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Posts Tagged ‘campaign finances’

Alameel wants a refund

Good luck with that. Just like his first run for office in 2012, David Alameel’s second bid for public office is drawing questions about his past campaign donations. Alameel, the owner of a multimillion-dollar chain of dental clinics that caters to Hispanics, is one of five Democrats vying for the U.S. Senate seat currently held […]

Stockman and Bitcoin

Somehow, this doesn’t surprise me. U.S. Rep. Steve Stockman, a Friendswood Republican with a history of flouting campaign finance laws, entered a new legal gray area this week when he announced his campaign can now accept donations in Bitcoin, a private virtual currency. Stockman, who is challenging U.S. Sen. John Cornyn of Texas in this […]

Judge Pratt update

The most embattled Family Court judge in Harris County is still on the ballot, in case you were wondering. Embattled state District Court Judge Denise Pratt, accused of falsifying court records to cover up tardy rulings, intends to remain on the ballot to face the voters, her lawyer says. In late October, the Harris County […]

On PACs in city elections

Houston Politics looks at something we haven’t seen much of in city elections – PACs that are candidate-specific instead of being centered on a referendum. Among the topics bandied about last week was why [Ben] Hall and District A candidate Brenda Stardig (who is seeking to regain the seat she lost in 2011 to current […]

Abbott and CPRIT

From the Things Greg Abbott Should Have Been Doing Instead Of Filing All Those Lawsuits Against The Obama Administration, But Didn’t Do department. In the more than four years he served on the state cancer agency’s governing board, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott exercised no oversight as the agency made misstep after misstep in awarding […]

More leftover campaign cash

The Chron writes about a subject I’ve covered before. Former Rep. Shelley Sekula-Gibbs of Houston used leftover campaign funds to buy a life membership in the National Rifle Association. Former Rep. Martin Frost of Dallas paid a $6,000 Federal Election Commission fine. Former Rep. Tom DeLay of Sugar Land hired a media consultant. And former […]

Politicians come and go, but campaign cash is forever

It seems that way, anyway. With the defeat of several incumbents in last week’s primaries, there’s a lot more unneeded campaign war chests lying around. Millions in unspent contributions have long lurked in former state lawmakers’ campaign bank accounts, often sitting idle until the cash eventually works its way back into the political system. There […]

HISD considers revamping ethics rules

This all seems like a good idea. Houston school trustees, who now may accept campaign cash from anyone at any time, would face new restrictions under a proposal meant to curb improper influence in the school district’s business deals. The new rules, slated for board consideration next week, would bar a trustee from taking contributions […]

Will the Lege change the rules about corporate campaign contributions?

I think the answer to that question is probably “No”, but given the Citizens United ruling and the effect it had in the 2010 election, one cannot rule it out. Immediately after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision, the Texas Ethics Commission, acting within state law, issued rules for individual corporations or unions to disclose their […]

Here come the nukes

Alas. Texas can import low-level radioactive waste from 36 other states, a commission run jointly by Texas and Vermont decided Tuesday in Andrews County. The Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact Commission vote was a decisive victory for Waste Control Specialists, a company owned by a politically connected billionaire that has shaken off a series of […]

A little nuclear waste in your stocking

There’s a reason why stories like this tend to appear just before a big holiday weekend. Potentially sidestepping political obstacles, a commission overseeing radioactive waste disposal could decide in early January to open a radioactive waste dump in West Texas to 36 other states. The Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact Commission will meet to decide […]

Bell scores $2 million verdict against RGA

Chris Bell racks up his second legal victory related to a lawsuit stemming from the 2006 Governor’s race. A state district judge Tuesday ruled that the Republican Governors Association violated state campaign finance laws and ordered it to pay Chris Bell, the 2006 Democratic candidate for governor, $2 million. Judge John Dietz’s order, following a […]

Dirty deals, done dirt cheap

So I missed this DMN story from the weekend about Rick Perry’s excellent fortune in the real estate market. Three years after Gov. Rick Perry’s biggest real estate score, questions persist about whether the governor benefited from favoritism, backroom dealing and influence-buying. The Dallas Morning News found evidence that Perry’s investment was enhanced by a […]

No tech vendor contributions to HISD trustees

This seems straightforward enough. Houston school board members can no longer accept unlimited contributions from technology vendors after federal regulators alleged HISD violated competitive bidding and gift-giving rules. The new policy, which board members discussed Thursday, relates to the federal E-rate program, which allows school districts to apply for funds for Internet access, wiring and […]

Disclose, please

This is a step in the right direction, but it’s not enough by itself. The U.S. Supreme Court opened the door for corporations to pour money into influencing Texas elections, but the state ethics commission today is taking up a rule to make sure voters know who is spending the money. Under the rule up […]

What to do with all that leftover campaign cash?

