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Texas House Republican Accuses Own Party of “Widespread, Aggressive Misinformation”

Texas House Rep. Jared Patterson (R-Frisco) is one of the most conservative Republicans in the lower chamber, but he is calling out his own party for “widespread, aggressive misinformation campaigns distort democracy.”

Specifically, he is targeting the new Texans United for a Conservative Majority PAC, funded by Christian nationalist oil and gas billionaires Tim Dunn and Farris Wilks. It’s a new hat on an old cowboy since the PAC is a spin-off of the formerly powerful Defend Texas Liberty group. The change came after Defend Texas Liberty president Jonathan Stickland faced backlash over a seven-hour meeting with a prominent white supremacist, Nick Fuentes.

According to a guest column by Patterson published in the Dallas Morning News, Texans for a Conservative Majority and a handful of shell groups are waging war against rural Republicans like him.

“This cycle, they’ve sunk to new lows, using conservative-sounding names like Texans for Strong Borders, Texas Family Project, Texas Gun Rights, Texans for Vaccine Choice, Texans for Fiscal Responsibility and others aimed at tricking voters,” said Patterson. “Their relentless barrage of disinformation has been largely aimed at conservative incumbents in the Texas House. We are not talking about a handful of misleading mailers or questionable commercials. Voters are facing a daily onslaught of dishonest materials being sent directly to their cellphones, televisions and mailboxes. Nearly all of them contain gross exaggerations and dishonest political spin. But worse, many involve sophisticated forgeries, including photoshopped images and AI-generated audio and video that portray incumbent House members as having said or done something that never actually occurred.”

Why is the PAC targeting representatives like Patterson? Two reasons. The first is that Patterson voted to impeach Attorney General Ken Paxton. Paxton has vowed to wage a war of vengeance against Republicans in the Texas House that almost cost him his job, and the Dunn/Wilks sphere is one of his most powerful allies.

The second reason is school vouchers. Twenty-one House Republicans, all from rural districts, joined with Democrats to defeat Governor Greg Abbott’s plan to use public money to pay for tuition to private, mostly Christian schools. Patterson was not among those who voted against it, and in fact spoke fervently in support.

However, he clearly recognizes the ads targeted at his rural colleagues.

“In fact, the consulting firm for Defend Texas Liberty PAC, Pale Horse Strategies, which also changed its name to West Fort Worth Management, has made hundreds of thousands off challenging Texas House incumbents,” Patterson says in his statement. “Quite the little business they’re running off of unsuspecting voters. The implications of this strategy are dire. It threatens not only the integrity of our elections but the very fabric of our political discourse. When lies are allowed to proliferate unchecked, when candidates can be maligned with impunity through forged evidence and deepfakes, we all lose. This is not just an attack on conservative incumbents; it’s an assault on the principles of truth, fairness and democracy.”

This wouldn’t be the first time Abbott and his allies have launched misinformation campaigns against their own party. Just last month, an Abbott-allied PAC sent out deceptive mailers aimed at incumbents who thwarted the voucher bill. It was a retread of similar tactics used in March of last year.

Jef Rouner
Jef Rouner
Jef Rouner is an award-winning freelance journalist, the author of The Rook Circle, and a member of The Black Math Experiment. He lives in Houston where he spends most of his time investigating corruption and strange happenings. Jef has written for Houston Press, Free Press Houston, and Houston Chronicle.


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