Candidates, tread lightly with 'E.T.'

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Candidates, tread lightly with outside group

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Empower Texans, through one of their many offshoot groups, “Texans for Fiscal Responsibility,” has sent a questionnaire to local candidates for city council and school board.

This is the group of wealthy families behind the awful mailers that filled mailboxes before the March 6 primary. They take decent, conservative candidates and drag them through the mud, calling them “RINOs” or “liberals,” using half-truths or outright lies to suit their means. They’ll never have to face their targets because they are out-of-district millionaires who write the checks for these hatchet jobs.

Now our local candidates have the opportunity to get viciously dragged through the mud like state candidates.

This development should give everyone pause.

Charlie Geren, a longtime Fort Worth Republican, was the target of their attacks. After he won on election night, he called them “a bunch of damn liars.”

We in Gillespie County should know a few things about Empower Texans before we put any value in their “endorsements.”

First, many around the state are seeing this group for what it is — monied interests with a checklist. Those who don’t conform to the checklist get slimed. Empower Texans operated in the shadows, but people are taking notice of them and realizing they are trying to buy representation.

Secondly, the group is now suing to try and stop a criminal investigation of one of their election tactics in which voters were mailed a card from the “Texas Ethics Disclosure Board,” which doesn’t exist. It was very official-looking and it intimated that incumbent Charlie Geren faced state ethics charges. He didn’t. This was fake news, also known as “damn lies.”

Some people have no problem with outsiders telling us who we should choose as our lawmakers or policymakers. They don’t trust us to pick our own office holders.

We have a big problem with that. And we urge candidates to tread lightly with this group if not ignore them altogether. – K.E.C.