Today I’d like to piggyback off of last month’s series of what some might call “controversial” communications. Some called our social media posts politically divisive, but I jokingly called them my ruffling-of-feathers, not-aiming-to-be-popular posts.
Let me reiterate this one more time: I answer to God first, my family second, my organization third. No team works harder than TFVC, and no organization sacrifices more for our rights than our incredible staff and volunteers who work tirelessly for you. While we are far from perfect, we can assure you that every single decision is made with much prayer, thought, love, and an enormous amount of fortitude. With that cleared up, let’s dive right into this potential not-so-popular subject.
Let’s start with some insight into the TFVC endorsement process:
When it comes to endorsing candidates, our goal is simple: equal opportunity and accurate information. Every candidate is given equal opportunity to meet with us and receive our material. We make it clear to them that we are available 24/7 to answer their questions about our cause.
Here at TFVC, we are in the business of FACTS over fear. We believe informed consent matters (here, here, and here). Just as we believe you deserve accurate information, we also think candidates deserve equal access to this information.
TFVC is a non-partisan organization. Our members span all demographics – and we couldn’t be more proud of that fact as we fully believe that vaccine choice is a non-partisan issue! We take the endorsement process very seriously. It would be irresponsible of us to do otherwise. It would be detrimental both to you as a voter and to the candidate. Every candidate – regardless of party affiliation – deserves to have their stance accurately relayed to our members. A candidate cannot form an opinion on our mission without being properly informed on what exactly our mission is and what comes with being endorsed by our organization. This can only happen with a face-to-face conversation where one of your TFVC Directors is able to present your cause, our mission. Every candidate deserves to know they can come to the table with us and, even if we disagree on issues, we are true to our word and will accurately relay their stance without twisting of words or bias.
Look, we are just as fed up with the #fakenews bandwagon as anyone and we refuse to be an active participant. Often, that lands us in unpopular positions with unlikely supporters and even more unlikely adversaries. However, more times than not, this has landed us 1- supporting Republicans, and 2- interestingly enough, working AGAINST republicans. (While our current endorsement list consists only of Republican candidates, we have also campaigned against only republican incumbents. In fact, as we look ahead to the 2019 Legislative Session, it appears as though our most outspoken adversaries will come from the Republican Party.
Now, let’s talk about Congressman O’Rourke:
There has been some chatter about recent text messages and e-mails between his campaign staff and some of our members, and we feel it is necessary to point out a few important details. The first thing to address is our lack of endorsement in this race. As a Texas (state) Political Action Committee, we currently do not endorse in federal level races. We do, however, take our job of informing you on your choices very seriously. We will never pass up an opportunity to spread our message, whether it be a conversation at the grocery store or a sit down with a Congressman. If you remember correctly, it was the Congressman himself who publicly stated it was ON HIM to ensure a meeting with us took place.
To date, sadly, our many requests to his campaign have gone unanswered. Of course we understand he is busy, and as big believers in giving the benefit of the doubt, we have gone out of our way to coordinate this meeting with his team’s busy travel schedule. If a single mom of three, including one with severe special needs, can make herself available 24/7 to drive across the state for a 15 minute meeting, then we feel like it is not unreasonable for the Congressman to honor his commitment, per his own words. Not only do we believe that YOU are worth this meeting, but we also believe the Congressman deserves to have the opportunity to ask his questions and become informed just as he stated he would like to do.
Circling back to our vetting process and equal opportunity:
TFVC spends an enormous amount of time making sure candidates understand our full mission which is FAR from just the issues of federal mandates or school vaccine exemptions. Simply asking “are you for or against mandates?” is not a fair question to ask any candidate, Congressman O’Rourke included. Candidates deserve the full scope of our mission so they can choose which of our core principles they align with and which ones they do not (there are our themes of informed consent and choice coming back again). Once that has happened, only then can we relay that information to you so that – you guessed it – now YOU get to be informed, and YOU get the choice!
To reiterate, to date, the Congressman’s campaign has left unanswered our requests for the promised meeting and has instead only requested that we send them information to read – which hundreds of you already have done and, at the risk of being redundant, is NOT how we do business. You, our members, deserve better. You deserve this 15 minute dialogue on protecting and advancing informed consent, medical privacy, and vaccine choice. Period. End of story.
I am sorry that I am not able to give you that for Congressman O’Rourke. I tried, y’all. I really did. Moreover, I will continue to try – because you deserve that much. While we don’t generally accept the word of volunteers as official campaign positions, in this unique circumstance, we feel it is important to share to give insight into the political climate and responses thus far:
Our commitment is to you, our children, and our future and no team in Texas will work harder or put in more time, love, and energy than TFVC.
Congressman O’Rourke, the offer still stands, and we sincerely hope you accept our invitation for a meeting. Thank you for your consideration.
With Love and Gratitude,