Posts Tagged ‘fundraising’

Texas Senate Race Update for July 20, 2012

Friday, July 20th, 2012

The Senate race runoff is barreling down the track toward us, so there’s a lot of race news this week:

  • New poll has Dewhurst down by 10 points. One caveat is that I haven’t heard of Political Gravity before, so I have no way to evaluate their robopolling methodology.
  • Cruz beat Dewhurst in fundraising from the first 11 days of July, pulling in $522,600 while Dewhurst brought in $160,400.
  • Cruz has 15 times as much cash on hand as Dewhurst. Then again, Dewhurst could always write himself a check, and maybe he’s prepaid for more deceptive attack ads.
  • But if so, why is Dewhurst having a fundraiser with Governor Rick Perry on election eve? I would think you would want to be doing your last big campaign push then…
  • This article suggests that Cruz has actually been spending more than Dewhurst, but I’m not sure that’s right. And has Dewhurst really only donated a paltry $22,147 to his own campaign? Maybe, since he’s loaned it millions, but that number still seems strangely low (but I don’t have time to go digging through his FEC reports right now).
  • Joe Holley says Cruz won Tuesday’s debate. “A debate, whatever the format, is just not Dewhurst’s forte, as he himself pretty much admitted Tuesday night, and he went on to prove it. He looked uncomfortable, often stumbled, and at times found himself on the defensive. It was not a good night for him.”
  • Cruz also appeared on Glenn Beck:

  • Cruz released a new “Flip Flop” radio ad:

  • David Dewhurst owns part of a solar power company selling energy to Austin at inflated rates.
  • Perry Vs. World also takes a look at Dewhurst’s possibly shady business ties to China and Indonesia.
  • Big Money is still backing Dewhurst.
  • Dewhurst makes the Robocall Hall of Shame.
  • Cruz appeared on the Mark Davis show.
  • Cruz will appear at the NE Tarrant Tea Party Runoff Forum.
  • In explaining why Cruz is winning, NBCLatino writer Dr. Victoria M. DeFrancesco Soto says money can’t buy political love.
  • Cruz also gets some love from Pablo Schneider on FoxNews Latino, who makes the Marco Rubio comparison.
  • Nolan Ryan endorses Dewhurst. As far as Texas sports-figure endorsements go, it beats the hell out of Craig James:

  • He also picked up the endorsement of Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, who evidently has a history of back veterans.
  • Houston political academics differ on who’s the frontrunner.
  • One more Cruz client has surfaced: David Dewhurst.
  • The liberal Austin Chronicle interviews Democrat Paul Sadler, and despite the obvious sympathy, pretty much paints him as doomed.
  • They also interview Democrat Grady Yarbrough, without much in the way of notable insight.
  • Amado Pardo: Murderer, Restaurateur, Heroin Dealer, Democratic Fundraiser

    Monday, July 9th, 2012

    Dwight has been all over the story of Amado “Mayo” Pardo, owner of South Austin Mexican restaurant Joviata’s, who just happens to be a two-time convicted murderer (a third murder charge was dropped as part of a plea bargain for the first) and the accused leader of a heroin-dealing ring.

    He’s also a noted fundraiser for the Democratic Party.

    I have not been able to find any direct political donations at the state or national level for Pardo (and the Travis County website doesn’t seem to have a way to search for individual donations, only rank upon rank of PDFs), but Jovita’s seems to have been the site for numerous liberal and Democratic fundraising events:

