TOASTED: Undercover Footage Captures Texas Lawmakers and Lobbyist as the Hypocrites They Are

This group did not discriminate on their targets and party lines did not matter. If you were a hypocrite, and they knew it, you most likely were on their list. Good to know someone is looking out for the people of Texas.

An activist group with ties to conservative causes is promising to unveil secretly captured video footage that one group leader claims will show Texas lawmakers behaving badly, confessing to a variety of indiscretions, engaging in inappropriate relationships with special interest lobbyists and possibly admitting to criminal behavior.

That’s the claim from John Beria, spokesman for the American Phoenix Foundation, a group whose founders areknown for deploying undercover cameras and have been tied to controversial operations that targeted the liberal group ACORN and former U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-Louisiana. The former triggered complaints of smear tactics and selective editing. The latter sparked several arrests.

Word of the group’s secret recordings, first reported by the Houston Chronicle, sparked outrage among House Republicans — as well as concerns about their safety.

One of the men making the recordings “appeared to be a stalker,” said state Rep. Charlie Geren, R-Fort Worth. “There are some sleazebags in politics, and these guys are going to fall right in that bracket.”

Beria said there was no ideological bias in its months-long undercover operation in Austin, and he said some of the most interesting findings center on conservative Republicans who act one way at home and quite another in the state capital.

“What we’re going for is just hypocrisy. It’s liberal hypocrisy. It’s conservative hypocrisy,” Beria said. “If they’re running on God and guns and babies and then come down to Austin and act like total moral hypocrites, we want to show that, too.”

Beria declined to make any of the footage available or to name names, making it impossible to know if the claims are exaggerated or accurate.

“Our lawyers think there are some admissions and there are some actions that would be criminal on the legislators’ part,” he said. Using a variety of devices, including hidden cameras on lapels or just i-Phones, the crew captured lawmakers making a series of “odd admissions.”

He said the first videos should be available for release sometime this summer.

“It’s a whole variety of bad behavior,” Beria said.

The undercover operation had been sparking rumors and concern at the Capitol over several days as lawmakers began talking about being interviewed by a member of the crew.

Democratic Rep. Armando Walle of Houston said he, too, was questioned — by a “gentleman wearing a leather hat” and was later told by House officials that he was part of the crew that had been “harassing” other members.

Walle said the man asked him whether he supported toll roads and then quizzed him about gun rights before asking him if he paid his female staffers as much as he paid his male staffers.

Read more: texastribune.org

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