SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) — Who is “Friends of Bexar County, LLC”?

If you have been watching the television over the past week or so — and especially during the Dallas Cowboys game Sunday — you likely noticed ads running about the Bexar County Judge race describing the Republican candidate, Trish DeBerry, generally as a flip-flopper among other allegations.

DeBerry, who is recently was a Bexar County Commissioner, said Monday at a news conference that her own investigation found that “Friends of Bexar County, LLC” is a Delaware LLC backed by San Antonio personal injury attorney Thomas J. Henry and Bob Wills, media director at San Antonio advertising and marketing firm The PM Group.

“Conversations with business leaders, members of the local media, and political operatives all confirm what we are revealing today,” DeBerry said in a statement. “The nearly half million dollars of dark money attack ads targeting my campaign are the result of possible collusion and coordination between attorney Thomas J. Henry, his partner Bob Wills of The PM Group, and Peter Sakai or his campaign staff.”

Sakai, the Democratic candidate in the race, said in a social media post last Tuesday, “Let me be abundantly clear, I have not had anything to do with this negative campaign, nor has anyone on my campaign team. In fact, the article in Sunday’s Express News by Gilbert Garcia cites that the organization is led by a Republican consultant.”

DeBerry seriously doubted Sakai’s statement.

“For Peter Sakai to say he has no knowledge of this attack is ridiculous,” DeBerry said.  “He has knowledge of this attack.  In fact, I would allege that perhaps that his campaign conspired with this attack.”

At her news event, DeBerry said Henry contributed $1.1 million to assist in the Nico LaHood campaign to defeat Susan Reed in 2014, stating it shows the personal injury attorney has a track record of being active in political campaign funding.

When questioned about how DeBerry knew Henry and Wills were the ones behind the “Friends of Bexar County, LLC”, she stated that she has very strong information through well-connected sources, but declined to provide more specific details.

“I have it upon very good record regarding specific conversations between journalistic enterprises and Mr. Wills who threatened basically to pull advertising if they did not agree to the fact that they were going to utilize the attack ads against me,” the Republican candidate stated.

In addition to “pulling the curtain back” on who is behind the ads, she announced at the news conference that she was filing an ethics complaint to the Texas Attorney General’s office against the company.  A LLC incorporated in Delaware has more benefits for filers than most states, including additional privacy protections for the members of the LLC than LLCs incorporated in most other states.

“You have to reveal who is behind something, otherwise, who are you?” DeBerry said at the news event.  “There are cowards at play here, folks.”

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