State Representative Chris Turner

Audit Requested by Turner Confirms Contract Concerns

“BSI (Brain Synergy Institute) put the health and safety of participants at risk…”

Last year, I asked for an Inspector General (IG) auditof a 2013 contract between Brain Synergy Institute (formerly Carrick Brain Centers) and the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC).  The request came after Dallas Morning News and NBC5 news stories highlighting troubling issues with the contract and the use of a controversial “spinning chair” treatment on veterans with Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).

Late last week, the IG’s report was released and the findings confirmed many of my concerns.

First, some background – in the summer of 2013, then-Governor Rick Perry’s staff began negotiations with HHSC executives to sign a contract with Irving-based Brain Synergy Institute (BSI) for a research study focused on treating veterans with PTS and/or TBI with a spinning chair or “Off-Vertical Axis Rotation Therapy” (OVART). This controversial “treatment” had not been vetted by the scientific community and there was no proof that it would help veterans, or anyone else. Even so, after Governor Perry visited BSI several times and with pressure from his office, the contract was quickly approved.

The state ended up spending more than $2.2 million of your money on this useless “study.”

The Inspector General concluded what I have suspected all along – a stunning level of incompetence on the part of former agency officials and abuse of taxpayer dollars by BSI.

Here’s are some of the deficiencies highlighted in the report:

  • A poorly designed contract, including inadequate research protocol and did not have a control group nor oversight by an Institutional Review Board (IRB)
  • BSI didn’t provide the same treatment to all participants, making findings invalid
  • Completion reports didn’t meet the contract requirements
  • The study was not valid and there is no way to determine whether participants benefitted from the treatment
  • BSI billed for treatment of veterans who were not Texas residents and several veterans who had already received the treatment
  • Worst of all, BSI put the health and safety of participants at risk

In response to the findings, HHSC is demanding BSI pay back over $278,000 to the state of Texas.

Getting some money back from these bad actors is a good start, but given the long list of their failures, they should return every penny of the $2.2-plus million they received as part of this contract.

BSI is not the only one at fault. This is yet one more example of the cronyism that was rampant during the administration of Governor Perry. It is clear this contract would never have happened were it not for his office’s meddling.

Texas taxpayers deserve better than this kind of corruption and cronyism.  And veterans who have served our nation deserve better than useless studies and false promises.


Annual Open House & Toy Drive

State Representative Chris Turner’s 
Annual Open House & Toy Drive
Thursday, December 15, 2016
4:00 to 6:00 PM 
1600 E. Pioneer Parkway, Suite 515
Arlington, TX  76010

Bring an unwrapped toy for a child served by Mission Arlington. To RSVP, click here or call 817-459-2800.



Chris’s Community Support Continues to Grow! UPDATED!

I continue to be humbled and inspired by the support and encouragement that I’ve received from community leaders, friends, activists, volunteers, and voters for the upcoming Democratic primary for Texas House of Representatives, District 101.

This list of supporters is a microcosm of our community – teachers, veterans, retirees, union members, business leaders and so many others.  I am honored by your support and know that by working together, we will win this race and give our new district a strong, effective voice in Austin.


P.S. Don’t see your name and want to add it?  Click here to sign up.

Organizations and Associations Supporting Chris

Arlington Police Association

Arlington Professional Fire Fighters Association Local 1329

Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas (CLEAT)


Metroplex Democrats of Arlington

Mid-Cities Democrats

Northeast Tarrant County Democrats

Teamsters Local 745 DRIVE Committee

Tejano Democrats of North Texas

Texans for Education Funding Equity (TEFE) PAC

Texas Parent PAC

Texas Public Employees Association Political Action Committee

Texas State Teachers Association (TSTA)


