AUSTIN, TX — Texas Speaker of the House Dade Phelan today issued the following statement:
"At a time when we are witnessing heinous attacks on our Israeli allies by Hamas terrorists – the most egregious assault on Jewish lives since the Holocaust – Jonathan Stickland, the President of Defend Texas Liberty PAC, fraternized for six hours with a notorious, anti-Semitic, nazi sympathizer who denies the existence of the Holocaust. See the Texas Tribune report.
"This not just a casual misstep. It’s indicative of the moral, political rot that has been festering in a certain segment of our party for far too long. Anti-Semitism, bigotry and Hitler apologists should find no sanctuary in the Republican party. Period. We cannot – and must not – tolerate the tacit endorsement of such vile ideologies.
"Accordingly, I call upon any elected official who has accepted political donations from Defend Texas Liberty PAC, or any of its affiliate organizations, to immediately redirect every single cent of those contributions to a charitable organization of his or her choice. Furthermore, I call upon elected officials and candidates to state unequivocally that they will not accept further contributions, including in-kind contributions, from the Defend Texas Liberty PAC. Recently, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick took $3 million from this organization. I expect him to lead the way in redirecting these funds.
"Additionally, the Republican Party of Texas has received $132,500 during this election cycle from the Defend Texas Liberty PAC. As of their last report, RPT had just under $50,000 on hand. I call upon Chairman Matt Rinaldi to direct the party to donate these Defend Texas Liberty funds to charity. And if doing so would take the party into the red, I would be happy to provide a short-term loan until Chairman Rinaldi can replace the money with other donations.
"There is no excuse to keep tainted funds from an organization that provides a platform for hatemongers, sexual predators, racists and nazi sympathizers.
"The Republican Party, at its core, champions freedom, democracy, and shared values with nations like Israel. But actions speak louder than words. Now is the time to root out the corruption and regain the moral high ground in the political debate in our country. I am tired of witnessing members of my own party join with the likes of Congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar in tearing down our Israeli allies.
"Every single elected official or candidate who has received funding from the Defend Texas Liberty PAC must publicly disavow their toxic affiliation."