March 9, 2018
While there’s nothing unusual about contributions big and small in politics, there have been some unusual intra-party rants since Tuesday’s primary election regarding CrownQuest Operating‘s Tim Dunn, who’s also a director of conservative groups Empower Texans and Texans for Fiscal Responsibility.
Empower Texans has made headlines recently for an unusual mailer that had Travis County prosecutors concerned and at least one state senator angry about the way Empower Texans ran its campaign, and a number of pundits have noted Dunn’s generous funding of political causes.
In fact, on Wednesday Senator Kel Seliger is quoted as saying, “What people don’t realize and will realize is they are in the process of producing a true Russian-style oligarchy — a few very rich people who seek to control the legislature.”
And of course pundits pointed out that Empower Texans, despite its campaigns, wasn’t as successful as it has been in the past in getting its candidates elected Tuesday night.
As Amarillo Globe News columnist Jon Beilue put it Wednesday, “Tuesday night’s Republican primary was supposed to be the great grab of more seats, the biggest spending and spreading of distortions Empower Texas and its splinter group have yet to foster on the voting public.
“There were at least 16 House and Senate races they targeted against conservative Republicans they tried to paint as liberal.
“Final tally: Somewhere around 2-14. If this were the NFL, Empower Texans would be the Cleveland Browns.”
But the be-all of rants against Dunn, Empower Texans and intra-GOP squabbling was probably made by Breitbart Texas Editor Brandon Darby, who first went on Houston’s low-rated KPRC radio and then published his detailed concerns on the Breitbart website.
“Specifically, Darby mentioned Texas Billionaire Tim Dunn and his use of his lobbyist-like group Empower Texans in efforts to primary two ultra-conservative rural Texas lawmakers in the Panhandle, State Rep. Ken King and State Senator Kel Seliger.”
House District 88 Representative King represents a large portion of the panhandle, held a majority Tuesday night in the primary and is in the oil and gas business, but Darby’s concern is not one oilman versus another — to him, it’s a struggle for the heart of Republican Texas.
— Mike Shiloh