It’s been a bad primary season for Austin consulting outfit Murphy Turner Associates. The firm has taken up with the liberal wing of the Republican party and has been forced to use deceptive tactics in an attempt to win elections.
Last week the Daily News, AgendaWise and Capitol Inside tied Murphy Turner to shadow PACs set up to deceive Texans. Compounding the harm of exposure Murphy Turner was caught lying about their attachments. The PACs and Murphy Turner have since been slapped with cease and desist orders.
Joe Straus has paid Murphy Turner nearly $150,000 in 2012.
At the start of the election season we wrote that Texans needed to pay attention to the hiring practices of their candidates. At the time we singled out Murphy Turner but didn’t have a list of clients in 2012 races.
Looking at campaign filings we’ve compiled a list of Murphy Turner clients. Of the 14 candidates who have paid Murphy Turner in 2012 11 are opposed by conservatives.
|Race||Represent||Conservative Groups*||Conservative Candidate||Shadow PAC Activity|
|HD-9||Chris Paddie||Against||Wayne Christian||Texans for Fiscal Accountability|
|HD-88||Ken King||Against||Jim Landtroop||Texans for Fiscal Accountability|
|HD-19||Mike Hamilton||Against||James White|
|HD-121||Joe Straus||Against||Matt Beebe|
|HD-91||Ken Sapp||Against||Stephanie Click|
|HD-24||Greg Bonnen||For||Texans for Conservative Government|
|HD-67||Roger Burns||Against||Jeff Leach|
|HD-115||Steve Nguyen||Against||Matt Rinaldi||Texans for Fiscal Accountability|
|HD-3||Cecil Bell||Against||Troy Bonin||Texans for Fiscal Accountability|
This cycle Murphy Turner is representing candidates who are working to take out conservative incumbents or moderates hoping to win open seats. With voter information and engagement as sophisticated as it is right now, representing squishy candidates and elected officials is a long term losing strategy.
In the past, political people on the right always made their bones as conservatives. The ones with character stayed there even when tempted to sell out, and the opportunists eventually showed themselves by selling their reputations to the moderate crony crew.
However, once one of these people becomes unemployable in the crony crew, you can bet they’ll eventually come back to conservatives, hat in hand, hoping to make bones again as a born-again conservative. It would be a crime to give responsibility and opportunity to people like that. Others showed themselves to be sturdy vessels when they were busy trading their conservative bona fides for money.
*Conservatives groups referenced in the chart include Young Conservatives of Texas and Empower Texans. YCT and Empower Texans base endorsements on past legislative experience, candidate interviews and questionnaires.