Texans for Lawsuit Reform: How the Texas Tort Tycoons Spent Millions in the 2000 Elections
- The PAC of Texans for Lawsuit Reform (TLR) raised $1.5 million and spent $1.4 million in the 2000 election cycle, making it Texas' fifth-largest PAC.
- Just five wealthy families that made fortunes in litigious industries supplied almost half of the money that TLR raised. Moreover, TLR got 80 percent of its money from the families of just 24 tycoons. Altogether, these 24 king makers spent $4.5 million to influence Texas politics in the 2000 cycle, with Houston homebuilder Bob Perry spending an astounding $912,500.
- Republicans received 92 percent of all the money that TLR spent. Just two GOP senate candidates (Todd Staples and Bob Deuell) received 73 percent of TLR's money. New Senator Todd Staples got almost half of his TLR money in the last week of the campaign, thereby hiding the extent of his dependence on this special-interest group until after the election.
- New Senator Leticia Van de Putte received a third of the $111,293 that TLR gave to Democrats. With no GOP challenger, Van de Putte used this money to defeat a trial lawyer in the Democratic primary.
- After its big-ticket races, TLR had enough money left over to contribute an average of $2,201 to more than 100 Texas incumbent statewide and legislative officeholders-enough to assure access to most state legislators.
- Not content to just influence lawmakers, TLR contributed $54,000 to judicial candidates. Three supreme court justices received 69 percent of this money; TLR used the rest to start influencing lower appellate courts.