“Shysters” is the only word I could think of to describe political operatives who are bombarding us with misleading mailers and billboards.
I just got one in the mail yesterday.
Under a blaring headline “OUR SCHOOLS ARE UNDER ATTACK” the mailer attempts to conflate the voting record of our representative on the State Board of Education, Pat Hardy, with “the left,” which, according to the mailer, “tells our children there are an infinite number of genders, that boys should compete in girl’s (sic) athletics, and that we should be ashamed of America and its values.”
The mailer goes on to assert that Hardy “VOTES WITH THE DEMOCRAT MINORITY 96% OF THE TIME.”
So let’s be clear. Texas is a conservative state. Texas is a very conservative state with an overwhelming Republican majority. And with some exceptions, the Democrats in Texas lean toward the conservative end of their party.
The State Senate is roughly 61% Republican and 38% Democrat. The State House is 57% Republican and 42% Democrat.
And the State Board of Education is 66% Republican, where Republicans outnumber Democrats 10-5.
To its credit, Texas has had a history of enacting legislation with bi-partisan votes, where the Republican majority and the Democrat minority hash out issues to the benefit of all Texans.
So to say a Republican representative, whether in the legislature or on the State Board of Education, “votes with Democrats” may technically be true, but it leaves a false impression that Democrats are driving the bus.
They are not.
The more accurate (and truthful) statement is that Democrats are voting with the Republican majority.
In Rogers’ case, the billboard statement that “Rogers joined 61 Democrats to impeach Ken Paxton” is very misleading.
The correct statement is that 95% of the Democrats in the House joined 75% of the Republicans to vote to impeach Ken Paxton.
The Billboard is paid for by “Defend Texas Liberty” Political Action Committee, which would take a dozen spreadsheets to even attempt to understand all the tomfoolery that happens there. Money comes and money goes through a maze of interconnected groups and people, all designed to hide who is behind the messaging.
The State Board of Education mailer was presumably paid for by “Texans for Conservative School Values.” As of Tuesday, July 26, there is no record of that organization filing with the Texas Ethics Commission as a Political Action Committee, nor is there a record of it filing with the IRS as a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization.
In other words, “dark money.”
I can make an educated guess who is ultimately behind this misleading mailer. But my guess is that one might have to navigate a maze to get there.
Like the recent ‘Concerned Parents of Aledo” political action committee that never filed its legally-required list of donors, we can guess who was behind it, but again, one might have to navigate a maze to arrive at the truth.
Correction: Perhaps the reason no report was filed in April is that, up to that point, there were no contributors to the committee. The “Concerned Parents of Aledo” filed its July 15 report on July 12, showing a sole contributor, Jonathan Stickland, who donated $3,000 in the interim. We regret the error.
All of this is truly concerning.
As voters, we all have the right to know who is paying for the political information we receive, because the source of the money has an effect on the credibility of the message.
So for now, I’ll leave you with a couple of things.
First, no Republican member of the State Board of Education will ever vote for boys competing in girls’ athletics or for any of the other charges on the mailer. That’s just an attempt to deceive.
Second, if you receive a political mailer and the “paid for by” line includes the words “liberty,” “patriots,” or “concerned,” then beware. Because likely those organizations have little to do with liberty, patriotism, or actual concern.
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Thursday, July 27, 2023 Report this