Update: State Sen. Larry Taylor (R–Friendswood) and State Rep. Lyle Larson (R–San Antonio) confirmed to the Dallas Morning News that they were among the lawmakers in attendance.

While citizens are being told to stay home and contend with shutdowns and mandates in response to the Chinese coronavirus, some Texas lawmakers reportedly jetted off to Hawaii for an event with lobbyists.

A recent article in Politico focuses on a group of California lawmakers that headed to Maui for a “legislative conference” hosted by the Independent Voter Project—a left-wing organization best known for dismantling the partisan primary election system in California, a boon to the state’s Democrat Party. The organization is seeking to undo the process in states across the country. The conference is described in the article as an “annual gathering of lobbyists and lawmakers.”

The same article notes that lawmakers from Washington and Texas were are also in attendance at the roughly 20-person outing, according to Dan Howle, the organization’s chair and executive director.

So which Texas lawmaker, or lawmakers, traded their cowboy hats for leis and spent four days at the Fairmont Kea Lani luxury resort for the conference? No one is saying.

The Independent Voter Project would not disclose which legislators attended the event. If campaign funds were used by Texas lawmakers to pay for travel, that will not be made known until the release of year-end financial reports in January.

Texas Scorecard reached out to every legislative office in the state Capitol to find out if they had attended the conference. The following lawmakers responded to say they did not attend:
State Sen. Joan Huffman (R–Houston)
State Sen. Pat Fallon (R–Prosper)
State Sen. Jose Menendez (D–San Antonio)
State Sen. Charles Schwertner (R–Georgetown)
State Sen. Bob Hall (R–Edgewood)
State Rep. Sam Harless (R–Houston)
State Rep. Ray Lopez (D–San Antonio)
State Rep. Hugh Shine (R–Temple)
State Rep. Ron Reynolds (D–Houston)
State Rep. Ernest Bailes (R–Shepherd)
State Rep. Ed Thompson (R–Pearland)
State Rep. Ana Hernandez (R–Houston)
State Rep. Tom Oliverson (R–Cypress)
State Rep. Joe Moody (D–El Paso)
State Rep. Briscoe Cain (R–Deer Park)
State Rep. James White (R–Hillister)

Citizens who are curious about whether their legislator attended the island getaway should contact their state lawmakers directly.

Brandon Waltens

Brandon serves as the Senior Editor for Texas Scorecard. After managing successful campaigns for top conservative legislators and serving as a Chief of Staff in the Texas Capitol, Brandon moved outside the dome in order to shine a spotlight on conservative victories and establishment corruption in Austin. @bwaltens