set the stage for tilting future elections in their favor. He was one of the first people Alexandra Mealer decided to do an interview with on his far right radio show. The segment begins with Greene referring to Judge Hidalgo as, “Dora The Explora” in a childish attempt to mock her Colombian/Spanish heritage, all while Mealer sits idly by in front of a shrine to Donald Trump titled “The Boss.”

Mary Talley Bowden

Mary Talley Bowden is listed as a supporter on Mealer’s website. Dr. Bowden’s claim to infamy is her abuse of authority and willingness to spread misinformation about COVID-19. In November 2021, she was suspended by Houston Methodist Hospital for “spreading false information about COVID-19 to her patients and on social media,” forcing her out of involvement with the institution. In particular, she urged against vaccination for children and those with natural immunity, and promoted the drug ivermectin as treatment for COVID.

Talley’s personal behavior and choice of words in the public sphere make her dangerously unfounded claims that much more abhorrent. According to in-depth research and compilation by Olivia Goldhill of STAT News (read the full story here), Talley engaged in a series of aggressive public back-and-forth campaigns that led to widespread harassment. First, she doxxed pharmacists, most of whom were Asian American, who would not fill her questionable ivermectin prescriptions. When confronted about her behavior on TikTok by a woman named Savannah Sparks, Bowden responded by sending Sparks a letter from a lawyer claiming defamation and demanding she issue a public apology.

Later, in response to Sparks’ statement declaring her intent to vaccinate her child, Bowden responded, “I hope Evelyn doesn’t die in her sleep.”

Both Sparks and the pharmacists have received widespread harassment in the wake of these exchanges. Sparks has even been “swatted.”

Bowden’s harmful, anti-scientific beliefs are reflected in Mealer’s healthcare policies, which are based on bunk science and rabid conspiracy. Instead of directly opposing vaccinations, Mealer elevates the beliefs of anti-vaxxers and measuredly postures against “mandates” in an effort to appear centrist. Yet by touting Bowden’s endorsement, Mealer reveals where her true agenda lies.

Angela Box

Angela Box is a former elementary school teacher who was fired after saying that she hoped Obama would get Ebola, and calling Muslims “goat f**kers” and “bacon haters.” Rather than reflection or remorse, Box spun that episode into a new career as a rightwing talking head blogger.

In June of 2022, Box posted a video deriding Pride Month as a “demonic scam.” She claimed “the LGBTQ mafia” demands to “be coddled for an entire month.” She clarified that she doesn’t actually “think gay people are demonic,” but that, with “the agenda of the LGBTQ mafia,” “we aren’t talking about gay and straight anymore.” Box said it is “literally insane” and “demonic” to “choose your own gender.” She recalled a depiction of “a biblical demon with breasts of a woman and male genitalia” and said, “Satan’s busy and Satan’s saying like, ‘I’m here, I’m queer, get used to it.’”

Not to be outdone by herself in the previous minute of her own monologue, Box continued that “these people” want “to hold the whole world hostage for the month of June while they sashay around and push this demonic crap on the kids,” even though we have “one day to celebrate” other holidays, like Christmas and Martin Luther King Day, adding, “don’t even get me started about Black History month, because ‘certain’ Black history month if you get my drift.”

I could write even more of the monologue; it doesn’t get better. Mealer proudly accepted Box’s endorsement during an appearance on her podcast.

Beverly Uhlmer Roberts

Beverly Uhlmer Roberts is a $1,000 donor to Mealer. Roberts’ personal style is less brash than that of Greene, Bowden, or Box. However, the organization she represents, Concerned Women for America, is one of the most theocratic organizations in the United States. Famously anti-choice, anti-gay, and anti sex-ed, CWA supports banning contraceptives such as Plan B and seeks to indoctrinate schools with heavy-handed Dominionist propaganda.

CWA’s current national president slammed the Disney movie “Frozen” for “villainizing men.” The organization’s previous national president went so far as to disbelieve evolution; she ran the organization for seven years. The organization is infamous for stirring up anti-trans campaigns in public schools.

Roberts is the South Texas Director of CWA. Her job is to implement policies like these in communities like Houston, where 64% of people believe a woman should be able to get an abortion for any reason and over 90% support abortion to protect the life of the mother. She is employed to push a hardline religious nationalist platform directly counter to the will of the people.

Astroturfed movements are already invading Texas schools with book banning campaigns, and messages of prejudice against Black history and Latino history. Demagogues such as Jared Woodfill and Steve Hotze have worked for years to make Texas so inhospitable that some trans kids have felt the need to leave. Letting the CWA into the Harris County Judge’s chambers is akin to resigning our kids to the farthest rightwing fringe.

Ted Cruz

Ted Cruz may be a Senator, but he is not any less of an extremist than anyone else on this list. Cruz infamously spoke prior to the insurrection at the United States Capitol, an event he later called a terrorist attack before walking back those comments in fear of backlash from Tucker Carlson. Cruz has maintained connections to groups such as True Texas Project, whose leaders posted on social media in the wake of the El Paso shooting, “You’re not going to demographically replace a once proud, strong people without getting blow-back.” TTP helped Cruz win his first Republican primary.

Cruz spoke at the NRA National Convention in 2022 shortly after the shooting in Uvalde, and called for limiting schools to one door, opposing any changes to laws dealing with firearms.

Cruz once said the Senate needs “100 Jesse Helms“; Helms, a North Carolina senator, was mostly known for opposing the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, legislation to make MLK Day a national holiday. Helms also once ran a racist ad called “Hands” in which he encouraged unemployed white voters to be angry because their job was “given to a minority.”

These are just a few select greatest hits of Cruz, the climate-denying, anti-gay, vote-suppressing, Cancun-fleeing, anti-vaxx, lying junior senator from the great state of Texas.

Houstonians know that Ted Cruz is extreme, which is why they cheered protests in front of his home after he fled to Cancun during the Texas Winter Freeze, and applauded him having to face the music at a sushi restaurant after his NRA speech. Everyone here knows Cruz is an extremist…

Including Alexandra Mealer. Mealer is proud to tout Cruz’s endorsement on her website, offering him a chance to put his claw on the scale here in Harris County through her campaign. She knows who Cruz’s base is and is all too happy to have his support and support his positions in public office.

Mealer supporters have claimed that she does not discuss federal issues because they are not relevant to her election, but that is a bad line of thinking for three reasons. First, nationally discussed issues such as abortion, energy, transit, gun violence, and immigration all have local aspects to begin with.

Second, the county judge can impact state and national issues and should in order to stand up for our county and engage rather than isolate our government as an entity.

Finally, Mealer discusses federal issues; she just does so selectively. She has no problem discussing issues ginned up to be national outrage campaigns with the extremists who back her. And when it is appropriate, she will gladly pander to those extremists with a wink and a nod. Texas Monthly correctly called her platform—which has been changed on her website on a regular basis to hide her extremism—”Trumpian.”

Harris County is a vastly diverse place with people and cultures from every corner of the world and every social group imaginable. Alexandra Mealer is an extremist passing herself off as a moderate. At a time when democracy is on the line and truth is buried by racist disinformation profiteers, Harris County must stand united against hatred by rejecting Mealer and her gang of MAGA extremists at the ballot box.

Diana Martinez Alexander is a progressive leader, activist, and former candidate in Houston, Texas.

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