The Family Empowerment Coalition PAC has filed complaints with the Attorney General of Texas and the IRS, claiming that Pastors for Texas Children has abused its status as a tax-exempt entity by engaging in politics.

Non-profits, organized under section 501(c)(3) of the tax code, are prohibited from directly or indirectly engaging in political campaigns. Specifically, a non-profit voicing support or opposition to candidates running for office close to an election could run afoul of the IRS guidelines.

If a tax-exempt entity is found to have violated the tax code, its exempt status can be revoked.

According to an open letter sent via e-filing to the attorney general’s office, PTC is accused of improper use of charitable funds for posting messages—which appear to fail IRS prohibitions on political activity by a non-profit—multiple times to the social media platform X.

FECPAC—a Texas political committee that supports legislators and candidates who support school choice initiatives—provided multiple examples of PTC posting to X in overt political and election interventions. One post called for Democrats in Republican House districts where the Democrat is running unopposed to vote for anti-school choice Republicans in the March GOP primary. That post was viewed more than 53,500 times.

In a separate post included in the complaint, PTC told followers to vote for Republicans who had voted to strip school choice from an omnibus education bill during the fourth special session of 2023. That post included pictures of the 21 Republican House members who sided with Democrats to kill school choice. Five of the members pictured chose to retire rather than seek re-election.

This activity by PTC coincides with what appears to be a coordinated and, at times, illegal push by government education employees using taxpayers’ time and resources to advocate for Democrats to vote in the 2024 Republican primary.

News of the complaint was posted to X by Leo Linbeck III, a philanthropist from Houston who has been a longtime proponent of education reform in Texas.

PTC has been working to undermine conservative efforts to reform education in Texas for nearly a decade. In 2022, the group endorsed Democrat Mike Collier in his failed attempt to unseat incumbent Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.

This cycle, except for directly advocating for candidates on social media, the group has on its website outsourced primary candidate recommendations to the Texas Teacher Union, ATPE.

A full copy of FECPAC’s complaint can be viewed here.

Daniel Greer

Daniel Greer is the Director of Innovation for Texas Scorecard.