  • Democratic Candidate for Travis County Tax Assessor Collector Candidate Bruce Elfant had a fundraiser there May 15, 2012
  • An event benefiting PODER (People Organized in Defense of Earth) was held there April 26, 2012.
  • Democratic Candidate for Sheriff John Sisson had a fundraiser there March 27, 2012.
  • The “Million Musicians March for Peace” had a pre-march event there March 4, 2012.
  • The Travis County Democratic Party had a fundraiser there October 19, 2008.
  • The Texans for Peace group had a fundraiser there June 7, 2008.
  • Far-left anti-war group Code Pink had a fundraiser there June 1, 2008.
  • The Statesman article mentions fundraisers for Democratic State Representative candidate David Rodriguez.
  • There are more, but you get the idea. If these people were just renting Jovita’s as a venue, fine and dandy. But if they were specifically approaching Pardo to hold fundraisers for them, perhaps a bit more due diligence was involved on the part of the Austin Democratic establishment? The Austin Chronicle named him “Mayor of South Austin” in 2009. Here’s their profile of him, also from 2009, in which discusses his reading Marx and his love for Cesar Chavez, but omits his two murder convictions. How could he spend two decades hob-nobbing with Austin’s liberal community and no one bothered to find out that not only did he have two murder raps, but the FBI believes he had been dealing heroin for 25 years?

    Of course, Pardo hasn’t been convicted. Instead of a heroin-dealing convicted murderer and liberal activist, he may only be a convicted murderer and liberal activist…

    Major Democratic Donor Larry Flynt Pornographies Conservative Commentator S. E. Cupp

    Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

    I wonder if the founding fathers’ conception of the First Amendment right of free speech ever extended to faking pictures of a penis in a woman’s mouth. Which is what Obama supporter and Hustler publisher Larry Flynt just did to conservative commentator S. E. Cupp. I tend to doubt this thought crossed the mind of anyone attending the Constitutional Convention in 1787, not least because photography hadn’t been invented yet, and our founding fathers weren’t total pervs.

    Remember all those liberals crowing over the need for civility? Whatever happened to them?

    Expect some proforma sniffing from the left, to be followed by a quick flick into the memory hole, mainly because Flynt has been a serious contributor to Democrats and liberal causes over the years:

