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GOP Senate Hopefuls Tell TEC to Stand Down on Dark Money

"Legislating from the TEC bench ... is not something we will support," say five GOP Senate candidates and one recently sworn-in senator on a proposed rule before the Ethics Commission to have political nonprofits disclose their donors.

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One newly sworn-in Republican state senator and five GOP Senate candidates have sent a warning shot in the direction of the Texas Ethics Commission, advising the panel to refrain from passing rules that would require politically oriented nonprofit groups to disclose their donors.

In a letter sent over the weekend to Ethics Commission Chairman Jim Clancy, the six Republicans said the commission was overstepping its bounds by attempting action on something that was considered last session by the Legislature. A bill that contemplated doing something similar to what the Ethics Commission is considering now made it to the governor's desk, where it was vetoed.

"We the undersigned strongly discourage the TEC from any attempt to usurp the constitutional authority of the legislative and executive branches by overstepping your authority. Legislating from the TEC bench — seeking to go around the legislative process to enact a law that failed the legislative process — is not something we will support," the group wrote.

The letter writers include state Sen. Charles Perry, R-Lubbock; SD-2 candidate Bob Hall; SD-7 candidate Paul Bettencourt; SD-8 candidate Van Taylor; SD-10 candidate Konni Burton; and SD-16 candidate Donald Huffines.

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Here's the week in endorsements:

• Republican lieutenant governor candidate Dan PatrickTexas Association of Realtors Political Action Committee (TREPAC)

• Republican state comptroller candidate Glenn HegarNational Federation of Independent Business/Texas' Save America’s Free Enterprise (SAFE) Trust; Texas Civil Justice League PAC

• Democratic HD-23 candidate Susan Criss: Texas Parent PAC

• Democratic HD-94 candidate Cole Ballweg: HOSPAC, the political arm of the Texas Hospital Association;  AGFUND, the political arm of the Texas Farm Bureau; Arlington Police Association; Combined Law Enforcement Association of Texas (CLEAT)

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