An internal Byron Cook campaign document acquired by Texas Scorecard contradicts rosy public statements made by Cook’s campaign on social media.

The document shows event organizers planned and paid for food for 450 people to attend the campaign kick-off event at the Corsicana Country Club on Friday, yet they failed to achieve even a quarter of that number. Despite listing more than 270 “supporters” on an advertisement for the event that ran in the Corsicana Daily Sun, sources inside the event inform Texas Scorecard that only about 100 people – including staff and lobbyists – came to the event all evening.

That matches with what was seen by protesters outside the event, who estimated that only about 30-35 vehicles entered the country club by 7:30pm. According to the Corsicana Police Department and the Corsicana Sun, more than 70 protesters rallied in the rain outside the event from 5:00pm until dark to oppose Cook’s record of attacks on the First Amendment and on the unborn.

The campaign document, which listed the supporters identified in Cook’s advertisement and contained a list of bands targeted for the event, was authored by Eric Ryan Meyers, a Cook supporter from Corsicana. Meyers recently got the Cook campaign in hot water with pro-life advocates after he tweeted out a picture of a Texas Right to Life mailer endorsing Cook’s opponent with a pile of dog feces placed over the face of a baby.

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According to the Corsicana Daily Sun, Cook told attendees that maintaining the Texas Enterprise Fund – a tax-supported slush fund for politically connected businesses – was a key issue for his reelection effort, calling the fund “absolutely critical” for the future of Texas.

Cook’s campaign on Facebook claimed that “close to” 300 supporters attended the event, however none of the pictures posted by the campaign show more than about 50 people in the event space. It is clear the campaign failed to get out even the supporters they listed publicly, and they certainly failed to get out the 450 for whom they bought food.

Cook has not traditionally drawn significant support from within his district. Cook was dubbed “Representative Zero” during the last election after he failed to raise even $1 in his own district in 2013, despite bringing in over $100,000 from lobbyists and special interests.

Tony McDonald

Tony McDonald serves as General Counsel to Texas Scorecard. A licensed and practicing attorney, Tony specializes in the areas of civil litigation, legislative lawyering, and non-profit regulatory compliance. Tony resides in Austin with his wife and daughter and attends St. Paul Lutheran Church.