ChrisTackettNow Profile picture
Trying to make data useful. Used to be the Place 1 Trustee for Granbury ISD School Board.

Aug 29, 2018, 21 tweets

Tim Dunn and Empower Texans are sending out letters to folks in House District 2, attacking Dan Flynn, the Republican incumbent. Yes, thats right. The republican incumbent is being attacked by the extreme end of the republican party as we near the general election. #txlege

First off, Empower is telling people to use transparency texas . org for campaign finance data. This is a site with campaign finance stuff, but what they don't tell you is that Empower Texans owns the site. Show up for data, read Empower propaganda. Not very transparent. #txlege

Empower is attacking Dan Flynn for 52% of his contributions coming from Austin. And yes, the 52% is a real number. Flynn has had $430k contributed to his campaign since 01/01/17, with 52% of it coming from an Austin address. #txlege

Dunn - "Austin-based lobby groups typically consider their contribution an investment - an investment in getting, or avoiding, something from government. ...many others want special favors and privileges from government that are not available to the ordinary taxpayer." #txlege

The quote above from Dunn is the absolute peak of hypocrisy. Empower, Wilks, the other major ET donors, all demand loy. And if you don't do exactly what they want, they cut you off. #txlege

Dunn - "In the campaign, Rep. Flynn made an issue out of donations his opponent received from outside the district, in particular donations attributed to me." Yes, as he should have. #txlege

In HD2, Empower Texans candidate Bryan Slaton received $181.9k from 235 contributions
$84.7k - Empower Texans (46.6%)
$20k - Texas Right To Life (ET) (11%)
$13.4k - Constituents Focus (ETR) (7.4%)
$10k - Kyle Stallings (ET9) (5.5%)
$5.7k - Jonathan Stickland (ETR) (3.2%)

Continuing the top donors to Bryan Slaton in HD2
$5k - Stacy Hock (ETR) (2.7%)
$5k - Dick Saulsbury (ET9) (2.7%)

Just taking these top 7 donors to Slaton, who are ALL CONNECTED to the same group (Empower Texans), it makes up 79.1% of his total contributions.

On the 2nd page of the letter, Dunn says he's in it for you, the little guy. And of course he talks about property taxes and references a report from the Texas Public Policy Foundation to back him up. But the transparency guy isn't very transparent. #txlege

When you look up who is on the Board Of Directors for the Texas Public Policy Foundation, it's a who's who of donors to Empower Texans
- Tim Dunn (who is referencing the group)
- Windi Grimes
- Stacy Hock
- Jeff Sandefer
- Kyle Stallings
- Mayes Middleton (former)

And then you dig a little deeper into who is giving to the Texas Public Policy Foundation, and you see the Koch brothers fingerprints all over the org. The data on foundations is a little harder to get and hence older, as it is only available via IRS records. #txlege

Back to Dunn's letter. On page 3, he tells you that "You can't trust the newspapers" and "you certainly can't trust campaign ads". But who can you trust? I guess the answer must be Empower Texans. Because they were outspent 9 to 1. But is that accurate? #txlege

Let's look at just the House races, as that is the biggest play Empower Texans has made. Who was the largest donor? Empower Texans. How many Empower backed candidates were there? 42. How many other Republicans were there? 88. I'll break down some numbers for you. #txlege

In the House races, the top 20 contributors to candidates gave a total of $14.4 million. Empower Texans and their donors were $6.4 million of that. So 45% of the dollars from the top 20 donors all have the same agenda. #txlege

I'll remind everyone here who the Empower Texans donors are (ET9).
Tim Dunn - $2.5m
Farris Wilks - $985k
Dan Wilks - $625k
Kyle Stallings - $378k
Mayes Middleton - $207k
Dick Saulsbury (and sons) - $167k
Holly Frost - $50k
Darlene Pendery - $50k
Monty Bennett - $20k

When you filter the donors to just money given to those 42 Empower Texans candidates, you see that the only people giving significant dollars to the 42 are the same ones who give to Empower Texans. I give to Empower to give to a candidate, and then I give to a candidate. #txlege

Let's circle back to the House 88 Republicans and the 42 Empower candidates.
On the 88 Republicans, $22.3 million was raised. $253k per candidate
On the 42 Empower, $11.3 million was raised. $269k per candidate
That doesn't feel like 9:1 #txlege

Are there candidates where I see a lot of PAC money and it makes me cringe? Yes. Do you see the same kind of concentrated money flowing in from the same sources in the non-Empower Republicans or from the Democratic candidates? No. #txlege

Dunn closes on page 4 with a pitch to go to their website and sign up for their propaganda. Please don't. Find real sources of info, that look fairly at both sides of things. Be wary of those who yell Fake News and can't back up claims. #txlege

Everything in this thread, other than the letter and the stuff about TPPF, are from my website (, which is 100% sourced from the Texas Ethics Commission. I load the data and set up the lists and charts so that you can make your own decisions.


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