The “Texas Scorecard” website proclaims to be “Always trustworthy, with the facts in context.” However, a recent article regarding a Republican primary challenger to State Representative Stephanie Klick contains false statements of fact regarding Klick’s record. It is the latest in a string of articles published by Texas Scorecard that had either misleading or demonstrably false information.
The Texas Scorecard first claims that in “the 87th Legislative Session, Klick prevented legislation that would protect children from child gender mutilation from passing through the Public Health Committee, which she chaired.”
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This claim by Texas Scorecard is easily disproven by a search of Texas Legislature Online, the publicly available database of state legislative information. The record shows that as Chair of the House Public Health Committee during the 87th Legislative Session, Klick held a hearing on House Bill 1399 to ban child gender modification procedures on April 14, 2021. Klick then had a formal meeting the very next day- April 15, 2021- where the bill was reported favorably out of her committee.
Klick was a joint sponsor of Senate Bill 14, the legislation recently signed into law prohibiting gender modification procedures on children in Texas.
Texas Scorecard then claimed that Klick “repeatedly killed the effort to pass legislation to ban insurance coverage for child gender mutilation procedures.” This claim is incorrect and misleading in several respects. The Public Health Committee has jurisdiction over legislation concerning health matters, while the Insurance Committee has jurisdiction over legislation concerning insurance. During the most recent legislative session, no legislation referred to Klick’s committee would have banned “insurance for child gender mutilation procedures.”
While one bill that was referred to Klick’s committee, House Bill 4754 by State Representative Tony Tinderholt, had a bill caption that read “relating to health benefit plan coverage for and prohibitions on gender transitioning procedures and treatments provided to certain individuals; creating a criminal offense,” the text of the bill did not contain any provisions that would have prohibited health insurance companies from offering coverage for gender transition procedures. The inaccurate bill caption and other technical defects would have killed the bill on a point of order had it advanced to the House floor.
Tindertolt has a history of filing bills, which he promotes in press releases posted to his social media accounts, which are drafted in such a way that they contain technical defects or other language that make them unviable. The Texas Voicepreviously reported on another bill filed by Tinderholt, HB 2619, which would have exposed grassroots activists to potential civil penalties of $100,000 if they made a technical error on a campaign finance report.
Texas Scorecard also falsely claimed that Klick had voted for HB 2843, which would have legalized casino gambling in Texas. The Texas House Journal shows that Klick voted against that bill.
In addition to her work to ban child gender modification procedures in Texas, Klick has also been recognized by conservative leaders for her longstanding leadership on pro-life issues. The Tarrant County Republican Assembly recently passed a resolution honoring Klick and thanking her for passing HB 3162 regarding providing life-sustaining treatment to certain hospital patients.
The resolution described Klick as “a faithful advocate for pro-life causes for over 20 years”. It applauded her for “her pro-life advocacy, her tenacious effort over the last 20 years (dating back to her days as a conservative grassroots activist and as Tarrant County Republican Party Chair) to provide relief from the unacceptable Texas 10-Day Rule, and her exemplary leadership this past session in coordinating negotiations between advocacy groups to accomplish passage of HB 3162.”
Texas Scorecard’s article making false statements about Klick is the most recent article published by Texas Scorecard that contained inaccurate information. Texas Scorecard published an article on July 31 about the race for Texas Republican National Committeewoman that falsely claimed that Current Revolt founder Tony Ortiz had endorsed Republican National Committeewoman candidate Debbie Georgatos when he had not.
Despite a demonstrated record of showing a cavalier attitude toward facts and accuracy, Texas Scorecard’s website states it is “Always trustworthy, with the facts in context.” Texas Scorecard also runs paid advertising on Twitter, encouraging users to “follow us for conservative perspective you can trust.”
Citizens News Guild, a non-profit organization, publishes Texas Scorecard. Midland businessman and prominent political donor Tim Dunn serves as Chairman of the Citizens News Guild board of directors. The other directors of Citizens News Guild are Ken Beattie, who works as Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Dunn’s company, CrownQuest, and Richard West “Bo” French, a political ally of Dunn’s who formerly ran two unsuccessful races for the Texas House.
Dunn is the largest donor to the Defend Texas Liberty PAC, which spent over $200,000 on efforts to defeat Klick in the 2022 Republican Primary. Farris Wilks, the second largest donor to the Defend Texas Liberty PAC, has also financially supported Texas Scorecard through donations made by his family’s charitable foundation, the Thirteen Foundation.
UPDATE: Texas Scorecard has revised its article to remove the false statement that Representative Klick voted for HB 2843. However, it replaced with that false statement with a different false claim that Representative Klick voted for House Bill 1942, which would have legalized sports betting in Texas. The Texas House Journal reflects that Representative Klick voted against House Bill 1942 on both second reading and third reading.
UPDATE #2: The Texas Voice has published a follow-up article regarding the false information published by Texas Scorecard about Representative Klick.