Top Texas politicians including Gov. Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, and House Speaker Dade Phelan, have received over $1.7 million from a PAC linked to a clinic that specialises in “treating” transgender illegal immigrants. This is the second PAC linked to a transgender clinic that has donated to them.
In 2017, the Gender Care Clinic opened at the Family Medicine Center, run by the Doctors Hospital of Renaissance and the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley in Edinburg. The clinic offers “hormone replacement consultation” among other transgender treatments. Dr Michelle Cordoba, an endocrinologist at the clinic, said that many transgender immigrants were treated at the clinic. “I see trans-immigrants, people who are literally fleeing for their lives,” she said. “Transgender women in El Salvador don’t have a very good chance of surviving.”
According to reports, McAllen businessman Alonzo Cantu owns a “significant stake” in the hospital in Edinburg. Cantu also chairs and “tacitly controls” Border Health PAC, which is the “primary conduit for campaign contributions from his medical colleagues that are disbursed to politicians at the local, state, and federal levels.” In a profile piece from Texas Monthly from 2018, Carlos Sanchez noted that while Cantu mostly supports, Democrats, “he isn’t shy about giving to Republicans who vote the way he wants.”
Initially reported by Tracy Shannon of MadMommaBear, a number of top Texas Republicans have received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Border Health PAC, which of course links back to the transgender clinic. Since 2015, Governor Greg Abbott received $800,000 from the PAC, while his second-in-command, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, took $825,000 from them in the same time frame. House Speaker Dade Phelan also received $105,000, while Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton received a cool $200,000 from them.
Tony Martinez, the mayor of Brownsville, described Cantu as “the most powerful person in South Texas.” Sanchez said that if money is a form of power, “there are few who play the game as well as… Cantu.” He noted that Patrick visited Cantu in 2017, shortly after the Senate had just “shortchanged” its funding for the medical school where the transgender clinic was located. “After Patrick met with Cantu, most of that funding was restored,” Sanchez wrote. “That’s power.”
This is the second PAC linked to a transgender clinic that Texas politicians have been caught receiving donations from, as National File reported last month:
UT Southwestern Medical Center hosts the Gender Education and Care Interdisciplinary Support (GENECIS) program, which is the “first and largest program in the southwest that provides multidisciplinary care to transgender children and adolescents.” While the program does not offer surgery to children, it does offer a number of so-called “treatments” that may amount to chemical castration, including hormone therapy, menstruation suppression, and puberty suppression…
Campaign finance records show that the Friends of UT Southwestern Center, also known as FOMCPAC, handed out well over $250,000 in total to a number of top Texas politicians who were recently involved in shutting down multiple pieces of legislation that would have prevented hormone treatment and surgery from being provided to supposed transgender children in the state.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who National File has been told led the charges against the bills designed to protect children, received $85,000 from the transgender clinic PAC since 2015. His Lieutenant Governor, Dan Patrick, received the lion’s share from FOMCPAC however, taking over $120,000 since 2015. Newly-elected House Speaker Dade Phelan was given $50,000 in the 2020 cycle by the clinic’s PAC. Similarly, Rep. Stephanie Klick, who was in a position to block these bills in her role as the Chair of the House Health Committee, received $4,000 from FOMCPAC since 2015.
Texas Republicans killed three separate bills that would have targeted doctors providing transgender surgeries and chemical castrations to minors in the 2021 session. National File has been told that orders to kill these bills came from Abbott, and were orchestrated through Phelan and Texas Republican House leadership.