    FLYNT, LARRY BEVERLY HILLS,CA 90211 HUSTLER MAGAZINE 8/19/96 $10,000 Clinton, Bill (D)
    FLYNT, LARRY BEVERLY HILLS,CA 90211 FMG INC 10/20/04 $2,500 Democratic Senatorial Campaign Cmte (D)
    FLYNT, LARRY BEVERLY HILLS,CA 90211 LFP – SELF-EMPLOYED/PUBLISHER/CHAIR 12/29/03 $2,000 Kucinich, Dennis J (D)
    FLYNT, LARRY BEVERLY HILLS,CA 90210 L F P INC 8/30/93 $1,000 National Republican Senatorial Cmte
    FLYNT, LARRY BEVERLY HILLS,CA 90211 FMG INC./PRESIDENT 7/22/06 $1,000 Studebaker, Stephanie (D)
    FLYNT, LARRY LOS ANGELES,CA 90069 PUBLISHER 7/7/04 $1,000 DNC Services Corp (D)
    FLYNT, LARRY BEVERLY HILLS,CA 90211 FMG INC 5/10/05 $500 Democratic Senatorial Campaign Cmte (D)
    FLYNT, LARRY LOS ANGELES,CA 90069 HUSTLER 5/18/98 $500 California Voter Registration Project
    FLYNT, LARRY BEVERLY HILLS,CA 90210 L F P INC 8/30/93 $275 National Republican Senatorial Cmte
    FLYNT, LARRY LOS ANGELES,CA 90069 1/9/97 $-1,000 Clinton, Bill (D)
    FLYNT, LARRY LOS ANGELES,CA 90069 8/24/96 $-9,000 Clinton, Bill (D)
    FLYNT, LARRY C BEVERLY HILLS,CA 90211 LFP INC./CEO 9/28/06 $10,000 Democratic Party of Nevada (D)
    FLYNT, LARRY C BEVERLY HILLS,CA 90211 LARRY FLYNT PUBLICATIONS/EXECUTIVE 8/27/06 $10,000 Democratic Party of Washoe County (D)
    FLYNT, LARRY C BEVERLY HILLS,CA 90211 FLYNT MANAGEMENT GROUP/PRESIDENT 12/30/05 $2,100 Carter, John William (D)
    FLYNT, LARRY C BEVERLY HILLS,CA 90211 FLYNT MANAGEMENT GROUP/PRESIDENT 12/30/05 $2,100 Carter, John William (D)
    FLYNT, LARRY C BEVERLY HILLS,CA 90211 FMG INC 7/19/05 $1,500 Democratic Senatorial Campaign Cmte (D)
    FLYNT, LARRY C BEVERLY HILLS,CA 90211 FMG INC 7/18/05 $1,000 Democratic Senatorial Campaign Cmte (D)
    FLYNT, LARRY C LOS ANGELES,CA 90069 FMG, INC./PUBLISHER 8/25/05 $1,000 Clinton, Hillary (D)
    FLYNT, LARRY C BEVERLY HILLS,CA 90211 6/30/05 $-500 Democratic Senatorial Campaign Cmte (D)
    FLYNT, LARRY C LOS ANGELES,CA 90069 9/22/05 $-1,000 Clinton, Hillary (D)
    FLYNT, LARRY C BEVERLY HILLS,CA 90211 8/10/05 $-2,500 Democratic Senatorial Campaign Cmte (D)
    FLYNT, LARRY C BEVERLY HILLS,CA 90211 10/21/04 $-2,500 Democratic Senatorial Campaign Cmte (D)
    FLYNT, LARRY BEVERLY HILLS,CA 90211 SELF/PUBLISHER 2/15/08 $2,300 Kucinich, Dennis J (D)
    FLYNT, LARRY BEVERLY HILLS,CA 90211 SELF/PUBLISHER 8/4/08 $1,000 Kucinich, Dennis J (D)
    FLYNT, LARRY C BEVERLY HILLS,CA 90211 FMG INC/PRESIDENT 5/10/07 $2,300 Kucinich, Dennis J (D)
    FLYNT, LARRY C BEVERLY HILLS,CA 90211 FLYNT PUBLICATIONS/CEO 9/26/11 $2,000 Hall, Isadore (D)

