Tony McDonald, Empower Texans
For years, the Texas Association of Business has declined from being a pro-business, free-market organization to a fixture of the Austin lobby dedicated to defending corporate handouts. But during the last legislative session, the organization shifted radically to the left as it attacked conservative lawmakers and fought against the Texas Privacy Act – a bill designed to protect businesses from local non-discrimination ordinances that would force them to permit men in women’s bathrooms and changing facilities.
The shift seemed inexplicable. But now internal documents leaked to Texas Scorecard show that TAB’s transition was funded by the radical LGBT lobby, with only token funding from its corporate members, including a $100,000 kick-back to TAB.
According to the documents, TAB received $130,000 of its $200,000 campaign budget from national LGBT groups, including the Gill Foundation and the Human Rights Campaign. The group also received funding, presumably courtesy of taxpayers, from the cities of Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio. No Texas business contributed more than $15,000 to the effort.
The funding breakdown reveals that TAB has become nothing more than an AstroTurf effort for the radical LGBT lobby. In fact, the documents reveal a $100,000 kickback to TAB for its efforts, with $300,000 being raised for the LGBT effort but only a $200,000 campaign budget.
Equally stunning is where all of those dollars were spent. The documents confirm that TAB paid former Republican State Rep. Jim Keffer $30,000 to lobby his former colleagues.