12 TLR Backed Candidates Defeated in Primaries

We would like to thank the over 15,000 Texans who have joined with us at #StopTLR against the special interest agenda of Texans For Lawsuit Reform. Despite nearly unlimited resources, a dozen candidates backed by TLR were defeated in the primaries and six TLR backed incumbents were forced into runoffs. These results demonstrate that more Texans are rejecting special interest influence in state government and voting against candidates supported by TLR. We encourage all candidates and officeholders, especially those who prevailed over TLR backed candidates, to stand up for average Texans and true conservative values and reject TLR and its self-interested agenda.

TLR backed candidates that were defeated include State Senate candidate Elizabeth Ames Jones (who was bankrolled to the tune of nearly $2 million by TLR and its donors), Texas House incumbents Leo Berman, Wayne Christian, Rob Eissler, Marva Beck, Barbara Nash, and Vicki Truitt, Texas House candidates Dora Alcala, Wanda Adams, Carlos Vasquez, and Delicia Herrera, and 13th Court of Appeals candidate Jaime Tijerina.

Additionally, TLR backed Railroad Commissioner Barry Smitherman, Texas Supreme Court Justice David Medina, and Texas House members Chuck Hopson, J.M. Lozano, Sid Miller, and Jim Landtroop were forced into runoff elections.

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Companies With Close Ties to Major TLR Donors Have Paid Over $53 Million To Settle Claims of Cheating Taxpayers

Information discovered by Texans For Individual Rights (TXIR) indicates that Texans For Lawsuit Reform (TLR) has accepted nearly $1 million in contributions from donors with close ties to companies that have had to settle claims for allegedly cheating Taxpayers. TLR is the most vocal opponent of a “qui tam” bill that would allow whistleblowers to bring claims against those who defraud Texas taxpayers, giving the state a much needed tool to recover taxpayer money lost due to fraud.

Major TLR donors with close ties to companies that have settled claims for allegedly cheating taxpayers include:

• Kinder Morgan CEO Richard Kinder and his wife, Nancy. Together, they have contributed $390,000 to TLR. In 2007, Kinder Morgan settled with the Federal government for over $25,000,000 for alleged violations of the False Claims Act

• Anadarko Petroleum Executive Chairman and Former CEO James Hackett, who has contributed $76,000 to Texans For Lawsuit Reform. In 2011, Anadarko and a subsidiary settled with the Federal government for over $17,000,000 for allegedly underpaying royalties on natural gas produced from federal and Indian leases

• W.L. Hunt, CEO of Hunt Building, who has contributed $227,500 to TLR. In 1999, Hunt Building settled with the Federal government for $8,000,000 to resolve false claims issues related to 828 military housing units constructed by Hunt at Ellsworth Air Force Base. The settlement also required Hunt Building to perform repairs to the buildings and post a $18.5 million performance bond

• James Pitcock, CEO of Williams Brothers Construction, who has contributed $185,000 to TLR. In 2005, Williams Brothers settled with the Federal government for $3,000,000 to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by engaging in fraud related to the Minority Business Enterprise Program

We call on TLR to immediately drop their opposition to a “qui tam” bill that would deter and punish fraud committed against Texas taxpayers. TLR’s staunch opposition to such a commonsense piece of legislation to protect taxpayers against fraud is indefensible. The fact that companies closely tied to major TLR donors have had to pay over $53 million to settle allegations of cheating taxpayers is incredibly troubling. By opposing “qui tam”, TLR is actively aiding those who are defrauding Texas taxpayers.

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TLR Gives Nearly $150,000 More to Liberal Democrats

According to “8 Day” campaign finance reports on file with the Texas Ethics Commission, the special interest group Texans For Lawsuit Reform has contributed $143,408 over the past month to liberal Democrats running for the Texas House of Representatives. These contributions continue TLR’s pattern of funding liberal Democratic candidates, which has totaled nearly $3 million in recent years.

Yet again, Texans For Lawsuit Reform is funding some of the most radical liberals seeking election to the Texas legislature. It is time for TLR to quit masquerading as a conservative organization and admit they only care about electing those who will further their special interest agenda.

TLR’s donations to Democrats this reporting period include:

- $53,408 to liberal Ft. Worth ISD board member Carlos Vasquez, running for State Representative against Rep. Lon Burnam. Vasquez, a gay activist, has a history of race baiting. TLR’s contributions to Vasquez represent 70% of all funds raised by Vasquez this reporting period.

- $50,000 to liberal former San Antonio City Councilwoman Delicia Herrera, running for State Representative in the seat being vacated by Rep. Joaquin Castro. Herrera has come under scrutiny from local media for allegedly residing outside of the district she is seeking to represent. TLR’s contributions to Herrera represent 95% of all funds raised by Herrera this reporting period.

