As my bomber-pilot grandfather used to say, “You only take fire when you are over the target.” That was driven home yesterday when an anonymously posted – though expensively produced – YouTube video was sent around the state attacking Texans for Fiscal Responsibility.

While I put my name, and the name of our organization, on everything we do, these clowns don’t have the guts to take personal responsibility for the lies, libel and innuendo that define their attacks on us. So they hide themselves behind anonymous e-mail addresses and fake YouTube accounts.

Such is the courage of their convictions…

The point of this new attack-video – which you can see here – is that we don’t release the names of the donors of our non-profit entity.

You can see from the video why we don’t. The only person they can really attack is our board chairman, Tim Dunn, because he is the largest contributor to our small political action committee. And attack Tim they do, with vitriol. But — ironically — they attack him anonymously because they are cowards.

They inconsistently (and falsely) claim that Tim Dunn is the sole donor to our non-profit (he isn’t)… yet adamantly demand that we release the names of all of our donors! (Dunn has generously funded most of our PAC’s activities in 2013.)

Make no mistake: they want to do that — and worse — to anyone who gives to any conservative cause.

They want the names of our non-profit’s donors (and the donors of all groups that shine a light on lawmakers’ records) so they can attack them – just like Barack Obama is trying to do with the IRS in Washington. The liberals in the Texas House who masquared as Reagan Republicans want to silence anyone who exposes their real record.

Ironically, former Democratic pollster Pat Caddell was quoted in a story on Breitbart’s Big Government yesterday as saying “establishment Republicans“ are cheering on the Obama Administration attacking conservative groups.

We know that to be true in the Lone Star State, where the chief lobbyist for the Texas Trial Lawyers’ Association has been trying to wage an unconstitutional (and incompetent) war on free speech.

I say unconstitutional, because the U.S. Supreme Court has already ruled that donors to non-profits are constitutionally protected. It was in the landmark 1958 decision NAACP v Alabama, where Alabama Democrats wanted to know who was funding the civil rights movement.

Just last week, the liberal appointees of House Speaker Joe Straus and Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst to the Texas Ethics Commission voted to put forward a new rule that would require non-profit organizations to disclose the names of their donors.

Under what circumstances? Any time the non-profit says something the ruling elite in Austin doesn’t like, it would seem.

If this sounds familiar, it should. It’s what Obama’s IRS is trying to do in Washington. And last year liberal Republicans joined with Democrats in the Legislature voted to do this very thing to conservatives by law, while exempting liberal labor unions!

With conservatives uniformly opposing the legislation, liberals passed it out of the Straus House and Dewhurst Senate.

Fortunately, Gov. Rick Perry vetoed the legislation. In his veto message, he wrote:

“Freedom of association and freedom of speech are two of our most important rights enshrined in the Constitution. My fear is that SB346 would have a chilling effect on both of those rights in our democratic political process… At a time when our federal government is assaulting the rights of Americans by using the tools of government to squelch dissent it is unconscionable to expose more Texans to the risk of such harassment, regardless of political, organizational or party affiliation. ”

What the bipartisan liberals couldn’t do legislatively, they are now trying to do via state agency rule.

The governor’s veto message was prescient. A “chilling effect” is precisely what the establishment politicians are going for: they want to freeze out anyone who might shine a light on their record.

The establishment Republicans want to use state government to bully, harass and intimidate the thousands and thousands of people who contribute to conservative causes. They rightly fear being exposed as frauds.

For example, Corsicana State Rep. Byron Cook – who chairs the powerful State Affairs Committee in the Texas House for Joe Straus – has taken to calling lobbyists for businesses, threatening to use his power to punish their legislative interests if their clients support various social and fiscal conservative organizations.

But Cook’s bullying isn’t restricted just to lobbyists. When Cook saw his GOP primary opponent’s yard sign planted in front of a local business, he harangued the store clerk. When she wouldn’t yield, he called the retail chain’s government affairs office demanding that the sign be taken down. They gave in and the sign came down. Score one for the bully.

Another Straus committee chairman, State Rep. Jim Keffer, meanwhile, has threatened to sue cable companies that run an advertisement talking about his legislative record. His chief of staff, Ky Ash, sent a letter to a web-hosting company demanding that a website listing Keffer’s votes be shut down. The ads and website are still up and running.

Cook, Keffer and their ilk are using their power to “squealch dissent.” They and their cronies want to use the power of state government to harass and intimidate anyone who disagrees with them.

We exist to shine light on the actions of elected officials, to provide a window into state government, and encourage sound stewardship of taxpayers’ dollars. It is a window that establishment Republicans would rather have boarded over, a light they are trying to extinguish so that they can serve themselves at the people’s expense.

They can pass all the rules they want; it won’t stop us. They can try to bully us all they want, but we’ll keep shining a bright light on them. They want us to surrender? Ha! We will stand this ground and fight.

My board of directors has given the staff, attorneys and me full authority to continue protecting the names of our donors from the bullies in the state and federal government.

They want a fight? Great! We’ll proudly give it to them.

Michael Quinn Sullivan

Michael Quinn Sullivan is the publisher of Texas Scorecard. He is a native Texan, a graduate of Texas A&M, and an Eagle Scout. Previously, he has worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine contributor, Capitol Hill staffer, and think tank vice president. Michael and his wife have three adult children, a son-in-law, and a dog. Michael is the author of three books, including "Reflections on Life and Liberty."