It’s always interesting to find out where the money for innocuous sounding political committees is really coming from. Today the Dallas Morning news revealed that rich liberal trial lawyer Steve Mostyn provides the majority of money behind the Texas Municipal Police Association PAC.
Houston trial lawyer and political mega donor Steve Mostyn, who usually helps Democratic candidates, bankrolled a police group that was mostly playing in GOP primaries last spring because he’s from Tyler and wanted to knock off tea party-backed freshman Republican Rep. Matt Schaefer, R-Tyler, a spokesman said Monday.
Among the PAC’s targets were attorney general candidate Ken Paxton of McKinney, whom the law enforcement group’s president chided in this open letter for failing to register as an investment adviser. The omission drew Paxton, a freshman state senator, a fine from the Texas State Securities Board. Three months earlier, the police PAC endorsed Rep. Dan Branch, R-Dallas, Paxton’s chief rival for attorney general. In a May 27 runoff, Paxton crushed Branch.
The association says it has more than 20,000 members who are law enforcement officers and first responders. Late last year, its PAC moved early to back Republican Speaker Joe Straus for re-election to his House seat in San Antonio. In this year’s GOP House primaries, the PAC generally supported Straus allies. For instance, it helped Rep. Jim Keffer, R-Eastland, who won; and Rep. Bennett Ratliff, R-Coppell, who narrowly lost.
This confirms, yet again, another reason why it’s high time Straus was ousted from the Speaker’s chair.
Of the $72,000 the municipal police association PAC has raised this year, 69 percent came from the Mostyn Law Firm, according to a Dallas Morning News review of campaign-finance reports to the Texas Ethics Commission. Of the $81,500 the PAC has spent on candidates in 2014, just over $52,000 — or 64 percent — went to buy radio ads, mailers and brochures for Schaefer’s GOP challenger, Tyler businessman Skip Ogle, the newspaper found.
How did that work out?
The effort failed as Schaefer, one of the House’s most conservative members, fended off Ogle in the initial March 4 balloting, 61 percent to 39 percent.
In other words, it worked out pretty much the same way as just about all of Steve Mostyn’s political donations work out: Abject failure.
So whatever happened to Mostyn’s plans to head up to New York City?
(Hat tip: Michael Quinn Sullivan’s Twitter feed)