Group targets Texas lawmakers with secret videos

Group targets Texas lawmakers with secret videos

An Austin-based nonprofit with ties to activists arrested in the past for targeting legislators in other states has collected hundreds of hours of secretly recorded video footage of Texas lawmakers to use against them in the upcoming election cycle, a representative from the group confirmed Tuesday.

The undercover video campaign represents a new front by conservative groups to target incumbent Republicans and tilt the Texas Legislature further to the right.

Several House Republican lawmakers already have expressed concerns with some of the group’s tactics, saying they aggressively were approached last week – inside and outside the Capitol – by men who used hidden cameras to secretly videotape a series of encounters that has raised alarms for Capitol security.

John Beria, spokesman for Austin-based nonprofit the American Phoenix Foundation, said the group has 16 staffers working on the project and has amassed more than 800 hours of covert footage of lawmakers.

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“We’re going for the people who are notorious in some of their actions,” he said.

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