If imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, then what is it called when someone impersonates you or your organization? Probably nothing good. We learned this week someone is falsely presenting themselves as a Texans for Fiscal Responsibility operative in documents filed with at least one state legislator’s office.
Late yesterday, our friends over at AgendaWise were going through records they acquired during their regular “open records requests” of members of the Texas Legislature. Such requests are part and parcel of journalistic exercises, and the way in official documents are routinely gathered by anyone — citizens and journalists alike — looking for information about government operations under the state’s Public Information Act.
(We at TFR have occasionally used Open Records Requests, such as in gathering documents recently in regards to the free football tickets legislators receive from state universities, and the plush “president’s box” standing invitation State Rep. Dan Branch gets from UT.)
One thing caught the AW guys’ eyes and they alerted us: someone claiming to do “freelance work” on behalf of Texans for Fiscal Responsibility filed a records requests for all emails and text messages between a particular legislator and several of their colleagues.
Here’s the rub: this person—who identified themselves as “David Rogers“—does not, and never has, worked for TFR in any capacity, freelance or otherwise.
Who this person is, what they were looking for, and why they would be impersonating a TFR staffer or operative, is suspicious, to say the least.
For legislative offices: Suffice it to say that when we do information requests, we do them from the email addresses of either our organization (or outside law firm), or on own our physical letterhead. Anything else is not legit.
That someone is attempting to trade on our name for unknown reasons is something we will be monitoring very closely in the days ahead.