    Of course, the donations to Bill Clinton (a man after his own heart) should surprise no one. The big mystery is those two donations to the National Republican Senatorial Committee. Maybe he did it just to see if they would notice.

    That’s an awful lot of money for Dennis Kucinich for a guy in California. I wonder what Flynt’s interest is….

    A Closer Look at David Dewhurst’s Q1 Donors

    Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

    I’ve been going through all 767 pages of David Dewhurst’s Q1 FEC report to see if anything leapt out at me. Honestly, this is really more of a sampler, since as the bank in the race, there’s just no end of Presidents, CEOs, Founders and Owners of various oil companies, insurance companies, banks, car dealerships, etc. donating to Dewhurst.

    Some notable names among Dewhurst’s individual donors. Unless otherwise noted (or I screwed something up) these are current donations to date and are earmarked for the primary:

  • Retired Republican State Senator Kip Averitt gave $2,500.
  • Clayton Bennett, chairman of Dorchester Capital and chief owner of the Oklahoma City Thunder basketball team gave $2,500.
  • Frank Camp, founder of the liberal No Texas Teacher Left Behind, gave $1,000. The only other donation I can find on record from Mr. Camp went to Pennsylvania Democrat Joe Sestak, who lost his 2010 Senate race to Republican incumbent Pat Toomey.
  • Phrma head John J. Castellani gave $1,000. Castellani is an example of what’s wrong with Washington these days, spewing money to swells on both sides of the aisle, including Republicans like Susan Collins, Olympia Snowe and Mike Castle, and Democrats like Chris Dodd, Max Baucus, and Harry Reid. Oh, he also gave money to the “Every Republican is Crucial PAC.”
  • Noted heart surgeon Denton Cooley gave Dewhurst $600.
  • Houston philanthropy diva Carolyn Farb (who you can see with Dewhurst here) tossed in $250.
  • Former UT engineering department Dean Ernest F. Gloyna (who I did some temp work for some two decades ago) contributed $425.
  • Democrat-turned-Republican and current Texas Tech chancellor Kent Hance gave $2,500 (though he listed his current position as attorney with his own law firm, Hance Scarborough and Wright).
  • Ken Hicks, the New York/Connecticut-based CEO of Foot Locker, gave two donations of $2,500 each, and his (I’m assuming) wife Lucille gave $5,000, all marked for the primary, of which $2,500 (if I’m reading the form correctly) was refunded.
  • Tom Love, Frank Love, Greg Love, and Judy Love, all of Love’s Travel Stops of Oklahoma, each gave $2,500 for the primary and $2,500 for the general election.
  • Joseph A. McBride, owner of Austin gun store McBride’s Guns, gave $1,350.
  • Top Austin lobbyist Dean R. McWilliams gave $5,000 ($2,500 each to primary and general funds).
  • Harriet Miers, withdrawn Bush43 Supreme Court nominee, gave $2,500.
  • George P. Mitchell, oil and gas pioneer, gave $5,000 ($2,500 each to primary and general funds).
  • H. Ross Perot, Jr. gave $5,000 ($2,500 each to primary and general funds), and his wife Sarah tossed in another $2,500.
  • Retiring State Senator Florence Shapiro (who considered running for this seat herself) gave $2,500.
  • Former State Senator (and former Waco Mayor) David Sibley gave $3,500, of which $1,000 was transferred to the primary fund.
  • Rex Tillerson, CEO of Exxon/Mobile, gave $1,000.
  • Power lobbyist and Rick Perry capo Mike Toomey gave $5,000 ($2,500 each to primary and general funds), as did his wife.
  • Now a brief look at the corporate donors. I’m omitting the ones already announced on Dewhurst’s website that I’ve been including in the regular Senate race updates.

  • Bill Miller Bar-B-Q gave $1,000. (There are lots of legendary BBQ places in Texas. Bill Miller is not among them.)
  • Bass Brothers Enterprises Inc. PAC (operated by the wealthy Bass family of Ft. Worth) gave $10,000 (half primary, half general).
  • Cadance Bank PAC of Birmingham, AL gave $2,500.
  • Citigroup PAC of Pennsylvania gave $5,000.
  • Dr Pepper Snapple PAC gave $2,500.
  • Freeport-McMoran Copper & Gold Inc. Citizenship Committee of Arizona gave $10,000 (half primary, half general), plus some individual donations from officers.
  • As did the DC-based McMoran Exploration Company Citizenship Committee
  • Humana’s DC-based PAC gave $2,500.
  • Pfizer PAC gave $5,000.
  • As did the PACs of TI, Time Warner, Union Pacific, and United States Steel.
  • Overall impressions: Lots of oil industry people, bankers, real estate developers, lawyers, and, for some reason, a statistically improbable number of dairy owners. And give Dewhurst credit for one thing his campaign team has been emphasizing: The overwhelming majority of individual donor money he’s raised has come from inside Texas.

    A look at the expenses side of Dewhurst’s FEC report when I have time.

    Ted Cruz Raises $1.3 million in Q1, Dewhurst $1.6 million

    Thursday, April 12th, 2012

    The Ted Cruz campaign announced that they raised $1.3 million in campaign funding in Q1, which is up $200,000 from his Q4 numbers. I was a bit disappointed in his Q4 numbers, thinking he should have had more of a bump from his National Review cover appearance, but his Q1 number is actually more impressive, given how long this campaign has dragged on, indicating that the Cruz campaign is still building momentum.

    David Dewhurst raised raised $1.66 million in Q1, which was slightly up from the $1.54 million he raised in Q4. Dewhurst, as most predicted, continues to lead the money race, but not by as much as anticipated.

    Now the big question is how much of Dewhurst’s own money he dropped in for Q1…and how much he’ll drop in for Q2.

