Texans for Public Justice

Bush Donor Profile
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Thomas O. Hicks

Occupation: Ex-Chair
Employer: Hicks Muse Tate & Furst
Home: Dallas, TX
When Tom Hicks retired as chair of corporate raider firm Hicks Muse Tate & Furst in 2005, fellow elite Bush donor John Muse replaced him. Tom and Pioneer brother R. Steven Hicks both founded major radio companies that merged in 1999 into AMFM, Inc. (see Jeffrey Marcus). At that time, Tom Hicks’ Chancellor Media pulled out of a $1.5 billion deal to acquire Lin Television after Chancellor shareholders raised conflict-of-interest concerns over the fact that Hicks’ buyout firm owned 75 percent of Lin, which Hicks wanted Chancellor to buy at a premium price. After radio giant Clear Channel Communications acquired AMFM later that year for $15.5 billion, Hicks became vice chair of Clear Channel, a major potential beneficiary of 2003 plans by Bush’s Federal Communication Commission to relax media ownership rules. Tom Hicks made Bush a millionaire 15 times over when he bought the Texas Rangers in 1999. The Rangers revealed in 2003 that Hicks met privately with President Bush to pitch Rangers Ballpark land as a site for the President’s future presidential library. Just as local taxpayers enhanced the value of Bush’s Rangers by paying $135 million for that team’s stadium, Hicks and Ross Perot, Jr. got Dallas taxpayers to spend $125 million on a stadium for their Dallas Stars and Mavericks teams in 1998. Dallas City Manager John Ware resigned to run a Hicks investment fund shortly after this deal was sealed. The City of Frisco north of Dallas pledged $42 million in 2001 to build a minor league ball park and a sports training facility for Hicks’ sports holding company. The following year, Hicks, Ross Perot Jr. and the Palladium Co. (see David Carmen) hit the Dallas City Council up for a controversial $43 million aid package for the $600 million American Airlines Center development. Hicks’ corporate raider firm was Bush’s No. 4 career patron in 1999, according to the Center for Public Integrity. Hicks Muse long wanted to tap the $13-billion University of Texas (UT) endowment for its takeover deals. As Bush assumed the governor’s office in 1995, Hicks was confirmed as a University of Texas Regent and hired lobbyists to push a bill creating the UT Investment Management Co. (UTIMCO). With Hicks as its first chair, UTIMCO began doling out contracts to private investment firms to manage portions of the endowment. A scandal blew up when the media discovered that UTIMCO awarded many of these lucrative contracts to firms tied to Hicks and Bush (see Lee Bass, Charles Wyly and Robert Grady). The UTIMCO board doling out these contracts included Clear Channel Chair L. Lowry Mays and the Pioneers Tom Loeffler, A.W. Riter, and Tony Sanchez. Hicks ranked No. 350 on the 2003 “Forbes 400 Richest Americans” list, with an estimated net worth of $725 million. Hicks has announced that he will retire from the firm in March 2005 to focus on running his sports teams.
2000 cycle; Minor League Pioneer
2000 cycle; Major League Pioneer
2004 cycle; Major League Pioneer
2004 cycle; Ranger

Of Special Interest
Bush Appointee
Corporate or Campaign Scandal
Corporate Welfare Recipient/Dispenser
White House Sleepover Guest

  Profile last updated Jan 27, 2005