While conservatives and Pro-Life Texans have been building a movement to topple the Austin establishment, the ruling class of Texas has been resisting at every turn. To retain their influence, the ruling class has been attacking conservatives at every opportunity. Austin has placed power over principles.
Fearing their own destruction, the Austin establishment interjected themselves into the midst of the Republican Party Primaries, attempting to secure the votes of unbeknownst voters by deploying deceptive tactics. They either shamelessly and flagrantly lied directly to voters or masqueraded their views with distortions and slanders. A voter may find detecting the truthful signal while being bombarded with deceiving noise onerous.
One of the most notorious organizations contributing to the noise during the 2018 election cycle was the Associated Republicans of Texas (ART).
Before 2017, ART largely refused to become involved in the Republican primaries. However, the conservative movement in Texas is thriving, and ART felt threatened. The Austin swamp was under fire from conservative activists and faced an imminent demise. ART, seemingly, had no choice but to engage in primary battles against Pro-Life conservatives.
Throughout the primaries and runoffs, Austin-allied candidates enjoyed no larger supporter than ART. Conservatives and grassroots supporters yearned for stronger, more dedicated conservatives to govern both chambers of the Texas Legislature, and ART opposed them every step of the way. ART is not an organization designed to protect Texans; ART is an organization designed to protect the Austin ruling class. While unfortunate, ART’s political activities are hardly surprising, because ART has a long history of supporting candidates from the Austin establishment. ART has long supported liberal Republicans in their general election battles against Democrats. The endorsements by ART in general elections mirror the endorsements of ART in primaries: liberal Republicans willing to bend to the will of the Austin establishment.
Given the donation history of ART’s donors, ART’s endorsements and financial activities are not a shock. The majority of ART’s money comes from a handful of wealthy donors from across the state. The two most prodigious donors, however, hail from El Paso. Both Woody Hunt and Paul Foster have given hundreds of thousands of dollars to ART, and both have also given money to Democrats.
Both Hunt and Foster have given money to a Democrat as recently as September of 2017, meaning they haven’t had a sudden or convenient ideological transformation.
Moreover, both share in their most egregious offense: donating to Beto O’Rourke, the U.S. Senate Democratic candidate challenging Senator Ted Cruz. Many Democratic pundits are prophesying O’Rourke as the savior for Texas Democrats, someone who will strike down Ted Cruz and bring California policies to Texas. The donors of ART are abetting this prophecy.
The Democratic donations demonstrate the liberal and anti-Life values of ART, which are also reflected in ART’s endorsements. Both Sarah Davis and JD Sheffield have garnered endorsements from ART. Davis is practically a Democrat. Not only does she subvert Governor Abbott’s agenda, but she is openly—and proudly—pro-abortion. Davis has never seen a Pro-Life bill she likes. Likewise, Sheffield is pro-abortion. Although he won’t publicly admit as much, his record indicates otherwise. While claiming to be Pro-Life, Sheffield has voted for late-term abortions on nine different occasions. Both Davis and Sheffield do not represent the values of conservative Pro-Life Texans, but they demonstrate the values of ART perfectly.
ART’s donor’s deep ties with pro-abortion Republicans and Democrats, and with Beto O’Rourke in particular, demonstrate the length to which liberal Republicans will go to defeat Pro-Life conservatives. Although ART claims to stand for “sensible” conservative leadership, ART donors actively abet the political activities of Democrats. The conservative movement is strong in Texas, and the Austin ruling class is running scared, involving themselves in primaries because their preferred liberal candidates may not survive to the general election. As so, the future is clear: one can stand with Ted Cruz and the House Freedom Caucus, or with Beto O’Rourke and the Austin establishment.