Tommy Merritt's conservative credentials questioned by numerous groups - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Tommy Merritt's conservative credentials questioned by numerous groups

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SOURCE Empower Texans

AUSTIN, Texas, May 5, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- In 2010 a Tea Party "revolt" stunned republicans and democrats alike. Tommy Merritt was one of the many casualties suffered by the Texas GOP establishment 4 years ago. In 2014, he's trying to chart a different course in a GOP.


"When he was in office, Merritt was widely viewed as so liberal that he was sometimes called a 'caucus of one,'" Tony McDonald said.

Tommy Merritt is running for Agriculture Commissioner against Sid Miller. Merritt is a former state representative who was unseated by Rep. David Simpson in 2010.

"Support for Simpson grew after Merritt attended a local TEA Party meeting and confessed to not knowing what the tenth amendment was and to never having read the bill of rights" says Tony McDonald who serves as General Counsel to Empower Texans, a group dedicated to personal liberty and fiscal responsibility.

During the 2009 legislative session Merritt accused the GOP of taking "extreme positions" and was accused by his fellow Republicans of leaking caucus information to Democrats in order to help them fight a GOP proposed voter ID law.

Both the Fiscal Responsibility Index and the Young Conservatives of Texas gave Merritt failing grades in his final two sessions in the legislature. The YCT went so far as to name Merritt one of only 4 "Certified Rino's" in the Republican caucus.

Recently Merritt was the only Republican to receive the endorsement of the Austin Chronicle. The same article endorsed Wendy Davis and praised Merritt for being a "conscientious thorn in his party's side" who "resisted the Tea Party revolution in 2010."

Despite this Merritt is attempting to frame himself as the conservative in the race to replace Todd Staples as Agriculture Commissioner. According to McDonald "the Merritt campaign has devised a website called "Texas Conservative Scorecard. But closer inspection reveals that it is solely focused on Merritt's race."

Todd Smith, Sid Miller's campaign manager, says the site doesn't bother him and that "Actions speak louder than words. Despite all of the phony grassroots games, on the front page, hidden in white print on a gray background, is a political disclaimer noting that the entire project is paid for by Tommy Merritt's campaign."

McDonald says that Merritt's actions are clear and that he does not respect the citizens of the state of Texas. "He thinks he can put a fake website together to claim conservative "street cred". I think that the voters are smarter than that, and that Merritt will be soundly rejected for a third time this May."

Contact Information:
Tony McDonald
General Counsel
Empower Texans
(512) 236-0201

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