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Posts Tagged ‘fundraising’

With friends like these

Who needs to worry about legal bills? Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, facing federal and state securities fraud charges, is getting more than a little help from his friends to foot his growing legal bill. The Republican accepted more than $329,000 earmarked for his legal defense from donors and “family friends,” according to a newly […]

Council approves proposed finance law changes

That was easy. City Council approved changes to Houston’s campaign finance law Wednesday with no discussion, effectively doubling contribution limits per general election cycle and boosting the amount many candidates can reimburse themselves for personal loans. The revisions, which go into effect Friday, are meant to clarify rules left unclear after the court struck down […]

Mayor proposes raising contribution limits

Not sure how I feel about this. Incumbents and wealthy candidates would get more of an advantage under proposed changes to Houston’s campaign finance law, which would effectively double contribution limits per general election cycle and allow many candidates who pour money into their own campaigns to recoup more of that cash. The modifications, reviewed […]

The Florida-Trump U plot thickens

Oops. Florida’s attorney general personally solicited a political contribution from Donald Trump around the same time her office deliberated joining an investigation of alleged fraud at Trump University and its affiliates The new disclosure from Attorney General Pam Bondi’s spokesman to The Associated Press on Monday provides additional details around the unusual circumstances of Trump’s […]

Austin Uber referendum update

There’s still a crapload of money being spent by Uber and Lyft to win this thing. In the last month, Ridesharing Works for Austin – the PAC established by transportation network companies Uber and Lyft – raised $4.9 million and spent $4.6 million promoting Prop. 1, the TNC-supported ride-hailing ordinance. With another million in the […]

Another FEC complaint filed against Cruz

We’re up to two. The Texas Democrats have filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission alleging presidential contender Sen. Ted Cruz and his associates violated campaign finance laws. The complaint, dated April 22, asserts that Cruz national co-chair, J. Keet Lewis, broke election laws at an official campaign fundraiser in December by asking attendees […]

Endorsement watch: Against Prop 1

The Statesman urges a vote against the divisive referendum to repeal Austin’s ordinance regulating transit network companies like Uber and Lyft. Voting against Prop. 1 is the best way to ensure that Lyft, Uber and other ride-hailing service drivers, undergo the most thorough criminal background checks endorsed by law enforcement: fingerprint checks. By contrast, Lyft […]

Lots of money being spent on the Austin Uber/Lyft ordinance referendum

Wow. David Butts, meet Goliath. Campaign finance reports filed Thursday for Austin’s ride-hailing services election show a beyond-massive lead in money for Ridesharing Works for Austin, the Uber- and Lyft-backed political action committee supporting a proposed ordinance that would become law if Proposition 1 passes on May 7. Ridesharing Works reported that between Jan. 1 […]

Fundraising for the next city election cycle has begun

Whether you realized it or not. Last year’s court ruling undoing Houston’s fundraising ban during non-election seasons means that the city’s contribution cycles reset immediately after last year’s general and runoff elections, according to the city, instead of in early spring. As a result, unless a candidate is retiring old campaign debt, money raised post-election […]

Once again with what we want from the next County Commissioner

Campos: The Chron has a story today on County Commissioner Gene Locke changing his mind and now wanting to become the Dem nominee for Commissioner. It looks like a race between Gene and State Sen. Rodney Ellis. The Chron mentions a few others that may be interested though. Here is from the story today that […]

City wins first round of term limits ballot language lawsuit

It’s round one, of course, but it’s still a win. The ballot language Houston voters used to change term limits for elected officials was “inartful” but not “invalid,” a state district judge ruled Wednesday, a move that nonetheless left the plaintiffs claiming victory ahead of an expected appellate battle. […] Much of the debate before […]

Checking in on Garcia v Green

An update on how the biggest primary fight in the county is going. U.S. Congressman Gene Green has taken Texas’ 29th District Democratic primary to television, leveraging his substantial financial advantage over challenger Adrian Garcia to pour more than $240,000 into network and cable advertising over the next three weeks. Green’s English- and Spanish-language ads […]

Complaint filed against Cruz campaign for “check enclosed” stunt

This ought to be fun. A liberal Texas political group has filed a formal complaint alleging that a recent fundraising solicitation mailed by U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign violated state law. The solicitation came in an envelope featuring a return address in official government type and the words “check enclosed.” The “check” was a […]

Once again, I spoke too soon about the Ethics Commission and Ken Paxton

I’ll be damned. The Texas Ethics Commission declined to pass an opinion that would have said it was okay for Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton to accept out-of-state gifts from donors to help pay the legal costs for his indictment. At a meeting on Monday, the Texas Ethics Commission voted 4-3 on an opinion that […]

Paxton can get some help with his legal bills

With some conditions attached, for whatever that’s worth. Indicted Attorney General Ken Paxton could tap out-of-state supporters to pay his legal defense team but must ensure those funds have not been funneled from any Texas donors, according to a draft advisory opinion from the state’s ethics regulator. The Texas Ethics Commission is scheduled to vote […]

The incumbents’ advantage

Is it about to become that much harder to vote incumbent city officials out of office? The already difficult task of ousting incumbent Houston officeholders likely has become even tougher. City elected officials now have an extended runway to accumulate cash before returning to the campaign trail, thanks to a voter-approved extension of term limits […]

Turner’s Council

So what kind of City Council will Mayor-elect Sylvester Turner have to work with? In addition to Turner replacing term-limited Mayor Annise Parker, the council also will gain five new faces, four thanks to term limits and one who defeated an incumbent. Political analysts, however, sensed little ideological shift among the 16-member body. How city […]

A further look into anti-HERO financing

Regular commenter Mainstream has been investigating the complex money trail of the various anti-HERO factions and documenting it in the comments for the 8 day finance reports: Pro- and anti-HERO post. I’m putting his two most recent entries here to make sure everyone sees them; they were left late Thursday night: The funding for the […]

Who can pay for Ken Paxton’s defense?

