FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 13, 2014
AUSTIN, TX — We are only a week into the runoff and an organization associated with Railroad Commission Candidate Ryan Sitton has already released a misleading attack site on conservative champion Wayne Christian.
This attack site is reminiscent of David Dewhurst’s smear campaign against Ted Cruz, depicting Christian with a red face and presenting misleading, one-sided depictions of Christian’s record.
The address of the PAC who paid for the site is listed as “One Greenway Plaza, Suite 225 – Houston, Texas 77046,” coincidentally the same address and suite as Sitton’s campaign office and consultant.
The first bill they discuss as legislation to give “Solyndra-like subsidies” was in reality a bill that would have simply broadened an already existing statute to allow for other forms of alternative energy to compete with wind energy for already existing government subsidies. It is important to note that this bill did not direct government money to private businesses like the Solyndra scandal and did not pick winners and losers.
Meanwhile, as hardworking Americans struggled in the recession to stay afloat, Sitton’s company, Pinacle AIS, accepted over $650,000 (1) in Obama Stimulus dollars to expand their company. “Dealing with a government entity like the SBA can take time, Sitton explains, but the attractive terms made it worth it.” (2)
Another claim on the site states that Christian “authored and proposed legislation to benefit his own interests”, citing Amendment 1 to HB 770 in 2009. This attack is not only misleading, it is a lie. According the official State of Texas website the author of the Amendment is Mike “Tuffy” Hamilton. Putting that aside, the amendment was good legislation that protected the rights of private property owners living along the gulf coast. Furthermore, the legislation was hardly controversial, passing 141-1 in the House and unanimously in the Senate (3), with the Texas Supreme Court and a Federal Court upholding its legality.
Ryan Sitton on the other hand has stated that he will continue to run his oil and gas consulting firm, Pinnacle AIS, if elected. Pinnacle “consults with some of the world’s largest oil and gas companies, including those that could appear before the Railroad Commission of Texas.” (4) This is would create a conflict of interest that could give Sitton direct benefit to his own business.
The site’s final claim is that Christian “worked against the oil and gas industry in Texas”, citing 4 bills Christian never pursued past a committee hearing and filed to discourage bad actors from tainting the reputation of the oil and gas industry as a whole. (5) This is a common tactic used by legislators to scare bad actors into falling in line with the industry standards, as they do not want to face more regulations from the government.
In the race for Railroad Commission, only one candidate has the experience necessary to be a good commissioner –Wayne Christian. Sitton’s industry experience is a useful quality to have, but at the end of the day, commissioners do not go out and drill, consult oil and gas companies or litigate in the courtroom – the free market and other governmental agencies do those things.
The commission has two major functions: the first is regulating the energy sector and the second is acting as a semi-judicial body and hearing disputes. As a former legislator, Wayne Christian has done both of these things on a regular basis and has a proven record of using the conservative philosophy on regulation.
Young Conservatives of Texas is a non-partisan organization that has promoted conservatism at universities across the Lone Star State for over three decades. The State’s most active political youth organization, YCT is composed of hundreds of members and alumni who participate in the full spectrum of politics. YCT issues the most respected ratings of the Texas legislature and is the only conservative group to have done so without interruption over the past 20 legislative sessions. For more information about YCT, please visit www.yct.org.