Keith Strahan
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Contributing Writer | 04/19/2017
One of the biggest differences distinguishing Empower Texans from other advocacy groups is the fact that they do not lobby elected officials. They do not write bills or meet with lawmakers to ensure passage or failure of particular legislation. Instead, Empower Texans focuses on reporting information to voters about what’s happening at the Capitol and then aiding citizens in holding legislators accountable for their actions. As the most outspoken opponent of current Texas House Speaker Joe Straus, the group is often at odds with Straus’ inner circle, Democrats, and other more moderate Republican legislators. Empower Texans is also known for its promotion of conservative policies and for their scorecard, The Fiscal Responsibility Index, which scores legislators based on votes and positions taken on liberty and self-governance issues. Texas Monthly has called them “one of the most influential advocacy groups in Austin” and has described their scorecard as having the power “to make or break careers.”
Contributing Writer | 04/03/2017
In the Capitol, Texas Parent PAC advocates for increased funding of public schools, including mandatory funding and expansion of pre-kindergarten, and opposes any form of school voucher program. The group’s website boasts of their endorsements for pro-public school candidates who “reflect traditional mainstream American values.”   In the last election cycle, the group raised roughly $147,000, and spent just over $101,500 on political advocacy.