October 19, 2015      5:02 PM
Phoenix Foundation, funded by Sandefer and other conservatives, shopped its videos to state and local Democrats
The group’s videos are now being promoted by Empower Texans but not before being rejected by Democrats, group says it "asked the Democrats for help because we like what we hear from many of their members about accountability"
group that secretly videotaped Texas lawmakers this year after receiving large
donations from various conservatives, including higher ed
critic Jeff Sandefer, attempted to
persuade Democrats at the state and local levels to promote their videos, Quorum
Report has learned.
Phoenix Foundation, which received at least $200,000 from Texas
Public Policy Foundation Board Member Sandefer, tried to get the Texas
Democratic Party and the Travis County Democratic Party
interested in promoting videos of Republican lawmakers supposedly engaged in
inappropriate acts, officials with the parties said.
has also donated to Tim Dunn's Empower
Texans and the blog site AgendaWise.
Texans is now promoting some videos produced by the American Phoenix Foundation,
which touts on its
website that it is an investigative journalism initiative in the spirit of “investigative
journalist James O’Keefe.”
as our readers may be aware, is the conservative activist and “gotcha man” famous for highly-edited videos. O’Keefe, along
with the American Phoenix Foundation’s Joe
guilty back in 2010 in a plot to tamper with the phones in former Sen. Mary Landrieu’s offices.
the foundation’s tactics were coming to light during the regular session of The
Legislature, Sandefer told
Chronicle that he was unhappy with them. "We were unhappy with
a lack of progress in training journalists and asked for the money back,” he
told the Chronicle. “And we did not receive any money back."
the session, the American Phoenix Foundation called the Texas Democratic Party
offices in Austin asking to coordinate an event to publicize their undercover videos,
according to the party’s Deputy Executive Director Manny Garcia. “They called and offered to do an event with us but
we were not interested,” Garcia said. “So, we did not call them back.”
By Scott Braddock