- $20,000 to liberal Houston City Councilwoman Wanda Adams, running for State Representative against Rep. Alma Allen. TLR’s contributions to Adams represent 87% of all funds raised by Adams this reporting period.

- An additional $20,000 to liberal State Representative Marisa Marquez of El Paso. An outspoken opponent of legislation to crack down on illegal immigration in Texas, Marquez has received over $100,000 from TLR since her first campaign in 2008.

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TLR Should Immediately Cease Support of James White

Texans For Individual Rights (TXIR) today called on Texans For Lawsuit Reform to immediately withdraw its support of State Representative James White, who is currently embroiled in a scandal involving inappropriate sexual comments he made to students as a teacher in Livingston ISD. TLR is White’s largest financial backer this election cycle, having contributed over $100,000 to his campaign as of last month. New campaign finance reports will show additional significant contributions to White from TLR.

Unlike liberals who are quick to cover up the improprieties of the likes of Bill Clinton and John Edwards, conservatives should hold their candidates and officeholders to a higher standard. We call on TLR to immediately cease all support of James White. TLR’s continued silence on this matter is an implied endorsement of his misconduct.

TLR’s support of James White is yet another example in a troubling pattern of supporting individuals who have engaged in inappropriate personal conduct. TLR has recently hired Lee Parsley, who was forced to resign from his position as President of the Texas Civil Justice League due to his role in the “legislative porn” scandal at the end of the last legislative session. The offensive material that Mr. Parsley was responsible for was denounced on the House floor by members of both parties.

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Over 10,000 Texans Stand Together to #StopTLR

In just one month, over 10,000 Texans have liked our Facebook page and sent a resounding message to the Austin political establishment. Thanks to concerned conservatives across Texas, #StopTLR now has one of the most popular pages on Facebook involving Texas public policy.

True conservatives across Texas are fed up with groups like Texans For Lawsuit Reform that say they promote conservative values when they actually work against us. The rapid success of #StopTLR shows that Texans are hungry for the truth about TLR and their self-interested agenda. The days of TLR being able to deceive Texas conservatives are over.

As of May 18, 2012, The #StopTLR Facebook page had received 10,731 “likes”. In comparison, Texans For Lawsuit Reform’s Facebook page only had 4,462 “likes”. #StopTLR’s page has also far surpassed many prominent conservative groups in Texas including the Texas Public Policy Foundation (2,721 “likes”), Americans for Prosperity-Texas (1,880 “likes”), Texas Eagle Forum (1,276 “likes”), and King Street Patriots (1,616 “likes”).

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TLR Puts Petty Politics Ahead of Protecting Life

Earlier this week, we sent Texans For Lawsuit Reform CEO Dick Weekley a letter asking for TLR’s support support of three policy proposals that would advance the pro-life cause in Texas. While we are critical of TLR’s activities and fraudulent claims of conservatism, we were willing to put these differences aside in order to work together to protect the rights of the unborn in Texas.

Instead of looking for common ground to fight for conservative principles and the pro-life cause, TLR chose to attack our organization and say that the voices of our movement (nearly 8,000 and growing on Facebook, almost twice as large as TLR’s) do not matter. While unfortunate, TLR’s petty response and refusal to support these pro-life proposals is not unexpected.

Unlike TLR, TXIR is concerned only with promoting conservative principles. We will continue to work tirelessly to fight for our values and expose the self-interested agenda of those that seek to hijack the conservative label for their own personal gain. However, the success of our cause depends on you, so please keep spreading the word about #StopTLR!

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#StopTLR Surpasses TLR in Popularity

In just over two weeks, our grassroots effort to expose the truth about Texans for Lawsuit Reform (TLR) has become more popular on Facebook than TLR itself!

As of noon today, 5,120 Facebook users had “liked” #StopTLR’s Facebook page, while TLR’s Facebook page had just 4,383 “likes.” #StopTLR was launched just over two weeks ago. TLR’s Facebook page indicates that it was established on April 9, 2009.

Texans for Individual Rights (TXIR) is thrilled that conservative Texans have reacted so positively and so quickly to #StopTLR. Grassroots conservatives are tired of special interests and big donors standing in the way of conservative principles in Austin, and they are hungry to learn about how to stop the forces that are fighting them, such as TLR.

Unlike TLR, #StopTLR is truly a grassroots effort. The fact that #StopTLR’s Facebook page was able to become more popular than TLR’s in just over two weeks despite a recent online ad blitz by TLR proves that conservatives across Texas want to know the truth about TLR. We will continue to use and grow our website, Facebook page, and other media tools to show conservatives how TLR opposes their values.

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