Joshua Treviño

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Joshua Treviño is an American conservative political commentator, formerly a consultant and United States Army officer. He is Vice President for External Relations at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. He is a former George W. Bush Administration speech writer[1] and was listed as a 2006 Lincoln Fellow with the Claremont Institute.[2]

Before joining the Texas Public Policy Foundation, Treviño was founder and president of Treviño Strategies and Media in Sacramento, California, where he worked on national and international media campaigns, and served as communication manager for California State Assemblyman Chuck DeVore’s 2010 campaign for the United States Senate. Prior to his current role, Treviño was an associate in Booz Allen Hamilton's international health business. He has held positions in the Office of the Secretary of Health and Human Services as an international communications coordinator and speechwriter.

Treviño blogged for years under the pseudonym Tacitus, a reference to the Roman historian of the same name. He was a co-founder of RedState, a politically conservative weblog modeled on the liberal DailyKos. He holds a B.A. in History and Political Science from Furman University.

Treviño frequently provides political commentary on MSNBC, Fox News and Bloggingheads.tv.

Controversy[edit]

In August 2012, a controversy arose around statements Treviño had made on Twitter over a year previously, following the Israeli military's May 31, 2010 raid on the Mavi Marmara and later in the context of the planned Freedom Flotilla II. In June 2011 he had written: "Dear IDF: If you end up shooting any Americans on the new Gaza flotilla — well, most Americans are cool with that. Including me.",[3] critics accused him of incitement to murder[4] and demanded that the British newspaper The Guardian drop him as a columnist.[5] Others such as conservative author Bruce Bawer defended Treviño and The Guardian.[6]

Treviño and The Guardian responded by publishing a response in which Treviño stated that "any reading of my tweet of 25 June 2011 that holds that I applauded, encouraged, or welcomed the death of fellow human beings, is wrong, and out of step with my life and record."[7] The Guardian later severed its relationship with Treviño, citing his previously undisclosed partnership with Malaysian business interests.[8]

Work for Malaysian government[edit]

In January 2013, Treviño filed a report under the Foreign Agent Registration Act disclosing that, from May 2008 until April 2011, he was paid $389,000 by the "Government of Malaysia, its ruling party, or interests closely aligned with either".[9][10] His work was to organize an opinion campaign against former Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim. Treviño in turn made payments of up to $36,000 to several conservative American opinion writers who went on to write pro-government pieces on behalf of Malaysia, including Chuck DeVore, Claire Berlinski, Ben Domenech, Rachel Ehrenfeld, Seth Mandel, and Brad Jackson.[9] Outlets in which their work appeared included the Huffington Post, the San Francisco Examiner, the Washington Times, National Review, and RedState.com.[9]

Treviño explained the late filing by stating that he had not known he had an obligation to file.[9] After the incident with The Guardian concerning his Malaysian ties, a lawyer advised him to contact the Justice Department about filing. Treviño stated, "They let me do a retroactive filing and that was that."[11] Treviño, while still employed with The Guardian, had falsely told Politico that he was “never on any Malaysian entity’s payroll.” [12]

References[edit]

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