Tyler Morning Telegraph
Written by ROY MAYNARD
20 June 2017
State Rep. Matt Schaefer says his office was duped by a group portraying itself as a veteran’s organization, but was later found to have ties to the “alt-right” and racist views.
“No good deed goes unpunished,” said Schaefer on Tuesday. “My office was contacted by a man who wanted some logistical help in getting approval and a microphone set up on the Capitol steps for a rally. My staff did what it is there to do - help constituents. But as soon as we found out what this group is, we withdrew the request.”
State Rep. Matt Schaefer, R-Tyler, on the House floor on Jan. 11, 2017. Photo by Marjorie Kamys Cotera
“We were asked, with rather short notice, to accommodate a party to be hosted Sat June 17,” the post reads. “The group represented themselves to our staff as ‘TBT’ and that they were a ‘Veterans group.’ While we searched for information on ‘TBT Veterans’ we found nothing good or bad and confirmed the booking. There was no mention of participating in a march or their actual name. Based on today’s events we now understand they misrepresented themselves and misled our Scholz events team, management and staff. Please rest assured we would never give any group on the side of hate a platform for any reason.”Jim Brennan with the Texas Coalition of Veterans Organizations said this is a distressingly common problem.
“We represent about 600,000 Texas veterans,” Brennan said. “The challenge, over the years, has been people claiming their group is representing veterans. Now they may have individual members who had served in the military, but that doesn’t mean the group is legit, or that it’s doing anything at all on behalf of veterans.”
He said his own organization serves as a clearinghouse for information on legitimate veterans groups.
“If you have a question about a group, come to us,” he said. “We make an effort to check out every organization, to make sure they’re helping veterans.”
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