TREPAC – Texas Real Estate Political Action Committee

Transport Workers Union Texas Conference AFLCIO

Tarrant County Central Labor Council AFLCIO

Grassroots Endorsement List

Peter AdejokunHon.Ida Anderson

Dolly & Matt Angle

Tom Banning

Karen & Hon. Kenneth Barr

Tonya Barrett

Tari & Mark Bauer

Rev. Nancy & Alan Bean

Teresa & Roy Becerra

Ann & Steve Blair

Aimee Boone

Lynda & Hon. Art Brender

Dana & Robert Brewer

Dr. Jennifer Brooks

Tammy Brooks

Autumn Dipert Brown

Bob Brown

Joseph Brown

Linda Brown

Brenda Bush

Marion Bush

Colleen Butterfield

Barbara & Jack Caffey

Charlie Campau

Dr. Judith Carrier

Drew Casani

Amber & Vincent Chacko

Martha & James Chambers

Diana & Joe Chavez

Kay Christlieb

Donald Cleveland

Dr. Melvin Cleveland

Crist & Dexter Coleman

James Comer

Elizabeth Connor

Arnette Cordova

Bobbie Cornelison

Stephen Coslik

Brenda & Nicolas Crumbaker

Randy Daniels

Cathie & Bronson Davis

Sissy Day

Fay Deleveaux

Joyce & Hon. John Derewitz

Bill Dickson

Enez & Dan W. Dipert

Ayonna Donald

Charles Dreyfus

Tammy & Hon. Kyle Dubberke

Patresia Duncan

Ivonne Duran

Pam Durham

Karen & Melvin Earnest

Lynette & Ed Eason

Beverly Eaves

Lynda Edmond

Hon. Chet Edwards

Earl Edwards

Grace Elliott

Blain Elmazi

Marilyn & Marty Englander

Lisa & Rev. Dr. Michael Evans, Sr.

