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A cease-and-desist letter was received today by fax at the office of State Rep. Vicki Truitt (R-Southlake), instructing her to immediately end her campaign’s defamatory public statements against Empower Texans, one of the state’s most recognized organizations working to promote sound fiscal stewardship in state government by engaging voters in the electoral process.

Vicki Truitt

Truitt has performed poorly on the ratings of many conservative groups’ legislative ratings, including the Fiscal Responsibility Index. Rather than address her own record, or explain her efforts to raise taxes and increase regulations, Truitt’s campaign has been distorting the positions and activities of Empower Texans, including a mail piece sent last week that asserted false information without any citation of public records.

“Unlike Vicki Truitt, Empower Texans has never advocated for the imposition of any new taxes, and certainly not imposing sales taxes on health care, groceries or medicines. Out of desperation to hide her tax-raising record, and no-bid contracts from taxing entities, Vicki has resorted to creating myths and spreading distortions,” said Empower Texans president Michael Quinn Sullivan. “Vicki conveniently forgets her own tax-hiking record. While she is welcome to try and distort her own voting record and positions, she is not welcome to distort ours.”

The letter, sent by respected ethics attorney Trey Trainor of Beirne, Maynard & Parsons, L.L.P., directs Truitt “to cease and desist any further mischaracterization of the organizational goals of Empower Texans or the employment status of its employees.”

In her campaign mailer, Truitt also fraudulently claims Empower Texans employs a lobbyist. Truitt, however, uses as a campaign consultant Fort Worth lobbyist Bryan Eppstein. Truitt barely won re-election in 2010 despite outspending her opponents 10-to-1.

The incumbent legislator has recently been found to have received no-bid contracts from the Tarrant County Hospital District starting shortly after being appointed to the House Committee on Public Health. Those contracts accelerated in 2009 after she entered the leadership circle of House Speaker Joe Straus, a fellow moderate from San Antonio. A company run by Truitt and her husband has received at least $350,000 in no-bid contracts from the hospital district.

Truitt has also spearheaded an effort to increase the state’s gasoline tax and various fees — an effort opposed by every conservative group in the state, thousands of voters and a bipartisan majority of the Legislature. However, Truitt vowed at a public rally on the steps of the state capitol to continue working to raise taxes.

“As a state representative, Vicki Truitt has engaged in a reckless pattern of misrepresentation both on the House floor and in her actions as a candidate,” said Sullivan. “Rather than engage in defamation, Vicki and her team should spend time addressing her pursuit of no-bid government contracts. Rather than hide behind distortions, Vicki should come clean about her failed record.”