A tea party political action committee that has filed three complaints with the state ethics commission against the San Antonio Stonewall chapter also filed a complaint against the Dallas chapter.
The Texas Ethics Advisory Board, which has no affiliation with the state ethics commission, reviewed the San Antonio chapter’s campaign finance report because its an LGBT organization.
Omar Narvaez, president of the Dallas chapter, said he thought the man behind the PAC targeted Stonewall chapters because they are LGBT groups. He said the complaint against the Dallas group centered around a wrong address. The group received a letter Tuesday from the state ethics commission dismissing the claim for a lack of sufficient information in the PAC’s complaint.
“Basically this organization — and it’s one guy — has decided that he has nothing better to do in the world than look for any organization that has supported anything to do with LGBT equality,” Narvaez said. “I guess he saw the name Stonewall and is trying [to look into every group with that name].”
Mike McCue, Stonewall treasurer, said the group made a donation to the Texas House Democratic Committee in June of $250 and disclosed it on its report. He said the PAC found the item wasn’t listed in advance of the donation, though it was listed on the report for the proper dates. In addition, he said the address of the new treasurer hadn’t been updated, which must be done with the ethics commission when a new one is appointed.
Narvaez said that the group “shouldn’t be in any kind of trouble” in the future. He said as the state gains momentum in the fight for equality, conservative groups will target LGBT organizations any way they can.
“I just look at it as every step forward with equality always brings the haters out,” he said. “They’re going after anything they can. If they’re wasting their time with going after groups that are as open and transparent as Stonewall Democrats of Dallas, let them waste their time because we’re out there and were going to be registering voters.”
Eli Olivarez, president of the Texas Stonewall Democratic Caucus, said the PAC has only targeted the San Antonio and Dallas chapters so far, but its also investigated other liberal, progressive groups.
“They’re attacking us because they don’t want these [equality] issues to move forward,” he said. “They’re not as powerful as they think, so they’re going to start attacking.”
He said the accusations are false and said the state group will back up the chapters across the state.
“I don’t take it lightly but they have no facts to base these attacks on,” Olivarez said. “We’ll no longer tolerate this injustice that this small group has brought against us.”
Stonewall organizations across the state include the Dallas chapter and a local young Stonewall chapter, as well as the state group and chapters in Denton and Tarrant counties, San Antonio, Austin, Houston, Young Stonewall Houston, Rio Grande Valley, Central Texas and Southeast Texas.