Where the Real Power in Texas Lies
Texans vote today on state representatives, some state senators, and Board of Education members. But do elected officials have the most power in Texas politics? Not always.
The Texas Observer recently highlighted the seven biggest donors in Texas politics and what they get for their money: homebuilder Bob Perry; Empower Texans bankroller Tim Dunn; Dallas businessman and 2004 “Swift Boat” ad funder Harold Simmons; AT&T; Williams Brothers Construction; State Farm; and Energy Future Holdings, parent company of TXU Energy.
Dave Mann of the Observer was one of the reporters on the article. He spoke with KUT’s Jennifer Stayton.
We identified this group of people as extremely influential because the rules say that they can donate as much money as they want to a campaign. There is no cap on campaign donations in Texas. So if you have a lotta, lotta money and you want to give $500,000 or $1 million to a candidate, you could; nothing is preventing you from doing that. So when you talk about Texas, and it’s a state where there is pretty low voter turnout, so it doesn’t take a lot of voters to swing a race. So if you wanted to be a big donor who is going to give hundreds of thousands of dollars to a state election to swing a small amount of voters and turn an election, you could do that.