Texas Liberty Movement Leaders United for a Strong Texas
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 17, 2014 CONTACT: Undersigned Leaders
Is the Fake Tea Party Mailer Yet Another Dewhurst Attempt to Trick Texas Voters?
“The Fake Tea Party mailer risks more IRS trouble for conservative groups; may trigger more onerous federal and state speech regulations. Is David Dewhurst behind it?”
Across Texas – Today a coalition of conservative leaders is demanding answers on a fake Tea Party mailer found in Texas mailboxes on Friday.
The mailer – pictured below – proclaims support from “The United Texas Tea Party” for David Dewhurst. The problem? No such group legally exists:
The mailer bears no disclaimer and no name of any known tea party group or organizer.
A Google search for “The United Texas Tea Party” returns no results.
A search of registered entities via the Texas Comptroller returns nothing for “The United Texas Tea Party” or any similar name.
Likewise, a search of the Texas Ethics Commission website renders no political committee operating under the name “The United Texas Tea Party”. Texas Ethics Commission rules on political action committees are very clear. In order to distribute political advertising supporting or opposing a candidate, such a group is obligated to abide by the Texas Election Code as summarized on page 3 of the Texas Ethics Commission’s Campaign Finance Guide for Political Committees. http://www.ethics.state.tx.us/guides/pac_guide.pdf
- Contributions. Neither a general-purpose committee nor a specific-purpose committee may accept political contributions that total more than $500 without first filing a campaign treasurer appointment.
- Expenditures by specific-purpose committee. A specific-purpose political committee may not knowingly make political expenditures that exceed $500 without filing a campaign treasurer appointment. Also, a political committee may not make campaign expenditures totaling more than $500 to support or oppose a candidate in an election for a statewide office, the State Legislature, the State Board of Education, district judge, or multi-county district attorney unless the political committee’s treasurer appointment was filed at least thirty days before the election.
- Expenditures by general-purpose committee. A general-purpose committee may not knowingly make political expenditures that exceed $500 unless it has had its campaign treasurer appointment on file with the Ethics Commission for at least 60 days and has accepted contributions from at least 10 persons.
Who or what is “The United Texas Tea Party?” No one knows for sure, but there is good reason to believe that “The United Texas Tea Party” is merely an alter-ego for David Dewhurst’s campaign.
Julie Turner, President of the Texas Patriots PAC (The Woodlands), said, “Attempts to hijack the TEA party label by candidates and groups masquerading as TEA party are becoming more of a problem simply because we are so effective in Texas. This is pure, unadulterated dishonesty and one of the reasons people are so turned off politics that they don’t even vote. My organization works extremely hard to follow the law, educate voters with factual information, and turn out the vote. Dirty tricks like this only make our work harder. I resent it more than I can say. If David Dewhurst is behind this, shame on him.”
Dallas Tea Party co-founder and attorney Ken Emanuelson agreed, “A stunt like this is designed to confuse voters to make them believe there is broad Tea Party support for David Dewhurst – which there clearly is not. A piece like this, which may run afoul of Texas campaign finance laws using the “Tea Party” label, can have potentially-severe repercussions for tea party groups who work hard to follow the law. A pro-Dewhurst mailer claiming to come from a Tea Party group with no political disclaimer and no registration with the Texas Ethics Commission just invites more political harassment on all tea parties. This mailer virtually begs the IRS to expand their intimidation of conservative grassroots groups.”
Mike Openshaw, co-founder of the North Texas TEA Party said, “As I predicted back in March, false front groups are being created for the elections simply as a reaction to our tea party successes. It is our job to protect our brand and call them out every time.”
TEAParty911.com founder Michael Kinzie said, “It is truly reprehensible to concoct a fake ‘United Texas Tea Party’ and then stick David Dewhurst’s picture on a mailer alongside the candidates who do have strong Texas TEA Party support in order to make Dewhurst out to be some kind of Tea Party Champion. This is a lie of enormous proportions. Dewhurst’s name has long been synonymous with dirty, deceptive politics, and this looks like just one more example.”
Grassroots America’s Executive Director JoAnn Fleming stated, “David Dewhurst knows that an overwhelming majority of Texas TEA party leaders and grassroots organizations support Dan Patrick. He and his sidekick Jerry Patterson have done everything possible to destroy Sen. Patrick politically and personally, but we are sticking with strong conservative Dan Patrick. We know the records of these two men very well. We also know David Dewhurst will do anything to destroy his opponent. He tried it with Ted Cruz. He failed then. He will also fail in this, but David Dewhurst will go out of office a completely shamed man.”
We the undersigned, call on the campaign hiding behind the name “The United Texas Tea Party” to cease and desist in their attempts to hijack the Texas TEA Party label and immediately cease and desist using the fake and possibly illegal “The United Texas Tea Party” name:
JoAnn Fleming, Executive Director, Grassroots America – We the People PAC
Two-term Chair, Advisory Committee to the TX Legislature’s TEA Party Caucus* 903-360-2858
Ken Emanuelson – Founder, Grassroots Texans Network, Co-founder, Dallas Tea Party* (469) 363-5808
Katrina Pierson – Founder, Garland TEA Party; Two-term member – Advisory Committee to the TX Legislature’s TEA Party Caucus* (214) 601-6822
Dr. Julie Turner – Texas Patriots PAC, President; Two-term member – Advisory Committee to the TX Legislature’s TEA Party Caucus* (832) 928-6672
Michael Kinzie, Founder, TeaParty 911.com* (903) 272-5069
Julie McCarty – NE Tarrant TEA Party, President* (972) 670-7692
Jim Lennon – Kingwood TEA Party, Co-Founder* (832) 748-8036
Robin Lennon – Kingwood TEA Party, Co-Founder/President, Two-term member – Advisory Committee to the TX Legislature’s TEA Party Caucus* (832) 748-8036
Toni Fabry – Frisco TEA Party, President* (214) 387-0051
Mike Openshaw – North Texas TEA Party, Co-Founder* (214) 642-9383
Danny South – Amarillo TEA Party/Protest, Vice-President* (806) 236-9880
Bill Hussey – Llano TEA Party, Founder* (325) 423.1450
Maggie Wright – Texas Patriots TEA Party, Past-President & Founding Member* (817) 480-3110
John Cook – Kaufman TEA Party* (214) 212-8749
Sharon Hall – founding member San Antonio TEA Party; Two-term member – Advisory Committee to the TX Legislature’s TEA Party Caucus* (210) 289-7396
Kyle Scott – President, Spring TEA Party* 713-805-0581
Russ Ramsland – Organizer, Park Cities/Preston Hollow TEA Party* (214) 207-8280
*Organization Listed for Identification Purposes Only
A political ad paid for by
Grassroots America – We the People PAC
PO Box 130012
Tyler, TX 75713.