Amarillo voters have many decisions on the upcoming 2018 ballot. Voters will decide who will represent them in the state legislature and around the counties.
However, there is a decision that voters can make before election day that could greatly impact the future of the political system in Amarillo.
Amarillo Matters, a local political action committee, took to the internet over the weekend to blast groups like Empower Texans and New Leadership PAC for their criticisms of Amarillo's legislators. Amarillo Matters' director, Steve Pair, put out a quote in the statement calling for criticizing the influence of PACs in Texas Panhandle elections.
"The problem with downstate PACs is they often put their agenda ahead of the real needs of the people of the Panhandle," Pair said in the statement. "We’ve found that their ideas often run counter to conservative values and in fact often lead to bigger government, which is something we can’t support."
This statement from Amarillo Matters would be funny if it were not so ironic.
In the statement, Pair and Amarillo Matters are lecturing candidates and voters about the "agendas" of these downstate political action committees. The group shows in doing this that it is great at exposing the flaws in its own dangerous ideology.
Amarillo Matters spent hundreds of thousands of dollars electing candidates to the Amarillo City Council in the most recent municipal election. In this election, the group slandered the character of many good people and attacked candidates on issues that had little substance. The PAC was more interested in informing voters on the federal voting habits of some candidates rather than telling voters about the true local ideologies of its supported candidates.
This organization, in my opinion, swindled Amarillo voters and caused lasting damage to our local government. No more are the days of candidates earning votes on substance. Instead, Amarillo voters must now expect to be bombarded with mailers, television commercials, social media ads and other similar agenda-drive propaganda from groups like Amarillo Matters.
Merriam-Webster defines a fallacy as "any of various types of erroneous reasoning that render arguments logically unsound." Perhaps Amarillo Matters should have more closely studied ethics and hypocrisy before issuing such a statement.
This article that you are reading is not meant to say anything about Kel Seliger, Four Price, John Smithee, Ginger Nelson or any other elected officials. Instead, this editorial is about Amarillo Matters itself.
We, as Amarillo citizens and voters, have a chance to turn back the tide of the era of propaganda. We must reject Amarillo Matters' flawed arguments and tell the group that the votes of Amarillo are not for sale.
Please be informed before believing anything you read on social media. The vote you save could be your own.
-Thomas Warren III, Editor-In-Chief