Hon. Betty Fischer

Joyce & Jim Fletcher

Eric Fox

Hon. Martin Frost

Harriette & Arnold Gachman

John Gardner

Clyde Gary

Chris Gavras

Matt Geske

Claudia Gray

Terrysa Guerra

Loubna Harazin

Julie & Earl Harcrow

Patti & Alan Harper

Thomas Harris

Tazeen & Hon. Syed Hassan

Sandra Haverlah

Denise Henderson

Rube Gus Henderson

Chandra & David Hinkle

Linda & Thomas Holland

Tammy & Hon. Marc House

Christopher Howe

Ronald Hughes

Ellouise Hunnicutt

Melissa Hunsaker

Scott Hunsaker

Ummay Hussain

Carolyn & Cecil Jackson

Naren Jackson

Rhonda & Lee Jackson

Ray Jaksa

Don Jaquess

Jose Martinez

Ana Mochcco & Larry Jaramillo

Michael Jarzabski

Larry D. Jaynes

Dan Jensen

Margaret & Gene Jernigan

Rev. R.C. Johnson

Allan JonesHon. Ivy Jones

Betsy & Henry Joyner

Daniella Judge

Peggy Justice

Amir Kahman

Connie & Jerry Kanetzsky

Mike Kelley

Delphine & Morris Kelly

Charles Kennedy

Sandra Kindle

Misako Kirwen

Patricia Kirwen

Tom Krampitz

Beth Krugler

Hon. Anthony Langston

Patricia LaRue

Jean Latham

Hon. Patricia Lee

Elizabeth Lippincott

Marilyn & Tom Love

Bill Lynch

Hon. John Mabry

Hon. John MacLean

Alle & Eddie Maddox

Michael Maddox

Richard Malinowski

Peggy Marshall

Mike Martinez

Susan McAvoy

Hon. Barbara Jean McGowan

Melissa McMillain

Shelton McMillain

Corey NcNair

Elizabeth McPherson

Terry Meza

Mike Williams & Richard Michael

Hon. Darryl Miller

Marvin Mitchell

Rosie & Hon. Mike Moncrief

Steve Montgomery

Randall Moore

Emily Amps Mora

Celia Morgan

Clara Naylor

Kenneth Neal

Pat Pangburn

Steve Panza

Mike Patino

Falina Payton

Kathy & Terence Payton

Lisa & Doug Penny

Mario Perez

Beverly & Charles Powell

Kyran Powell

Suzanna Powell

Ann Price

Robert Price

Edwina & Moses Ramirez

Cynthia & Caesar Rentie

Becky Reynolds

Hon. Gabriel Rivas, IV

Spencer Roberson

Yolonde Rocio

Paula Rodgers

Janice Sims & Bill Russell

Jay Rutherford

Joseph Saldana

Emad Salem

Malizy & Craig Scruggs

John Self

Florine Shepard

Hon. Aftab Siddiqui

Loretta Simmons

Jessica & Jason Smith

Regina Smith

Hon. Deborah Spell

Lorraine Stanford

Adrena & Hon. Raymond Stephney

Jacquelyn Strong

Teri & Nelson Surovik

Hon. Marvin Sutton

Anne & Jim Swan

David Tesmer

Hon. Cynthia Toodle

Mary Ann & Gary Turner

Lisa Turner

James Van Sickel

Leila Vaughan

Tonya Veasey

Barbara Belle & Larry Walker

Jennifer Ward

Vicki Watkins

Aaron Watson

Heather & Scott Wheatley

Barbara Williams

Charles Williams

Kenneth Dale Williams

Nathaniel Williams

Ida Wilson

Stephanie & Alfred Wilson

Dorothy Wing

Gail Wright

Mark York

Hon. Felipe Gutierrez & Martin Young

It’s Not a Game, Governor

Today, Governor Rick Perry launches his latest political stunt: he’s calling on lawmakers and candidates to sign a pledge promising that they will continue failed Tea Party Republican budget policies.

The Texas Budget is NOT a game, Governor.

Quite simply, Perry’s pledge says: we can’t spend the Rainy Day Fund to help struggling schools, we must starve the health care system at the expense of millions of uninsured and underinsured Texans and we must keep cutting spending, even though Texas already ranks last or near last in virtually every category of per-capita funding in the nation.

And in a Texas Tribune story previewing today’s stunt, Perry says this: “I think we’re at a unique time that we can reset the budgeting game in Texas.”

The budget is a moral document that demonstrates the fiscal responsibility, compassion and strategic thinking of those in government – or the lack thereof.

 The budget is not a game.

It’s not a game to Carolyn, a woman I met last week in East Arlington, who is worried about her two grandchildren who have no health insurance. She told me they keep getting cut off of Medicaid, and she didn’t know why. The reason why, I explained, is that under the Perry Administration, kids are intentionally cut off of Medicaid every six months.

It’s not a game to the elementary school principal I met at church yesterday, who sees firsthand that increasing class sizes are having a very real and detrimental effect on the quality of children’s education.

And it’s not a game to the southeast Arlington woman who works for the state. She and other hard-working state employees are frustrated that as they go years without pay increases, Perry is double-dipping at our expense by collecting a pension and salary at the same time.

 The budget is not a game – it has very real and direct consequences for each and every person who lives in the state of Texas.

Texans deserve a budget that honors our priorities and prepares for our future by investing in education, healthier families and infrastructure. Texans don’t deserve more budget gimmicks and trickery from Rick Perry and Tea Party Republicans.

If you agree, I hope you’ll help me win this race by contributing $100, $50, $25 or $10 today.


A call for justice

Chris Turner spoke at a rally for education and awareness surrounding the Trayvon Martin case on Wednesday, March 29, 2012 at Tarrant County Community College Southeast Campus. 

Organized by TCC students, LaTarsha and Marqus Smith, the rally featured several speakers including student Florisa Esquivel, student Dennis Swanson, Pastor Dwight McKissic, Professor Eric Salas, Professor Bradley Borougerdi, NAACP Arlington Chapter President Silk Littlejoin-Gamble, and community activist Bridgette Davis.

Turner’s remarks, as prepared, are below:

“Good afternoon.  In 1963, while he was sitting in a jail in Birmingham, Alabama, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”  And that is why we are here today – our sense of right and wrong tells us that a great injustice has been committed, one for which we want justice done.  But it is also an injustice that demands a close examination of how we got here, and where we will go from here.

Like you, I am outraged at what happened in Sanford, Florida last month.  I’m angry that a young man, holding nothing but a bag of Skittles and a can of tea, would be gunned down on a city street in the United States of America.  I’m angry that a self-styled vigilante would ignore the authorities and pursue Trayvon Martin – a pursuit that ended with the death of that 17-year old boy.

Now, in large part due to rallies like this one all across the country, and the outrage we have seen about this case in the media, we see local, state and federal authorities investigating this case, as they should.  And we all hope that there is some measure of justice that will be realized when that process is complete.

Last week, President Obama said that the Trayvon Martin case is cause for our country -to do some soul-searching.  The president is right.

And I think we have to soul-search not just how this could have happened and how we keep it from happening again, but we need to look inward at ourselves as a nation and examine how we are reacting to this tragedy.

It is my hope that as America has a frank discussion about this tragedy and its aftermath, we use it as an opportunity to come closer together, not an excuse to be further divided.  And when I hear rhetoric from some in this country – talking about what Trayvon Martin’s school attendance record was, as if that somehow justifies or explains away what happened to him, I am saddened that, despite all our progress on the issue of race in America, we still have so much further to go.

