Deeper in the Pockets of Texas
Do you want to understand why Texas is the way it is? You have to know who is funding the politicians. 26 people have poured over $56,000,000 in the past 12 months into Texas politics. This illustrates the who and where.
Here is the list of individual donors who have given at least $1 million to political candidates, officeholders, political action committees or organizations in the past 12 months, July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022.
26. Jay Adair, an American billionaire businessman, and the chief executive officer of Copart, a car salvage company. Adair gave $1,015,000 to 3 Republicans and 1 PAC (Texans for Lawsuit Reform)
25. Tench Coxe, an American billionaire, has served on the board of chip designer Nvidia since 1993. Coxe gave $1,064,000 to 3 Democrats
24. Simone Coxe, chair emeritus and co-founder of CalMatters, a nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism venture. Coxe gave $1,078,333 to 4 Democrats and 2 PACs
23. Tilman Fertitta, billionaire owner of the Houston Rockets, the Golden Nugget Casinos, and Landry’s, a Texas-based restaurant and entertainment company. Fertitta gave $1,097,250 to 55 Republicans ($1.01 mil) and 23 Democrats ($87k)
22. Kathaleen Wall, former Director for CWA She Prays, She Votes Texas, former candidate for US Congress, wife of Holloway Frost. Wall gave $1,169,752 to 12 Republicans and 5 PACs / Orgs
21. Alan Hassenflu, co-founder and CEO of Fidelis Realty Partners Ltd., sits on the Board of Texans for Lawsuit Reform. Hassenflu gave $1,202,505 to 8 Republicans and 3 PACs, including Texans for Lawsuit Reform
20. Michael Porter, with his wife Mary, owns the Cross Creek Ranch in Doss, formerly with Red Butte Corp., Jayport Electric, Inc., and Wespac Electric. Porter gave $1,245,100 to 3 Republicans and 1 PAC
19. Joe C. “Rusty” Walter, inherited Walter Oil & Gas from his father. The company has drilled 450+ wells in the Gulf. It’s one of the biggest privately-held oil companies in the US. Walter gave $1,275,000 to 1 Republican and 3 PACs, including Texans for Lawsuit Reform and ART
18. Trevor Rees-Jones, American billionaire, founder and chairman of Chief Oil and Gas. Rees-Jones gave $1,406,000 to 7 Republicans and 5 PACs, including Texans for Lawsuit Reform and ART
17. Reed Hastings, billionaire and cofounder and CEO of Netflix. Hastings gave $1,511,000 to 1 PAC, Educational Equity, which is about privatizing public education.
16. Ashley Watt, who owns a 75,000-acre ranch in the Permian Basin. Watt gave $1,694,400 to 4 Republicans
15. George Soros, billionaire and hedge fund tycoon. Soros gave $1,711,000 to 1 Democrat and 1 PAC
14. Charles Butt, billionaire, chairman and CEO of the grocery chain H-E-B. Butt gave $1,803,659 to 2 Republicans and 2 PACs. $1.5 million went to the Charles Butt Public Education PAC.
13. Kenny Troutt, billionaire, founded and sold Excel Communications, reinvested the profits in stocks, bonds and horses. Troutt gave $1,815,000 to 7 Republicans and 2 PACs, including Texans for Lawsuit Reform and ART
12. Robert Rowling, billionaire, sold the family’s oilfields and bought Omni Hotels. Rowling gave $1,985,000 to 22 Republicans and 3 PACs, including ART
11. John Nau, Chairman and CEO of Silver Eagle Beverages, one of the largest Anheuser-Busch distributors in the nation. Nau gave $2,028,482 to 17 Republicans, 1 Democrat ($5k), and 5 PACs, including ART
10. Jeffery Hildebrand, billionaire, cofounded Hilcorp, America’s biggest privately owned oil company. Hildebrand gave $2,065,968 to 9 Republicans and 4 PACs, including Texans for Lawsuit Reform and ART
9. Miriam Adelson, billionaire, widow of Sheldon Adelson, the former CEO and chairman of casino company Las Vegas Sands. Adelson gave $2,300,000 to 1 PAC (Texas Sands)
8. Farris Wilks, billionaire from the sale of FracTec, he and his brother own more than 672,000 acres of land in six different states across the West, becoming America’s 12th-largest landowners. Wilks gave $2,340,117 to 6 Republicans and 3 PACs ($2.1 mil to Defend Texas Liberty)
7. Harlan Crow, billionaire, chairman and Chief Executive Office of Crow Holdings. Crow gave $2,425,000 to 23 Republicans and 6 PACs, including Texans for Lawsuit Reform and ART
6. Mayes Middleton, president of Middleton Oil Company, current Texas House Rep, running for Texas Senate. Middleton gave $2,656,168 to 22 Republicans and 15 PACs, including Texans for Lawsuit Reform. $1.7 million went to his own campaigns.
5. S. Javaid Anwar, president and chief executive officer of Midland Energy, Inc. Anwar gave $3,035,300 to 10 Republicans and 1 PAC (Texans for Lawsuit Reform)
4. H. Ross Perot, Jr., billionaire, founded real estate development company Hillwood. Perot gave $3,141,860 to 23 Republicans, 1 Democrat ($5k), and 3 PACs, including Texans for Lawsuit Reform and ART
3. Richard “Dick” Weekley, chairman of Weekley Development Company, Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO of Texans for Lawsuit Reform. Weekley gave $3,581,333 to 27 Republicans, 1 Democrat ($1k), and 12 PACs, including Texans for Lawsuit Reform and anti-public schools PACs
2. Tim Dunn, Chief Executive Officer of CrownQuest Operating, Vice-Chairman of Texas Public Policy Foundation. Dunn gave $5,420,320 to 8 Republicans and 2 PACs. $5,150,000 was to the Defend Texas Liberty PAC
- Jan Duncan, widow of billionaire Dan Duncan of Enterprise Products Partners LP, a pipeline and storage company. Duncan gave $6,313,175 to 5 Republicans and 1 PAC. $6 million was to Texans for Lawsuit Reform
I built all of the graphics in this thread with @kumupowered. If you would like to play with the web of money, you can with this link:
As always, the money numbers I utilize are all pulled from the Texas Ethics Commission and made freely available in what I think is a more usable format at my site (http://christackettnow.com), or direct link here:
Lastly, don’t forget to watch the incredible documentary put together by CNN, #DeepInThePocketsofTexas. It really is must see, to understand not only the “what”, but also the “why” for several of these mega-donors.
In the days ahead, I’ll be illustrating what all of those PACs did with the money these donors (and others like them with slightly smaller pocketbooks) gave them. How interconnected is the web? We will find out.
If you like what I put out there, feel free to become a patron and kick in a few bucks each month :-)