Amarillo Matters is quite the interesting political action committee.
As many of our readers may know, Amarillo Matters is a local political action committee that is used to elect or re-elect certain Amarillo-based candidates. The group was instrumental in electing five members of the Amarillo City Council and has been promoting Senator Kel Seliger and Representative Four Price for re-election. The group has also chosen to take aim at Texas Right to Life PAC and Empower Texans, claiming that the groups represent "downstate influence" that is trying to buy Amarillo elections.
The whole argument of Amarillo Matters as to why Price and Seliger should be re-elected hinges on their Hail Mary attempt to turn Amarillo voters against this "downstate influence." Amarillo Matters' arguments on conservatism have constantly been debunked, as their candidates have been ranked by the American Conservative Union, Rice University, the Texas Tribune, and others as among the most liberal, if not the most liberal, elected officials in the entire Texas Legislature. Their final play relies on making Amarillo believe that their candidates are free from this "downstate influence," while also insinuating that Mike Canon, Victor Leal and Drew Brassfield are owned by Empower Texans, the Texas Public Policy Foundation and others.
However, this argument also has no legs to stand on. If you look through finance reports filed with the Texas Ethics Commission, you will see that Amarillo Matters just took a $13,000 donation from one of the downstate committees, the Associated Republicans of Texas. The two main candidates supported by Amarillo Matters have also been major benefactors of downstate groups. Take a look at the finance reports from Price and Seliger's campaigns, and you will notice that the duo has taken thousands of dollars from committees based in Austin, Houston and other areas of the state.
Moreover, there is even more influence in Price and Seliger's campaigns than just "downstate" groups. Four Price has taken thousands of dollars in contributions from committees all over the United States. Notably, groups based in California, New York, and Washington, D.C., have spent major dollars on Price's re-election campaign. Seliger has also taken donations from these out-of-state groups, also looking to places like California, New York and Washington, D.C., to fund his re-election bid.
Perhaps Amarillo Matters only criticizes donations from downstate groups? How else could you explain that the special interest group obviously condones donations from California, New York and Washington, D.C. lobbyists to their candidates?
Amarillo Matters is trying to mislead Amarillo voters into thinking that they are the great protector of Amarillo's rights. The truth is that Amarillo Matters is a weak special interest group that is making a final desperate Hail Mary attempt to try and save their credibility.
-Thomas Warren III, Editor-In-Chief