When I was about your age and a student at the University of Texas, I had the opportunity to hear then-President Bill Clinton speak on our campus.  It wasn’t just any speech either, it was a major address on the state of race relations in our country.  That speech, in October of 1995, came just weeks after the verdict in the OJ Simpson case and in a similar time tinged with racial tension.

The president said, “Today we face a choice — one way leads to further separation and bitterness and more lost futures. The other way, the path of courage and wisdom, leads to unity, to reconciliation, to a rich opportunity for all Americans to make the most of the lives God gave them. This moment in which the racial divide is so clearly out in the open need not be a setback for us. It presents us with a great opportunity, and we dare not let it pass us by.”

I think today we are presented with another great opportunity.  We are all Americans, and there is so much more that unites us than divides us.  And our diversity is a great strength – a diversity we understand and experience more than most living here in Texas, here in Southeast Tarrant County and right here on this campus.  We have so much to learn from one another – understanding one another’s different backgrounds, life experiences, and culture helps us all become better people.  We can respect, appreciate and celebrate our differences – but we don’t have to fixate on them.

We don’t have to fear them.

And we don’t have to let them divide us.

But where we see the differences between us that we know are not right, we all have an obligation to make changes.  I’m talking about the injustices that we have all lived with for far too long, the injustices that don’t dominate the cable news shows or show up in our Facebook news feeds.

I’m talking about the injustice of income disparity – where we see African Americans and Hispanics earn less than white Americans.

I’m talking about the injustice of poverty, where here in Texas, 66 percent of Latino children and 59 percent of black children live in low-income families.

I am talking about the injustice of our educational system, especially in Texas, where underfunded public schools see the minority drop-out rate soar, closing the door of opportunity to thousands of young Texans.

And I am talking about the injustice that comes with the inaccessibility of health care – where 59% of the uninsured in our state are Hispanic.

So my hope is that as we remember Trayvon Martin and demand justice in his tragic case, let us not stop there.  Let us all join together to advocate for justice in all aspects of our society.  Long after the Trayvon Martin case has faded from the headlines, let us have the strength, the courage and the fortitude to continue our individual battles for justice and the end to inequality.  And until that day comes, it is my hope that we will not rest.

225 years after our founding fathers gathered to create our nation’s constitution, we are still working to “form a more perfect union.” Our Founders recognized that this democracy would never be perfect because, we the people who form it are not perfect.  But at the heart of the American ideal is the promise that we can always be better.  And as we honor the memory of Trayvon Martin and we pray for his family, let us all commit ourselves to the betterment of this country and all who live in it.”

March 5, 2012 Comments are off Admin2

Building a Just and Fair Society

On February 23, Chris joined members of the Grand Prairie community for the annual NAACP Freedom Fund Scholarship Banquet.

The money raised from this event will fund educational scholarships for local students.   The evening featured performances from the youth at Mt. Gilead Missionary Baptist Church in Italy, TX as well as from students of Truman Middle School in Grand Prairie.

The event’s keynote speaker was Rev. Preston Dixon, pastor at Mt. Gilead, and 1st Vice President of the NAACP Grand Prairie Branch.  He delivered an inspiring speech which touched on the banquet’s theme, “NAACP: Obsolete or Still Necessary?”  In his message, Pastor Dixon encouraged all in attendance to remember their past, take every available opportunity in their present, and keep an eye on their future.  He also reminded the audience about the importance of unity and community.

Several members of the Grand Prairie community were presented with 2012 President Awards for their work on behalf of civil rights and equal opportunity.

“The NAACP has been on the forefront of the battle for fairness and opportunity for all Americans for 103 years,” Chris said. “It continues its important mission today, and I am proud to support its efforts.”

The next evening, on February 24, Chris and his wife, Lisa, were honored to attend the birthday celebration of Pastor N.L. Robinson and First Lady Pearl Robinson which was given by their congregation at Mount Olive Baptist Church in Arlington.  The luau-themed party celebrated their 91st and 89th birthdays, respectively.

“Pastor Robinson and First Lady Pearl continue to inspire us every day, and Lisa and I wish them both the happiest of birthdays,” Chris said.

Pastor Robinson and First Lady Pearl have been major community leaders in the civil rights movement in Arlington and have been ministering to the Arlington community for over 40 years.  Pastor Robinson was called to pastor Mount Olive Baptist Church in 1966 and since that time has grown the congregation from 17 to over 10,000 members.

