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A week later, Texas' Dan Patrick still has his $1 million

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) no doubt thought it was a good idea to offer financial rewards for evidence of voter fraud. He was mistaken.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick speaks in McAllen, Texas, on Jan. 10, 2019.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick speaks in McAllen, Texas, on Jan. 10, 2019.Sergio Flores / Bloomberg via Getty Images file

After Election Day had come and gone, Donald Trump and many of his allies did what Republicans often do: they alleged widespread "voter fraud" without any evidence. As the Texas Tribune noted a week ago today, one GOP official went a little further than most.

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said Tuesday he is offering up to $1 million to "incentivize, encourage and reward" people for reports of voter fraud in Texas, even as there's been no evidence of mass voter fraud and experts say it's rare.... Patrick said that anyone who provides information that leads to a conviction will receive at least $25,000. The money will come from Patrick's campaign fund, according to spokesperson Sherry Sylvester.

The Texas lieutenant governor probably saw the move as helpful, but he had it backwards: Patrick was effectively arguing that he and his party suspected there was widespread fraud, but they couldn't prove it, so he hoped financial rewards would produce evidence Republicans couldn't find on their own.

Or put another way, Patrick was effectively declaring to the public, "We can't back up our talking points, so I'll pay you to help."

Regardless, a week later, it seemed like a good time to check in and see how the Texas Republican's quest is going.

Patrick hasn't had much to say about this lately, and when Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D) tried to collect on the bounty, pointing to suspected fraud from a Trump supporter, the Texan seemed reluctant to take the alert seriously.

If Patrick has enticed anyone into providing him with promising leads, he's kept it to himself.

Writing in the Houston Chronicle yesterday, Cort McMurray lamented, "We're stuck with Dan Patrick and a $1 million bounty for a fraud that never happened."

The Texas Republican no doubt thought this was a good idea at the time. It really wasn't.