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One of the leading lights in Texas’ conservative movement is Collin County Judge Keith Self, who has led the fight for tax relief, transparent government and responsible spending. His reward? The typical response from the liberal establishmentarians: vicious personal attacks and smear campaigns.

Let’s be honest: Judge Self is no light-weight. And he knows something about being under fire. A retired Army Green Beret, he commanded a special forces company; fellows not known for anything but resolute action.

That sense of action has served Self – and Collin County – well. He led the charge for government transparency, making Collin County the first in the nation to make its expenditures available online for public review. He also has taken a strong, public stand against efforts to hike taxes and fees in the Metroplex. He’s made a lot of entrenched interests mad.

So the Dallas Morning News started editorializing against him, particularly when he came out against State Sen. John Carona’s plan to let cities hike taxes and fees to pay for more ineffective rail programs.

Now this week a group of goons are buying up websites, playing off the Judge’s name and linking them to gay-themed pornography. And they are using fake e-mail addresses to spread the nastiness around north Texas.

The DMN reports these cowards claim to be “Republicans who don’t like what he is doing to the party.” Let’s see… He’s fighting for tax relief, opposing big-government, bringing about new levels of public accountability, shining sunlight where it’s never been allowed before… Yep, disastrous things for their party; if you happen to be a big-spending liberal hiding in the ranks of the conservative movement.

As one might expect, these big-government “Republicans” are happy to smear Self, but don’t have the courage to identify themselves. Very typical.

Judge Self and his wife are taking it all in stride; part of the cost of doing what is right. He told me this morning that the actions of these clowns is having a very different effect than they intended. He said it makes him all the more resolved to keep fighting for our principles.

Now it’s time for conservative activists around Collin County, and across the state, to step up and show Judge Self our support for his work, and stand against those who seek to tarnish the reputation of hero.