By B.K. Carter
After the Fort Bend Star received a tip about the Republican candidate for Fort Bend County Precinct 1 Commissioner, the Star conducted an in-depth review of Bruce Fleming and his wife, Nancy Fleming’s voting record. Our research found that for several years Fleming voted both in Bucks County, Pa. and in Fort Bend County.
Although Fleming claims to be a 20-year resident of Texas, he first registered to vote in Bucks County, Pa. in 1992 and still owns a home there. He is listed as an active voter Bucks County.
Fleming first voted in Fort Bend County in the general election of 2006. He voted early in Fort Bend then voted absentee in Bucks County, Pa. in the same general election.
In 2008 he voted absentee in the general election in Bucks, County, Pa but in Fort Bend County he voted in person in the Democratic Primary and again in the 4/8/2008 primary run off. He also voted early in the November general election in Fort Bend.
In 2010 he voted absentee in the general election in Bucks County and in Fort Bend County he voted early in both the primary and the general election. Fleming voted in person in the 2010 primary in Fort Bend County and voted early in the primary run off.
The Star has been unable to get the primary voting records in Bucks County for 2012, but those records should be available next week.
According to Fleming, his wife, Nancy, is seldom seen in Fort Bend as she stays in their home in Pennsylvania in order to keep her job there. She usually votes in every general election in Pennsylvania. 2010 records indicate she voted in the general election in both Bucks County (absentee) and the general election in Fort Bend (also absentee).
However, in 2012 with her husband a candidate, she voted in Fort Bend in both the Republican primary (in person) and then absentee in the primary run off. She is classified as an active registered voter in both Pennsylvania and Fort Bend County, Texas.
The Star contacted Bruce Fleming to ask him why he had voted in both states in the same elections for at least three different elections. According to Fleming he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2007 and he was back and forth between Houston and Bucks County for treatment. He seemed to indicate that was why he voted in both states. However, our research shows that Fleming started voting in both states in the 2006 general election and continued to vote in both states through 2010. Again, the 2012 primary records for Pennsylvania are not available yet. Fleming told the Star that he would have to talk to his wife and get back to us. He didn’t.
According to the Star’s research, it would appear that voting twice in an election is punishable by up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. It is a Class IV felony.
The Star had a hard time getting a straight answer from Fleming regarding his interest in a Lupe Tortilla restaurant even though a Campaign Finance report turned in by the Fort Bend Republican Party listed him as the owner of a Lupe Tortilla restaurant on January 24, 2011.
Bruce Fleming lists on his web site that one of his goals is eliminating Obamacare. County Commissioners have no control over that federal law.
He was recruited by former Fort Bend Republican County Chair Rick Miller to be the precinct chair in Greatwood. He had been a precinct chair for less than one year and never elected, only appointed, when he was named as “Precinct Chair of the Year.”
Several other precinct chairs questioned that.
Then the Fort Bend Republican Party gave him $10,000 as a campaign donation, along with $5,000 to Rick Miller and State Representative 27 candidate Kris Allfrey received $7,500. Other candidates didn’t receive any money as most didn’t know to apply. Sources told the Star that when they did try to apply, they were told the party was out of money.
According to records maintained by the state ethics committee, the Fort Bend Republican Party reported having cash on hand on July 23, 2012 totalling $122,919.79.
The Star’s sources contend that even though Mike Gibson is the party chair, Rick Miller is still running the executive committee (precinct chairs) and although he was responsible for the election of Sharon Roberts, trouble developed almost overnight because she would not let him continue to manage the executive committee.
Fleming has displayed a misogynist side to his public personality. He called Jacquie Baly Chaumette a “b…..” when county clerk Dianne Wilson asked him to quit putting his campaign signs in front of the Baly-Chaumette signs. Afterwards, he claimed that Dianne Wilson and Bev Carter “made that stuff up.” He wrote a scathing letter to Sharon Roberts who was serving as Fort Bend County Republican Chair at the time. A candidate in his race had dropped out and he demanded that she hold a redrawing for ballot placement.
But Fleming’s greatest wrong is ignoring voting laws. Since voting is the cornerstone of our Democracy, when a candidate circumvents the law, he not only breaks the law, but he makes us all wonder about our own vote and its value.
This just in at press time: Bruce Fleming called the Star this morning (instead of last night as promised) and said he really didn’t have an excuse about voting in two states except he was living in both worlds, between Pennsylvania and Fort Bend. He did assure the Star that neither he nor his wife voted in Pennsylvania in 2012. He also said that he had no idea why the Republican Party listed him as own of a Lupe Tortilla restaurant and couldn’t control what they listed.