A Wall of Honor and an Opportunity

Chris attended the Tarrant County College District’s official unveiling of its Veterans’ Wall of Honor on February 20, 2012.

This new feature of TCC’s Southeast Campus pays tribute to veterans who are current students, alumni, faculty and staff of the Tarrant County College District.  Featured speakers at the event included State Senator Wendy Davis, Tarrant County College District Chancellor Erma Johnson Hadley, and TCC Southeast Campus President Dr. Bill Coppola.   Each delivered a message of gratitude for the service of our nation’s veterans and expressed a strong desire to continue the remarkable outreach and support that TCC offers to veterans.

Chris also had the pleasure of visiting with a retired member of the Marine Corps who served in Operation Desert Storm and was one of the veterans honored at the event.  By supporting programs such as tuition assistance, career counseling, financial planning guidance, housing support, and college admission workshops, Chris will work hard to ensure that today’s veteran has access to the educational opportunities they have earned and deserve.

Chris has a proven record of leadership on veterans’ issues: he was the author of the bill that created the veterans scratch-off lottery ticket, which has raised more than $16 million for veterans’ assistance programs in just two years.  Chris also authored and passed legislation requiring Texas colleges and universities to have a designated financial aid officer for veterans, so that returning service members are able to fully access the benefits they have earned under the new Post-9/11 G.I. Bill and the Texas Hazlewood Act. With more than 250,000 Texans who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan in the last ten years, it is more important than ever that Texas have strong support systems in place so veterans – and their families – can take advantage of education and workforce opportunities.  Honoring the service and sacrifice of today’s veterans both in word and in deed will continue to be one of Chris’s top priorities.

About Chris


Lifelong Texan

Chris Turner is a lifelong Texan who has spent his adult life working for the basic principles of the Democratic Party: expanding opportunity for all Texans to have access to good jobs, quality schools and affordable health care and protecting the civil rights and workers rights of all Americans.

The son of a teacher and grocer, Chris grew up in a middle class family in Dallas.  Chris attained the rank of Eagle Scout at 16 and attended Skyline High School, where he served as senior class president.  Chris knew early on that he was drawn to public service, so he majored in government in college and graduated from the University of Texas at Austin.  It was at UT that Chris worked on his first of many Democratic campaigns.

Working for Democratic Principles

Not long after graduating, Turner returned to North Texas to become the executive director of the Tarrant County Democratic Party.   It was in Arlington that he met Lisa, whom he would marry in 1999.  Lisa and Chris lived the better part of a decade in South Arlington and their two kids graduated from Mansfield Summit High School.

Chris served as a campaign manager for Congressman Chet Edwards in four tough elections – successfully directing the campaigns that gave Edwards the distinction of representing the most Republican district in America to be held by a Democrat.  Chris also served as Edwards’ district director in his congressional office.

Serving Tarrant County in the State House

In 2008, Chris ran for the Texas House of Representatives in southern Tarrant County and unseated a three-term incumbent in a district that had been in GOP hands for two decades.  As a state representative, Chris’s priorities included reforming our insurance system to protect the interests of consumers, providing veterans the benefits they have earned, fighting for better funding for public schools, making college more affordable, strengthening DWI laws to protect families from repeat offenders, and lowering utility rates for Texas families.

Making a Difference for Texas Families

Chris had significant legislative successes in his first session: he passed the landmark law that established a dedicated lottery scratch off ticket to benefit the Permanent Fund for Veterans Assistance, generating up to $9 million per year to pay for much-needed benefits for Texas veterans and returning soldiers. Chris also wrote the law that requires electric utility companies to provide notice to consumers when their contract is about to expire.

His work on veterans’ issues led to Chris receiving numerous awards including: “Legislator of the Year” by the Texas Veterans of Foreign Wars, “Legislator of the Year” by the Vietnam Veterans of America, Texas State Council and the bi-partisan Legislative Veterans’ Caucus’ “Freshman of the Year.”  He was also given the “Leadership Award” by the Texas Veterans Commission.

In addition, Chris was named “Freshman of the Year,” by Texas Watch for his work on consumer protection issues and “Best of the House” by the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas (CLEAT).

Chris’s primary focus as a representative was attending to the needs of his constituents and district.  He attended hundreds of community meetings in his term in office and he hosted numerous town halls and seminars to provide constituents with information on how to pay for college, lower utility bills and get help with veterans benefits.


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