    Texas Congressional Redistricting Breakdown

    Thursday, March 1st, 2012

    I’ve been reading up a bit more on the compromise redistricting lines released by the San Antonio district court. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbot was able to keep most of what the legislature passed, and the Governor signed, intact, but a few changes were made to satisfy Democratic demands to win in court what they couldn’t at the ballot box settle lawsuits by various minority interest groups under the provisions of the Voting Rights Act.

    Though U.S. Congressional Districts, State Senate Districts, and State House districts were all affected by the new maps, I want to focus on three U.S. Congressional Districts, including some shown in this map here:

  • District 35: Lloyd Doggett may not be gone, but District 35, the one Doggett plans to run in, is now 65% Hispanic and mostly based in San Antonio. And the recriminations have already started among Democrats: “If Lloyd Doggett would man up and spend that $3 million he’s been hoarding for the last decade, then we could have an extra Democratic seat.” Doggett dodged a bullet when District 20 incumbent Charlie Gonzalez (son of long-time Congressmen Henry B. Gonzalez, who held the office before him) announced he was retiring, letting up-and-comer Joaquin Castro run for that seat instead of 35, but there’s no shortage of San Antonio-based Democratic contenders, including Bexar County Tax Assessor-Collector Sylvia Romo. (There are two Republicans running for District 35, Susan Narvaiz and Rob Roark, both of San Marcos, but given that the new district went for Obaama by 63%, it’s going to be quite an uphill climb for any Republican.) One of the candidates currently running in District 35 is former Democratic Congressman Ciro D. Rodriguez (who is very pissy indeed about redistricting), who previously represented:
  • District 23: This seat is currently held by Republican Francisco “Quico” Canseco, who beat Rodriguez by a little over 7,000 votes in 2010. The redistricting map passed by the legislature made Canseco’s district more Republican, but the compromise district scales back Republican gains. It’s now slightly more Republican (50% of the new district voted for Obama in 2008, down slightly from 51% in the old district), but it’s still close enough that Democrats have to consider this a prime takeover target. Still, Canseco now has the power and name recognition of incumbency, and even if Obama wins (doubtful and frightful, but possible), I doubt his coattails will be particularly long in San Antonio. Texas State Rep. Peter Gallego is the likely Democratic candidate, but so far Canseco is beating him in the fundraising race over three to one. (Disclaimer: Canseco is one of two U.S. congressional candidates I donated to in the 2010 election cycle (three if you count attending a couple of John Carter’s picnics at $10 a pop).)
  • District 27: This is the district where Republican Black Farenthold narrowly edged Democratic incumbent Solomon Ortiz in 2010. (Despite the narrowness of the result, Ortiz announced he wouldn’t be trying to reclaim his old seat.) The interim map successfully makes Farenthold’s seat more safely Republican; Obama pulled 53% of the vote in the old district, but only 40% in the new. Farenthold also has a considerable fundraising advantage. The Democratic who raised the most for that race is Cameron County District Attorney Armando Villalobos. However, Cameron County is now in District 34.
  • All in all, Texas Republicans expect to pick up two to four U.S. Congressional seats thanks to redistricting, which looks extremely doable.

    And now we finally have election dates:

  • March 2: Filing for office reopens
  • March 6: Filing closes again
  • May 14: Early voting begins
  • May 26: Early voting ends
  • May 29: Primary Day
  • June 7-9: Republican and Democratic state conventions
  • July 31: Primary Runoff
  • References

  • Interactive Redistricting Map
  • The Texas Congressional Delegation
  • FEC Page for Texas Congressional and Senate Fundraising
  • List of 2012 Texas Republican Congressional Candidates
  • List of 2012 Texas Democratic Congressional Candidates
  • The Texas Redistricting Blog
  • Over on the left side of the Blogsphere, the Kos Kids have put up the a breakdown that includes numbers on how each District voted in the 2008 Presidential race.
  • No Wonder Ricardo Sanchez Dropped Out

    Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

    While it may be unseemly to kick someone when he’s not only down but actually out, the FEC report for now-withdrawn Democratic Senate candidate Ricardo Sanchez tells why he had to drop out of the race (even apart from his unfortunate house fire) in stark detail.

