Conflict of Interest Underlies Chronicle Article

To the Constituents of HD 150:

After I was led to believe last week that there wasn’t any credence to running a story about the financial ups and downs my business suffered during the recession, the Houston Chronicle had a change of heart this week and decided they were going to run a story anyway.

No problem, I have nothing to hide, and when contacted by the reporter last week, I set up an appointment with her to meet with me and my accountant so we could go over all the accusations from the 12-year incumbent who is hell bent on retaining her seat no matter what she has to say to get re-elected.

The reporter declined to meet with me and my accountant last week because of Breaking News and alluded to me that there was no story based on the information I provided to her over the phone. She did call me last night to ask me my age, but I was unaware that a commentary piece – written by another writer at the newspaper – was forthcoming, which I was greeted with this morning.

I’m disappointed with how the Chronicle conducted their piece, and it’s unfortunate that after I offered to sit down with them and explain to them what happened, they only took a couple quotes from my web site and neglected the rest of the story.

I have no problem admitting my business struggled in 2007 and 2008. And I, like thousands of auto dealers across the state, lost my auto license, but I never lost sight of my goals and never stopped working hard. Most importantly, I NEVER filed for bankruptcy and as I have said time and time again, I regained my auto license, settled with the IRS, paid all my debts and I am operating my business at full strength – and have been since 2009 – once again.

Ironically, one part of the Houston Chronicle story they conveniently left out was the way they treated me as a business partner in 2006 and 2007. I signed a contract with them in Nov. 2006 to distribute my automobile shopper magazine, and the contract was worth $1 million. Weeks after signing the deal, the Chronicle started delivering my magazines late and unprofessionally. I reached out to them to rectify the situation after receiving complaints from my customers. The Chronicle assured me the problem would be resolved.

It wasn’t.

Barely a month into our agreement, I began losing customers because of the sloppy work from the Chronicle’s distribution of my magazine, ultimately leading the Chronicle to breach our contract, which forced me to file a lawsuit in early 2007. (Documents pertaining to this matter and my company, Best Car Shopper, have been scanned and are included here).

Not long after court proceedings began, my attorney fell gravely ill, thus forcing me to switch legal counsel. Problem was, my business was suffering because I was losing so many customers and the Chronicle’s handling of my distribution crippled my business. With the ongoing lawsuit, awful business partnership with the Chronicle and the onset of the recession, my business began its tailspin and I was forced to try and recoup what I could.

Coincidentally enough, with my magazine struggling, the Chronicle started its own automobile shopper magazine – “Motion” – and started placing their magazines on the same racks that my magazines were on.

The point in me telling you folks all that is this – whether it’s Debbie Riddle hurling racial barbs or the Chronicle only telling you half the story, my resolve is strong and my objective hasn’t changed – to work as hard as I can to be your next state representative.

I have never wavered from that stance, I have met every challenge that’s been presented and through it all, I have been transparent and provided you with answers to all the allegations, no matter where they’re from.

The distractions will not and do not take away from the above-board campaign we have run to this point and I am confident along with the rest of my staff that the good folks in District 150 won’t be deterred by the distractions either. Tuesday, March 4 will begin the next chapter in this District, and I look forward to celebrating victory with you then.

We Deserve Better. You Deserve Better.

Respectfully,

Tony Noun

Bottomline: Accountability Now.

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