|For Immediate Release:
March 31, 2003
Contact: Craig McDonald
TPJ Files Complaint Against Texans for Republican Majority
Complaint Outlines Huge Stealth Expenditures
and the Apparent Misuse of Corporate Funds
Austin, TX: Texans for Public Justice (TPJ) today filed a complaint with Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle, asking his office to investigate apparent Texas Election Code violations by Texans for a Republican Majority (TRM). This political committee associated with Speaker Tom Craddick helped elect Republican House members in 2002. TPJ contends that TRM's IRS filings reveal hundreds of thousands of dollars in ostensibly political expenditures that were not reported in the PAC’s disclosure reports filed in Texas. IRS reports also reveal that TRM raised at least $602,000 in corporate contributions. TPJ contends that TRM used these corporate contributions—contrary to Texas law—to pay for some or all of its non-reported political expenditures.
TRM's IRS & TEC Filings Differ In Texas Ethics
In IRS '527' Filing Total Contributions $796,651 $1,547,963 Total Expenditures $799,642 $1,410,766 Click here to view itemized contributions & expenditures
“This complaint outlines the apparent misuse of corporate funds to fill the legislature with big-business, anti-consumer zealots,” said Craig McDonald, director of Texans for Public Justice. “It looks like the Texas Association of Business and TRM worked hand-in-hand to electioneer with illicit corporate funds. We urge the prosecutor to determine if this new Republican majority is in fact an illegal majority.”
According to TPJ’s complaint, TRM’s disclosure reports filed with the Texas Ethics Commission (TEC) show that the PAC raised and spent just under $800,000 in political funds in the 2002 election cycle. However, TRM reports filed with the IRS (Forms 8872) reveal that the PAC raised and spent approximately $1.5 million during the same period. Contributors reported to the IRS but not the TEC include more than 30 corporations that gave TRM a total of $602,000. TRM also reported to the IRS $619,266 in expenditures that it did not report to the TEC. TRM could contend that these were administrative expenses that were unrelated to the PACs political purposes. Yet these expenditures include tens of thousands of dollars in payments to polling firms, telemarketing firms, campaign consulting firms and the committee’s director. If these expenditures were related to the PAC’s political purposes—as it appears—Texas law requires that they be reported to the TEC. If they were paid for with corporate funds, these expenditures were patently illegal under Texas law.
A copy of the complaint, along with details on TRM’s contributions and expenditures are available:
Texans for Public Justice is a non-profit, non-partisan research
organization that tracks the role of money in Texas politics.
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