FEBRUARY 25, 2008

Contact: Mark McCaig

 TXIR Asks TLR: “Why Did You Hire ‘Political Hitman’ Stephen Marks?”

Austin- Texans for Individual Rights (TXIR), a conservative public policy organization, today called on Texans for Lawsuit Reform to explain why they hired infamous political operative Stephen Marks to provide services for their political action committee. Marks may be best known as the author of the book “Confessions of a Political Hitman.”

Reports filed with the Texas Ethics Commission show that the Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC paid Mr. Marks $5,257 on August 2, 2007 for “consulting services.”

Mark McCaig, President of Texans for Individual Rights, remarked “Voters across Texas have a right to know why TLR has decided to hire Stephen Marks, one of the most venomous political operatives in America who embodies much of what turns many citizens away from the political process. We call on TLR to fully explain to the public why they hired Mr. Marks and detail what specific services he provided to them.”

Last week, the “Lone Star Report”, an Austin based political newsletter, reported that Texans for Lawsuit Reform may have been involved in the “Texas Shark Watch” project in 2006.  The story included an admission from Janelle Shepard of Texans for Texas, the organization that produced “Texas Shark Watch”, that Texans for Lawsuit Reform provided the bulk of the funding for the project. Despite Ms. Shepard’s admission, Texans for Lawsuit Reform continues to deny any involvement in the project.

“It is not surprising that the same group that was behind the “Texas Shark Watch” mailer that attempted to smear some of the most distinguished conservatives in the legislature would employ somebody with Mr. Mark’s reputation. This is yet another example of TLR’s willingness to engage in political dirty tricks”, said McCaig.

Texans for Individual Rights (TXIR) is a conservative, non-partisan organization dedicated to the protection of personal liberty, individuals’ access to the civil justice system, and private property rights. For more information about TXIR, please visit