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Texans for Public Justice  * 609 W. 18th Street, Suite E, * Austin, TX 78701 * tpj.org

For Immediate Release:
September 29, 2009

Read the full report

For Information: TPJ
PH: (512) 472-9770

Who Bankrolled Your Legislator?

• Report Dissects Texas’ 2008 Legislative Elections
• Contributor Lists Provided For Each Lawmaker

Austin, TX: Texans for Public Justice released today a comprehensive study of the financing of Texas’ 2008 legislative elections. The online Money in PoliTex report analyzes $95 million raised by 312 major-party legislative candidates. It provides district-by-district summaries of campaign funds and a complete contributor list for each of Texas’ 181 sitting lawmakers. Political fundraising looks recession proof. Texas legislative candidates raised 25 percent more money for the 2008 election ($95 million) than the preceding one in 2006 ($76 million).

“This report boils down raw data from the Texas Ethics Commission into user-friendly facts,” said Texans for Public Justice Director Craig McDonald. “In the land of unlimited campaign contributions, we have no choice but to follow the money.”

Money in PoliTex identifies high rollers. It flags 126 individuals who spent at least $100,000 on the 2008 elections and acknowledges businesses and political committees that dropped $150,000 or more.

Scintillating Money in PoliTex findings include:

• The House’s 281 major-party candidates raised $70.3 million, with winners collecting $50.6 million (72 percent of the total).
• Thirty-one major-party candidates for 16 Senate slots raised $24.7 million, with winners accounting for $16.7 million (68 percent).
• The No. 1 interest group, Lawyers and Lobbyists, spent almost $15 million (16 percent).
• Texas’ top 126 individuals collectively spent $45 million on the 2006 elections.
• Legislative candidates owed 22 percent of their war chests ($21 million) to 702 whopper checks that were each worth $10,000 or more. Small donations of up to $100 accounted for just 3 percent of the money.
• Legislative candidates raised 82 percent of their money from mailing addresses outside the districts that they sought to represent ($78 million).
• Seven Senate incumbents and 61 House incumbents were reelected without any major-party opposition in the primary or the general election.

Prepared by Nhu Truong, Sean Chitty and Lauren Reinlie. Money in PoliTex: A Guide to Money in the 2008 Texas Legislative Elections is available at: www.tpj.org.

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Texans for Public Justice is a non-profit, non-partisan research
and advocacy organization that monitors money in Texas politics.