Jan 18, 2023 - News

Grapevine police reject Patriot Mobile's pizza gift

The tweet that launched 1,000 complaints. Tweet: Grapevine Police

The Grapevine Police Department has received criticism from both ends of the political spectrum after accepting — and then agreeing to donate — a gift certificate for a pizza party given to them by the Christian conservative Patriot Mobile cellphone company.

Why it matters: While police departments regularly accept food from local businesses — and thank those companies on social media — Patriot Mobile has made headlines over the last year because of the way the company's political arm has helped reshape several local school boards.

What happened: Last week, Grapevine police publicly thanked its "friends" at Patriot Mobile for presenting the department with a $1,500 gift certificate to Cane Rosso.

  • After the department was criticized for associating with Patriot Mobile, it announced that it would donate the gift certificate to a "true need," without getting more specific.
  • "Our actions were not intended to create distrust, and we vow to do better moving forward," Grapevine police said in a statement.
  • Now the department is receiving criticism from conservatives who think the police caved to liberals.

The other side: "The city of Grapevine took a knee by rescinding their thank you," Patriot Mobile Action executive director Leigh Wambsganss tells Axios.

Catch up fast: Patriot Mobile Action, the company's political action committee, spent more than $750,000 backing 11 school board candidates running in Southlake, Grapevine-Colleyville, Keller, and Mansfield — all of whom won their races.

  • Several of those districts have since adopted strict policies related to classroom reading material and pronoun usage.
  • The company has also been open about its plans to do the same thing in other districts around the state — and eventually nationwide.
  • "Ultimately we want to expand to other counties, other states, and be in every state across the nation," Wambsganss told conservative talk show host Mark Davis last summer.

What's next: "We are going to re-evaluate how we receive donations in the future, and we will remain open, and transparent, in how we do so," the Grapevine police said.

avatar

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Dallas.

More Dallas stories