    For Q4, Sanchez pulled in a paltry $40,317. So the anointed Democratic candidate pulled in about one twenty-fifth the amount in contributions serious Republican candidates like David Dewhurst and Ted Cruz received during the same period.

    During the same quarter, the Sanchez campaign laid out $133,210 in operating expenditures. Even deducting the (by my quick count) $32,600 in refunded contributions at the end of the quarter, that’s a ruinous burn rate given how little he was taking in. Like the blue model welfare state, this sort of mismatch between receipts and spending is unsustainable.

    If he were still in the race, I might wonder why Sanchez was not only paying a Jennifer Lehner $11,864 in payroll between October 1 and November 26, plus a $4,000 housing stipend (for San Antonio? That seems reasonable…if it’s for six months), but was also ponying up $2,500 consulting fees for a “Mrs. Ada B. Lehner” residing at the same Carmichael, California address as Jennifer. (“If you hire me, you also have to hire my mom.”) But since he’s dropped out, what’s the point?

    Dewhurst Tosses in Another $2 Million of His Own Money

    Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

    David Dewhurst loaned his campaign another $2 million of his own money, according to his Q4 report. That’s a considerable chunk of change, but I imagine the Cruz campaign is breathing a sigh of relief that it wasn’t 5 times that much.

    Another thing that strikes me about his Q4 report (which I have only given a cursory glance to, given there’s more than 800 pages to it) is Dewhurst’s incredibly high burn rate. He’s already spent $4,397,491. Some examples of what he’s spending money on:

  • He seems to be spending $500 a day each on Facebook and Google advertising. I’m not sure that’s money well spent at this stage of the campaign. Last two weeks? Sure. Now? Not so much.
  • Campaign manager James Bognet seems to be pulling down a cool $35,000 a month, plus reimbursement expenses.
  • Finance director Rebecca McMullin is pulling down a respectable $9,480 a month, plus expenses. Kevin Moomaw, an old Dewhurst hand he lured back from his cushy job as a UT professor, is making about the same, which is a goooooooooood salary. (Inside joke.)
  • He gave pollster Michael Baselice just over $24,000.
  • The nice thing about being the “bank” in the race is that you don’t have to worry about funding a top-heavy campaign if you’re getting results. Is he? So far the Dewhurst campaign hasn’t knocked me out with its organizational skill. It’s competent, but I think both the Cruz and Leppert campaigns have been more obviously focused and effective at communicating. But I’m probably not the type of voter the Dewhurst campaign is trying to reach (as far as I can tell, Team Dewhurst reachout to bloggers and new media (beyond the obligatory Facebook and Twitter accounts) is non-existent).

    Charting Texas Senate Fundraising Numbers

    Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

    To make it easier to see how the fundraising race has progressed, I made a chart tracking donations to Ted Cruz, David Dewhurst and Tom Leppert:

    Since this just tracks campaign donations, it doesn’t include self-funding, which both Dewhurst and Leppert have made extensive use of. After Dewhurst’s full Q4 FEC report is up, I’ll do another chart on those numbers.

    Leppert Has Poor Fundraising Quarter, Releases Taxes

    Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

    Tom Leppert only raised $387,000 from donors in Q4 plus threw in another half million of his own money. That’s down significantly from the $640,000 he raised from donors in Q3, which was down from the $750,000 he raised from donors in Q2, which, in turn, was down from the $1 million from donors he raised in Q1 of 2011, when he first jumped into the race. That can’t be an encouraging trend-line for Team Leppert, since he can’t self-fund at the same clip David Dewhurst can.

    Leppert also released his taxes for the last three years, which is better than David Dewhurst’s two, but worse than Craig James and Ted Cruz’s five. The Statesman summary: Leppert’s “returns showed adjusted gross income of $1.5 million in 2008, $1.28 million in 2009 and $443, 194 in 2010. In all three years, he paid effective tax rates of more than 21 percent.”

    I couldn’t find where Leppert’s returns were online, so I just sent off a query to them.