Paxton himself would like to know, though he doesn’t want you to know that he wants to know. In mid-July, a law firm representing an unnamed state official asked the Texas Ethics Commission whether it would be legal under state gift-giving laws for its client to receive a “benefit” from a donor if the official […]

8 day finance reports: Pro- and anti-HERO

First, from the inbox: Houston Unites has raised nearly $3 million in support of Proposition 1 from late August through last Saturday, according to the campaign’s finance report submitted to the city today. Almost 75 percent of all donors were from Houston. “Compared to the handful of wealthy opponents funding the rollback of needed protections […]

McNair rescinds anti-HERO contribution

Well, what do you know? Earlier this month, billionaire Bob McNair, owner of the Houston Texans NFL team, donated $10,000 to the Campaign for Houston, a coalition working to defeat the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO). That campaign has repeatedly attempted to demonize transgender women as sexual predators in an attempt to defeat the LGBT […]

Amazon and Bernie

You have to admire the ingenuity. It turns out you can’t buy everything on Amazon.com after all. The online retail giant is quashing an effort by a Texas teenager to use the company’s website to funnel cash into his newly formed pro-Bernie Sanders super PAC. The Bern2016 super PAC was officially launched [last] week by […]

30 day finance reports: Pro- and anti-HERO

Some good news here. Supporters of Houston’s contentious equal rights ordinance raked in $1.26 million during seven weeks of official fundraising, more than doubling opponents’ efforts and fueling a fierce and frenzied media campaign to court voters before the law hits the November ballot. In campaign finance reports filed Monday that reflect late summer totals, […]

Chron Mayoral profile: Bill King

This is the fifth in a series of profiles on the top candidates running for mayor in Houston. A fiscal conservative concerned with shoring up the city’s finances, [Bill] King would be Houston’s first Republican mayor in more than 30 years. To get there, he aims to overcome low name identification by consolidating support among […]

Chron Mayoral profile: Adrian Garcia

Here’s the third in a series of profiles on the top candidates running for mayor in Houston, in this case on Adrian Garcia. The youngest of six children born to poor Mexican immigrants could soon occupy the mayor’s office of the nation’s fourth largest city – an unlikely success story that started in a tattered […]

Change to term limits will be on the ballot

Whatever. Houston voters will decide whether elected city officials should serve two four-year terms rather than three two-year terms starting in 2016, potentially lengthening the terms of some current council members. The City Council voted 12-5 Wednesday to place the item on the November ballot. Councilmen Richard Nguyen, Mike Laster, Steve Costello, Michael Kubosh and […]

How will Paxton pay for his defense?

It’s a tricky question. Paxton faces three felony charges in Collin County, all related to his work as a private attorney and businessman. He told supporters in an email that he expects to be found innocent of all charges. The indictments handed up last month by a grand jury have nothing to do with the […]

No, we shouldn’t have any kind of elections for SCOTUS justices

Your junior Senator, ladies and gentlemen. Dismayed by a pair of Supreme Court decisions upholding Obamacare and gay marriage, Republican Ted Cruz presided over a packed Senate hearing Wednesday calling for judicial elections and term limits to rein in what he called “judicial tyranny” and “the abuse of judicial power.” While term limits or recall […]

If HERO then no other ballot items

Makes sense. With her signature nondiscrimination law likely to appear on the November ballot, Mayor Annise Parker left in doubt Wednesday whether she will ask City Council to also place before voters long-discussed changes to term limits and the city’s revenue cap. Parker said she has no interest in putting the latter two items to […]

A closer look at Controller finance reports

Last week I took a closer look at the campaign finance reports for Mayoral candidates. Let’s do the same for the Controller candidates. Candidate Raised In Kind Spent Loans On Hand ========================================================== Robinson 46,170 3,908 33,908 0 5,033 Brown 267,750 3,547 20,818 0 222,858 Frazer 128,097 1,009 120,956 32,500 53,973 Jefferson 8,653 2,943 9,255 1,860 […]

Mayoral finance reports: Out of town cash and max donors

You may have noticed that there’s a lot of money in the Mayoral race this year, even after subtracting what the candidates have given or loaned to themselves. You may be wondering where all that money came from. This post aims to shed a little light on that. First question: How much of the money […]

Mayoral finance reports: PACs and consultants

Let’s take a deeper dive into Mayoral candidate fundraising by examining one of the main categories of raised funds, and one of the main categories of spent funds. I speak of PAC money for the former, and consultant fees/staff salaries for the other. Here’s how much each candidate raised in PAC funds in their July […]

Will there be TMF-Menendez round 2?

Maybe. Who knows? Last February, Jose Menendez beat Trey Martinez Fischer to serve the remainder of Leticia Van De Putte’s term when she decided to run for mayor. Campaign finance reports filed Wednesday may point to a rematch this fall. “Without money you don’t get your message out, so that’s why having money is important,” […]

Paxton’s partner in alleged crime

Meet Fritz Mowery, the man who helped get AG Ken Paxton into trouble. Fritz Mowery was on a mission. Last April, he tried to convince investment clients to sign backdated forms saying they knew Ken Paxton had received money for referring clients. In a hearing in March, Mowery said he did it, “because it became […]