So Before You Vote: Adam McGough’s Utility Bills at His HP Condo Were Apparently Completely Appropriate

Photo from votemcgough.com

Photo from votemcgough.com

About Adam McGough’s utility bills at his Highland Park condominium: we may have been misled into misleading readers that his energy consumption at his Crestpark condo was so low that he could not possibly have ever lived there.

Here is what we said:

Well, let’s put it this way – they either have the world’s most energy efficient, off-the-grid-solar-panel-using-cold-shower-having family, or um, they maybe didn’t live there the whole time.

There, I said it.

Here are the months of usage we have. Maybe they used more at some point. But for real, this is a dream electric bill for four people. For instance, their April 2014 bill was 658 kilowatts. October 2014′s bill was 480.  To put this in perspective, the average electric hot water heater pulls somewhere between 380 and 500 kilowatts per month, and your average fridge uses about 150 kw.

I was alerted to the fact today that one  of his opponents may have been circulating the electric bill information that we posted earlier in the week. It apparently turned up on The Advocate in comments, though our information came to us materially from a trusted source. Getting in touch with someone at Oncor who even knows how to spell “blog” has been a difficult feat this afternoon, but I have asked them to see if they can tell us how the McGough’s account information was released and who it was released to. In this age of anonymous email addresses, we may have better luck fishing in the Trinity.

I called Adam McGough, who directed me to his campaign manager, Clayton Henry. We spoke and this is what he said to me: you’ve been used.

“The use of kilowatt usage is accurate and perfectly normal for a 1000 square foot unit in that building,” he said.

He confirmed that the account on the bills was indeed that of the McGoughs.

“I feel you should retract your article and issue Adam an apology,” he said.

So here it is: we are sorry folks. Mea Culpa.

Was this a campaign smear tactic from his opponents? Possibly. Henry told me that the Advocate took down a lot of anti-McGough comments that came from the same IP address. On our blog, we had more pro-McGough comments than anti, and no duplicate IP addys. This is an election, and a vital one. (Still, Bethany was pretty darn sharp to recall that  that comment from the Vanity Fair article.) McGough is viewed as being pro Mike Rawlins, and he has been endorsed by the Dallas Morning News despite the residency question:

McGough does have a strike against him — a question about residency. He acknowledges his wife lived in a Park Cities condo so their two boys could attend Highland Park schools. His children now attend school in Lake Highlands. McGough’s service to the city, and that he made the choice regarding Highland Park schools in the interest of his children, earn him the chance to move beyond this mistake.

Hmmm. A mistake. OK, we can all make them. But we do want to get it right: Henry said that HPISD investigated the McGough’s residency investigation and is taking no further action. That WAS his electric bill account, and it appears to be normal use for the 1063 square foot unit when they lived there.  Maybe we should all own condos!

And I want to be clear the McGough’s have every right in the world to do what they have to do to get their children the best education possible. And the McGoughs actually owned the condo (which they still own) before their kids went to school, Henry told me. They bought it in 2010.

 

 

 

 

 

7 Comment

  • mm

    I, too, want to apologize for my part in this. Our source, like Candy said, seemed unimpeachable. It sucks to be used as a political chesspiece.

    We do strive for accuracy – as all journalists do. And as soon as we were alerted to the fact that this was the same information that had been peddled earlier in the campaign (FWIW, the dates on the email from Oncor led me to believe this was newer information), Candy and I discussed it and agreed that if this was indeed the same information, we needed to do the right thing.

    If that’s the appropriate electricity usage for an adult and three children in a one bedroom condo, then condos are a great buy and everyone should get one!

    • mm

      Bethany, not to beat a low utility bill, but the date on the Letter of Authorization for Historical usage was April 16, 2015 at 2:38 am. If the Advocate took down comments on this topic prior to this, that’s too bad, because we might have been able to do a Google search and see that this was old news. Or at least a dead horse someone was trying to beat.

  • Your apology is accepted Bethany. It was inappropriate to not just call out McGough as a liar based on bills that clearly showed ordinary usage levels, but to also call commentters who pointed that out as shills, liars, etc as well. But hey, at least you owned up to it, if only to save face.

  • mm

    Gee, thanks Matt. For the record, my apology was and is sincere, and has nothing to do with saving face. I’m the type of person who owns up to her mistakes when they happen, and apologizes like a big girl.

    And I”m sorry (even though I can’t recall calling you a liar or a shill) that I called you a liar or a shill. That doesn’t sound like me, so I am appropriately ashamed of such behavior, and will lay off the sauce.

  • Thanks for the retraction Candy.

  • no apology necessary. probable average utility for average residents of a ONE BEDROOM unit, not the same as for a family of five. typically, a one bedroom unit would be occupied by one person. of COURSE the electric would be low. mcgough is a sleaze. now with SIX children at christian school.