The Texas Trib explores the question of what happens to the money after a candidate drops out or an incumbent retires. Let’s say you’re a donor to a candidate or an elected official who quits a race mid-campaign or chooses not to run again. What if you made a contribution to one of the nine […]

Improving campaign finance disclosure

This is a step in the right direction. The [Texas Ethics Commission] adopted new rules last week that, beginning this summer, will require anyone running for office to use 19 defined subject categories to describe any goods, services or other things of value purchased by their campaigns. In the past, these candidates chose vague terms […]

Eight days out finance reports, District Council candidates

To wrap up our tour of the finance reports for the city runoffs, here’s a look at the two District Council races. First, District A, in which Lane Lewis is up against Brenda Stardig: Candidate Raised Spent Loans Cash PAC $$ PAC % =============================================================== Lewis 42,439 33,765 0 19,401 8,250 19.4 Stardig 41,495 41,638 0 […]

Eight days out finance reports, Parker and Locke

Among other things, Friday was the eight days out campaign finance reporting deadline for the city runoffs. The Chron reports on the Mayoral candidates. Both sides aggressively asked for volunteers and donors before the Wednesday deadline. Election rules allowed Parker and Locke to go back to donors who gave the $5,000 maximum in the general […]

Has the TEC grown some teeth?

Well, no. But they do seem to be levying bigger fines, so maybe their gums are a little harder. By every measure, the agency is issuing more — and larger — fines, the records show. “There’s been a shift to focus more on enforcement and compliance,” said the commission’s chairman, San Antonio lawyer Ross Fischer. […]

Spending on voter outreach: District Council races

I’ve taken a look at spending on voter outreach in the Controller’s race and in the At Large Council races, and was working on a similar post for the district Council races for the 30 days out reports, but never quite finished it. Now that the 8 day report is out, I went ahead and […]

Eight days out: Spending on voter outreach by At Large candidates

As with the Controller’s race, I took a look at spending on voter outreach for At Large candidates in the 30 day out report. Given that some large number of people have no clue about who is running for these offices, I figured I’d better look at the 8 day out reports as well. Here […]

HISD candidate spending

After all I’ve done detailing how city candidates are spending their campaign money, I’d love to be able to tell how how candidates for HISD Trustee are spending theirs. I’d love to, but unfortunately I can’t, because that information isn’t available online, and I just don’t have the time to tromp over to HISD headquarters […]

Eight day out finances

Here’s the Chron story about the eight days out finance reports, which is all about the Mayor’s race. City Councilman Peter Brown, who polls show leading the pack, poured an additional $801,000 of his family fortune into the race, pushing his self-funded total to $3.2 million. In the one-month period covered by the report, he […]


Now that everyone has had a chance to look over everyone else’s campaign finance reports, a number of candidates have made some corrections to their reports. Former City Attorney Gene Locke and City Controller Annise Parker received money from donors who gave to their campaigns during “contractor blackout” periods. City ordinance prohibits donors from making […]

Spending on voter outreach: At Large races

I did this exercise for the Controller’s race last week, let’s see now what we can learn about the four contested At Large Council races. First, At Large #1: Candidate Amount Purpose ========================================================== Karen Derr 88.32 Advertising (Allen Jamail) Karen Derr 298.70 Advertising (Allen Jamail) Karen Derr 50.00 Advertising (GHWCC) Karen Derr 358.30 Printing Karen […]

Ethics complaint filed against Bradford

I’ve received word via email that an ethics complaint has been filed against At Large #4 candidate C.O. Bradford, alleging violations in his October campaign finance report. The sender included a PDF of the complaint, but I’m not posting it here as it contained a scan of his drivers license. The details of the complaint […]

34 > 20, and other campaign finance news

I’ve added two more candidate reports to my campaign finance report spreadsheet, Robert Kane and KA Khan, both in District F. Each of them had filed paper reports instead of electronic reports. You can see a list of such reports here, and you can see scanned PDF copies of their reports here: for Khan and […]

Corrections, clarifications, and conundrums

This is a followup to my post from this morning about the 30 days out reports. I’m sure there will be more of this stuff to come, from plenty of folks, but this is what I’ve got as of now. – First, please be sure to see the updates I made to that post. In […]

City fundraising reports, 30 days out

Today is the deadline to file the 30-days-out campaign finance report. You can look up your favorite candidate here, but I can tell you that more than half of them aren’t up as of when I publish this. I’ve updated my Google spreadsheet that keeps track of who raised what, so check that out for […]

Three candidates so far for HISD Trustee in District I

We know that Natasha Kamrani, the incumbent Trustee in HISD District I is not running for re-election. One candidate to replace her is Alma Lara, who was in the race before Kamrani announced that she was stepping down. According to School Zone, there are now three candidates for Trustee in District I, for which the […]

A tour of the July campaign finance reports

In addition to City of Houston elections, this past July 15 was also a reporting deadline for state and federal campaigns. I’ve put together this Google spreadsheet that details a number of legislative, SBOE, and statewide races, to serve as a point of reference. I skipped the top of the ticket for the statewides because […]

The five-thousand dollar club

David Ortez does some digging through the campaign finance reports for the three Mayoral contenders and comes up with a list of those who gave the legal maximum of $5000 to each. Gene Locke is the big winner, with more than three times as many such contributors as either Annise Parker or Peter Brown. Check […]

Dewhurst settles financial disclosure complaint

Well, now we have an idea of where Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst gets his wealth. The Republican sent the Texas Ethics Commission two corrected financial statements covering 2007 and 2008 filings. The new disclosures show Dewhurst holds a stake in several funds, including assets managed by Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers and the TCP Investment Fund […]