TestPAC, an internet based political action committee that is opposing Texas Congressman Lamar Smith’s re-election bid, has purchased a digital billboard slot in San Antonio. The billboard, located on I-10 near the intersection with 410, will be seen by over 410,000 people per week. The message of the billboard encourages viewers to vote against Lamar Smith in the May 29th Republican Primary. Republicans, Democrats, and Independents can all vote in the semi-open primary.
TestPAC is opposing Congressman Smith for his support of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). SOPA entered the national spotlight on January 18th, when websites including Google, Wikipedia, Reddit, and Craigslist participated in an internet-wide protest against the bill. Tech experts and individual liberty advocates have decried the bill as dangerous big government censorship. Lamar Smith, a co-sponsor and ardent defender of SOPA, has become the face of internet censorship.
SOPA was heavily lobbied for by the Recording Industry Association of American (RIAA) and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). These lobbying efforts were led by former Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT). Lamar Smith, a 26 year incumbent, received over $61,000 in donations from corporate entertainment over the past year. Since 1989, Smith has received over $396,000 from the entertainment industry.
TestPAC is encouraging voters to hold Lamar Smith accountable for his irresponsible actions by voting against him in the May 29 Primary. The organization believes that his support of SOPA epitomizes everything that is wrong with Congress: Smith accepted tens of thousands of dollars to introduce a piece of irresponsible legislation on behalf of his corporate donors. When an elected official accepts money to introduce legislation, it is time to stop calling it lobbying, and start calling it what it is: corruption. The people of TX-21 have the opportunity to be the first to send that message to Washington.
TestPAC is urging Republican, Democratic, and Independent voters to vote against Smith in the May 29th semi-open Republican primary. Smith’s opponents are Richard Mack and Richard Morgan, both of whom oppose SOPA. TestPAC is not supporting either candidate, so their billboard reads, “Vote for Richard M”.
TestPAC has raised just under $10,000 in the first quarter of 2012, and is planning to undertake further actions in TX-21, including airing a television ad and executing ground campaigns in San Antonio and Austin.