Perhaps you have seen the advertisements recently from a group that is calling themselves “Reform Austin.” It sounds innocent enough and almost everybody would agree that there is a certain level of reform that needs to take place in the Capitol City. But is this group really focused on reform or do they exist to simply turn Texas blue? The answer is pretty cut and dry. Just this week, Reform Austin and their strategist President, Rogene Calvert made a social media spend of well over $100,000. All of that money is focused entirely on GOP candidates and is being very well targeted in certain areas of the state where Democrats feel that they can pick up the most early momentum.
Reform Austin is a Delaware Corporation that is headquartered at 1 Thomas Circle NW, Suite 1100, Washington, DC. Calvert is also a former candidate for Houston city Council and a Democrat strategist for the ultra-left wing strategy group “Outreach Strategists.”
The media buy took aim on State Representatives Todd Hunter, Sarah Davis, and JD Sheffield. Records show that Reform Austin has also heavily invested in statewide races with promises to pour money into negative ad campaigns against Republican candidate for Texas Railroad Commission Jim Wright, who defeated incumbent Republican Ryan Sitton in the primaries. The next big spend from the oppo group that is disguising themselves as “non-profit media” should come after the primary runoffs, when a better picture is painted as to who will be facing who in November.
Reform Austin has been getting major funding from individuals closely aligned with big insurance groups and lobbyists for environmental groups. We have reached out to Reform Austin for comment. They have yet to respond.
Southside Light News Managing Editor and Political Reporter Matt Pierce Briscoe says that the group is well known in left-wing circles.
“Reform Austin is not really an online news organization as much as they are a far left activist group,” he says. “They do have some limited influence and obviously plenty of funding so to say that they are not a threat to Republican candidates would not be totally accurate.”
Pierce Briscoe says that he feels that the buy was likely paid for from insurance groups and the environmental lobby who heavily fund the group.
“I have never noticed them endorse a Republican candidate or run ads against a Democrat,” he says. “Republicans need to be aware of these ads and defend against them before it is too late or they might actually work.”