In advance of two hearings in Bexar County this week, Empower Texans has submitted to the court a video outlining the contradictory statements made by Murphy Turner Associates.
The short video, created at the direction of lead counsel Joe Nixon of Beirne, Maynard & Parsons, LLP for the benefit of the Court, addresses the alleged trademark infringement by Murphy Turner Associates in an effort to deceive voters. (The video, below, is available on YouTube.)
The purpose of the video is to rebut the claim of Murphy Turner Associates’ principals Craig Murphy, Chris Turner and Wayne Hamilton, each testifying under oath not to have any knowledge that their business was directing the activities of the shadow PAC, by superimposing emails between the same principals and their staff about the very activities at issue.
Also shown is the sworn testimony of Murphy Turner clients Cecil Bell and Ken King, describing how they participated in the scheme by directing funds into the effort. In the case of Mr. Bell, he directed a $12,500 check to be written to a political action committee controlled by a former employee of Murphy Turner, who a few days later sent the same funds to yet another PAC controlled by Chris Turner’s brother-in-law.
The case against Murphy Turner was filed in 2012 after it was discovered the firm had used a deceptively similar name to Empower Texans’ “Texans for Fiscal Responsibility” to mail into districts where their clients had not been endorsed. A temporary restraining order against further use of the infringing shadow PAC by Murphy Turner has been in place since mid 2012.
A Bexar County judge earlier issued a $40,000 order assessing costs against Murphy Turner for having not complied with discovery requests.
On Wednesday, the court will hold a “spoliation” and sanctions hearing on the issue of whether Murphy Turner engaged in other discovery abuses.
On Friday, a second hearing will be held on Murphy Turner’s request for summary judgment claiming a lack of evidence against them.
The video, through the sworn testimony of the defendants themselves, responds to their claim that there is no evidence to support a liability finding against Murphy, Turner and Hamilton.