Empower Texans, a conservative political advocacy group, recently moderated a conference call between Republican leaders and state Representative Bryan Hughes who is currently running for Speaker of the House. Full audio of the Hughes Empower Texans call is posted online.
Before the audio was published by Empower Texans an anonymous blogger posted his “notes” from the call online claiming they were an accurate representation of Hughes’ speaker platform. The nameless blogger emailed his notes to Austin insiders including Straus sycophants Paul Burka and Harvey Kronberg. Unfortunately for the anonymous blogger, Burka and Kronberg the call with Hughes was recorded and listeners have begun to publicly refute the nameless blogger’s assertions.
SREC member Jason Moore and E Opiela commenting on the anonymous blogger’s notes refuted them in their entirety.
Both Burka and Kronberg reprinted the false information provided to them by the anonymous blogger. Burka prefaced his write up on the matter with a note that he removed the most vile parts and only printed the made up policy positions. Both Burka and Kronberg posted the notes without checking them against the actual call despite there being a recording of the call publicly available.
The Texas Tribune recently burned by bad information avoided the trap. During the primary the Tribune spent journalist capital printing misinformation and speculation as news. Now the group is in recoil mode building up credibility to spend down when the right fight comes along.
Update: After AgendaWise posted it was brought to our attention that Paul Burka, to his credit, had issued a retraction.
Paul Burka Retraction
Earlier this afternoon, Representative Hughes called me to say that his statements during the conference call last night “bore no resemblance” to the summary I posted below from another blog. After I wrote about Mr. Hughes, Empower Texans posted the audio of the conversation, which I subsequently listened to. Mr. Hughes is correct—the actual conversation in no way reflected what had been attributed to him. I apologize to Mr. Hughes and to Empower Texans for the error, and I regret any confusion my post caused.