Tommy Merritt an “A+” Conservative? False!

Apr 23, 2014 No Comments ›› YCT State Board

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 23, 2014

Contact: Jenna White, Executive Director
Mobile: (281) 460-8545
Email: [email protected]

AUSTIN, TX —

Yesterday, Former Rep. Tommy Merritt attempted to improve his liberal voting record by creating his own “scorecard.” He is attempting to dupe conservative voters by rolling out TexasConservativeScorecard.com, a website solely dedicated to making Merritt look more conservative than he is in reality. On the Young Conservatives of Texas (YCT) scorecard, dedicated to a true picture of legislative conservatism, Merritt’s lifetime score is 56%.

The new “scorecard” site claims to rate several bills in a few different categories to “dig past the political speeches and TV ads to look at the candidates’ voting records and identify those who truly share our values – no RINOs and no liberals looking to masquerade as real Texas conservatives.”1

In the “Pro-Life & Pro-Family” section, only a couple of the bills “rated” actually came up for a vote, the rest were just co-authored by Merritt but had no movement. It is also worth noting that six of the bills were different versions of the parental consent for abortion bill and four were different versions of the same bill to prohibit same-sex civil unions. His opponent, Sid Miller, was also a co-author on almost every bill “rated,” yet on the scorecard Merritt was given an ‘A+’, while Miller was conveniently not rated on the same issues.

In the “secure our border and stop illegal immigration” section, only one bill was considered, HB 4036, which never came up for a vote. However, according to the ‘scorecard’, Tommy Merritt was rated an ‘A+’ on the issue while Sid Miller was once again not rated on it.

In the “stand against higher taxes and higher spending” section, it was more of the same thing from the above, mostly bills that never came up for a vote. Once again, the ‘scorecard’ rates Merritt an ‘A+’ and the issue was not rated for Miller.

The “Second Amendment” section was the most humorous, as the ‘scorecard’ rated the Texas concealed handgun license (CHL) bill, which was passed the Session before Merritt was even elected!  Yet miraculously, Merritt once again receives an ‘A+’ while Miller is not rated on the issue.

This deception is unethical—down to the disclosure. In almost unreadable white-colored font at the bottom of the page, the site contains: “PD. POL. ADV BY TOMMY MERRITT CAMPAIGN, JANET MERRITT, TREASURER.”

merritt_disclosure

Tommy Merritt has a career score of 56% on YCT’s conservative scorecard. Additionally, he scored a 63% (2009) and a 38% (2007) with Empower Texans and was rated the most liberal Republican in the Texas House according to an ideology study put on by Mark Jones at Rice University.2

Texans will not be deceived by Merritt’s obvious deception. Two elections in a row, the people of Texas have denied Merritt entry back into the political sphere and they will do so again on May 27th. Young Conservatives of Texas enthusiastically endorses true conservative Sid Miller for Texas Agriculture Commissioner. Sid has a record he can run on, unlike his opponent that has to make one up!

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

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Sitton Slings Mud While Hiding From His Own Tainted Record

Mar 13, 2014 No Comments ›› YCT State Board

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 13, 2014

Contact: Jenna White, Executive Director
Mobile: (281) 460-8545
Email: [email protected]

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.

(1) http://projects.propublica.org/recovery/item/20120630/204379

(2) http://www.globest.com/news/11_11/houston/Pinnacle-HQ-Groundbreaking-Imminent-183125.html

(3) http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=81R&Bill=HB770

(4) http://www.texastribune.org/2014/02/18/ethics-questions-arise-railroad-commission-race/

(5) http://trailblazersblog.dallasnews.com/2014/02/railroad-hopeful-wayne-christian-wrote-without-intent-to-pass-oil-and-gas-regulation-bills.html/

 

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

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PDF Version of Press Release