Following two years of litigation, a group of political consultants have apologized for “any confusion” their conduct created when they produced campaign literature addressed from an entity with a “confusingly similar” name to Texans for Fiscal Responsibility. The defendants also agreed to pay an undisclosed sum to the Austin-based organization.
“We’re pleased to have reached an agreement ending the litigation,” said Michael Quinn Sullivan, president of Texans for Fiscal Responsibility. “Perhaps more importantly, we are excited that Craig Murphy, Wayne Hamilton, Chris Turner and the others involved have expressed a commitment to help reform Texas’ political culture.”
A permanent injunction was also filed with the district court in Bexar County ensuring that Texans for Fiscal Responsibility maintains control over its name and trademark.
In an open-letter addressed to “Texans For Fiscal Responsibility and the People of Texas,” the defendants wrote:
“During the 2012 election cycle, Murphy, Turner & Associates produced campaign mailings for a Political Action Committee called Texans for Fiscal Accountability. We now acknowledge that the name Texans for Fiscal Accountability was confusingly similar to the name Texans for Fiscal Responsibility. We apologize that this occurred, and for any confusion among voters. We all agree that confusing or misleading voters is not in the public’s interest, and we will work to ensure that such conduct by us or people who work for us will not occur in the future.”
The letter was signed by Murphy Turner & Associates owners Wayne Hamilton, Craig Murphy, and Chris Turner, Turner’s wife Holly Turner, as well as Brad White, who served as treasurer of the PAC “Texans for Fiscal Accountability.”
“We’ve all let ourselves become accustomed to a political culture that rewards behaviors none of us as individuals would condone,” said Sullivan. “Like Craig, Wayne, Chris and the others have said, we all must do our part to improve political dialogue.”