LUBBOCK, Texas—Dan Backer, the D.C. area attorney widely known for his work with TheTeaParty.net, has come forward as the one responsible for attacking Texas Attorney General candidate State Senator Ken Paxton in a massive half-million dollar Texas ad-buy. Ken Paxton is the Tea Party candidate who Senator Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) proudly honored. A media professional who works with TheTeaParty.net told Breitbart Texas that the group has no part in what their attorney is doing.
Paxton’s opponent, the clear beneficiary of Backer’s ads, is Texas State Rep. Dan Branch. Branch is a former AFL-CIO union group lobbyist who previously introduced an amendment to a bill that could have expanded the medical authority of abortionists to broaden the use of late-term abortions in Texas. The radical pro-abortion group NARAL was supportive of Dan Branch and what they called his “pro-choice vote.”
Chuck Lindell of The Austin-American Statesman wrote on Backer introducing money into Texas politics from Virginia, “A Virginia nonprofit has poured more than a half-million dollars into a new TV ad that sharply criticizes Texas attorney general candidate Ken Paxton for taking ‘kickbacks’ that led to a recent reprimand from Texas securities regulators.” The kickbacks referred to here were actually referral fees of less than $5,000 per year on average, according to Anthony Holm, Paxton’s campaign spokesman. Holm spoke with Breitbart Texas on the matter.
The Statesman also wrote, “Airing in the closing days of the Republican runoff campaign in at least seven markets, including Austin, the 30-second spot was created by American Dream Initiative, a relatively new organization that advocates for ‘small, efficient government that is honorable and ethical and not overreaching,’ Chairman Dan Backer said Thursday.”
Breitbart Texas reached out to the Paxton campaign to discuss the out-of-state dollars being injected into Texas politics and they echoed the sentiment expressed to the Statesman. There it was written, “But Paxton campaign spokesman Anthony Holm dismissed the ad as ‘yet another desperate attempt by a failing liberal candidate, Dan Branch.'” Adding, “Holm said ad-buying patterns indicate that Branch and Backer’s organization colluded to air the spot in violation of federal election laws that ban coordination between outside interest groups and candidates.”
Backer reportedly refused to reveal to the Statesman who funded the ad-buy and how he raised the money, instead indicating that he technically avoided advocating for a candidate and therefore stayed within law. This is not the first controversial issue Backer has had surrounding fundraising in politics. Recently, Backer was involved in an effort that used an image of Ted Cruz and Benghazi to raise money, which brought quick rebuke from Cruz’s staff.
A core staff member for Senator Cruz spoke with Breitbart Texas and stated, “We said that we did not authorize Senator Cruz’s name to be used on any such material and reached out to the group to ask them to remove his name from any of their materials used for that purpose.”
The debacle surrounding Backer’s fundraising using Senator Cruz’s image does not stand alone. Recently, Backer came under fire for using Sarah Palin’s image in fundraising ads as well. Appealing to the Tea Party’s heavy percentage of elderly Americans, another effort Backer participated in urged Americans to fight socialism and draft Sarah Palin–even though Palin indicated she had no intention of running.
State Senator Ken Paxton beat State Rep. Dan Branch by 11 points in the primary election. The Branch campaign began a series of attacks on Paxton that focused on previous administrative paperwork issues by Paxton. The attacks grew as left-of-center Texas media outlets and a Democratic trial lawyer began hammering Paxton for several issues, including Paxton having failed to disclose his position on the boards of several groups. The attacks largely fell short once the public learned the “undisclosed groups” included nonprofits that Paxton helped start that aided abused women, children, Alzheimer’s patients, and people who could not afford their own Bibles.
The recent polling suggests Branch’s attacks backfired, as Paxton now enjoys an even wider 17 point lead over Branch.
Though Branch and his left-leaning allies—and now Dan Backer with his secret donors—have what are seemingly unlimited funds to attack Paxton with ads, perhaps the most powerful political ad came free of charge for Paxton–from Senator Ted Cruz.
Senator Cruz had this to say about Ken Paxton, “Ken Paxton is a tireless conservative warrior. Ken Paxton stands and fights, whether it’s against Obamacare, whether it’s fighting for Voter I.D., or whether it’s fighting to defend our religious liberty. And I’m proud to say Ken Paxton is my friend in fighting hard for the State of Texas.”