Voters beware! It appears some campaign consultants — tied to the anti-conservative agenda of House Speaker Joe Straus — are attempting to deceive Texans by playing off our name. It’s a sign of conservative ascendancy, and the establishment’s weakness, that they stooping to such levels.
We will be taking appropriate legal actions, but we must first make sure these dirty tricks don’t negatively impact elections around the state.
The dirty tricks are coming from a firm called Murphy-Turner, which was recently called out by the Galveston Daily News for hiding scurrilous and misleading activities. More about that, and them, in a second.
A little over a week ago (May 12), we learned mail pieces attacking candidates we have endorsed and supported were hitting voters’ mailboxes. Then we were told voters thought these pieces were coming from us!
In fact, the mail was coming from a shadowy operation using the misleading name of “Texans for Fiscal Accountability.” The mailers from this false-flag group was obviously designed in a deceitful attempt to specifically attack candidates we have endorsed – on the very issues we work!
On the advice of legal counsel, we began immediately researching this new entity and worked to protect our own name. Under Texas law, this deceitful group would very likely not have been allowed to operate as an actual corporation because of the similarity to our name – Texans for Fiscal Responsibility.
What we found were shadows. The group was organized as a political action committee – but none of their mail contained the disclosures required of a PAC. And while this PAC was filed last year, it has reported no donors – not one – and no money or activity. Yet somehow it’s been operating these last several months.
Recognizing the potential threat, we quickly incorporated the name “Texans for Fiscal Accountability” on May 14 as a way to protect our own identity.
We then began investigating who was behind the effort. While the false-flag PAC was registered to the residential address of a “Brad White” in San Antonio, the group’s mail was coming from a drop-box mail address in southwest Austin. It’s the same address used by the “Turner Advisory Group” — owned by attorney Holly White Turner.
Holly Turner is the wife of Chris Turner, the “Turner” of the consulting firm “Murphy-Turner.”
Brad White, whose last name is the same as Mrs. Turner’s maiden name, owns a company called “LuminEssence Photo” based originally in Seguin (Holly Turner’s hometown) and now in San Antonio. Mr. White registered websites for both his photography business and the PAC using the same e-mail address.
Late last week, our attorney sent a cease-and-desist letter to both Mr. White at his home address and Ms. Turner at her business address. They did not respond to the letter, but the false-flag organization has continued to send mail.
The consulting firm of Murphy-Turner is already recognized as a bad-actor in the world of conservative and Republican politics. They were the recruiting arm in the effort to unseat conservative legislators like Jim Landtroop, Wayne Christian and James White. They represent Straus committee chairman Mike Hamilton and Charlie Geren.
Murphy Turner is apparently no stranger to using misdirection – even deceit – to further the interests of their clients… and even to their clients’ detriment.
In Galveston, a political action committee was attacking the opponent of Greg Bonnen, a Murphy-Turner client. The Galveston Daily News asked both Bonnen and the consulting firm if they were behind the attacks. Both replied no. The Murphy-Turner consultant was then pressed by the newspaper, and she doubled-down on the deceit – saying the PAC had no relationship with the consultants.
Investigation by the paper, however, revealed the PAC is handled by none other than… Holly Turner. Now the credibility of Dr. Bonnen – who we endorsed – is possibly tarnished thanks to the win-at-all-costs deceitfulness of the Murphy-Turner campaign consultancy.
A little more background: Murphy-Turner was also under investigation in Tarrant County for their role back in 2010 creating what appeared to be a fake law enforcement PAC handing out endorsements to Murphy-Turner clients.
House Speaker Joe Straus and his allies seem to have surrounded themselves with thuggish consultants who use manipulation and deceit as campaign tools as readily as yard signs and brochures.
While we don’t base our endorsements on what consultants candidates use, it seems candidates and incumbents using Murphy-Turner should be carefully examined. One bad choice leads to more.
Bad company corrupts good character. It is becoming abundantly clear that the consultancy group operated by Chris Turner and his partner, Craig Murphy, are among the worst kind of company Texas conservatives can keep.
P.S. Adding to the confusion, the false-flag “accountability” group is attacking Dr. Troy Bonin, who we have also endorsed.