On September 11, Empower Texans attacks Speaker Straus for enjoying support of police and firefighters

Straus’ spokesman fires back: “The freedom these extremists enjoy to engage in ridiculous attacks is protected by our heroic first responders.”

This article was originally published on the Quorum Report.

On September 11 – a day when Americans pause to remember the horrors of 14 years ago when radicals committed the worst terrorist attack ever on US soil and police and firefighters responded with unmatched heroism – the folks at Tim Dunn’s Empower Texans thought it would be appropriate to attack Texas House leadership for enjoying the support of police and firefighter unions.

In a blog post on Sept 11, Empower Texans writer Greg Harrison lashed out at House Speaker Joe Straus and House Administration Committee Chairman Charlie Geren for being the ”only Republicans in the top-15 beneficiaries of public-sector labor union campaign cash in the state.”

Harrison argues that the support of public sector unions is the reason that anti-union legislation did not survive the regular session of the Legislature this year.

Harrison either willingly omits or simply does not know that the legislation in question was poorly drafted and did not even make its way out of the decidedly more conservative Texas Senate until very late in the session.

When the bill was on the floor of the Senate, by the way, Sen. Royce West, D-Dallas, pressed the author Sen. Joan Huffman, R-Houston, about why certain politically active 501(c)(4) non-profits are exempt from her legislation but others are not. West specifically mentioned Dunn’s Empower Texans, which is run for Dunn by Michael Quinn Sullivan.

Huffman’s bill also specifically exempted first responders including police and firefighters.

"I couldn't tell you specifically what they're attempting to do," Huffman said of Empower Texans. "I think they claim that they're not lobbyists."

When reached for comment late Friday, a spokesman for Speaker Straus could barely believe Dunn’s organization published this attack.

“It’s sad that this fringe group would stoop so low as to attack the Speaker’s support from firefighters and law enforcement on 9-11,” said Jason Embry in Straus’ office. “These are the heroes who run to the sound of guns and risk their lives running into burning buildings.”

“The freedom these extremists enjoy to engage in ridiculous attacks is protected by our heroic first responders,” Embry said.

Copyright September 11, 2015, Harvey Kronberg, www.quorumreport.com, All rights are reserved. Reprinted with permission.


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