Tribpedia: Campaign Finance

Tribpedia

The term "campaign finance" refers generally to the donations and expenditures political candidates and political committees use to fund elections and issue advocacy. Campaign fundraising and spending rules are separately enforced by local, state and federal governmental agencies, depending on the nature of the election.

Federal Election Commission

The commission, created by Congress in 1975, administers and enforces the Federal ...

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Explore 30-Day Campaign Finance Reports

Now that the deadline for filing 30-day campaign finance reports ahead of the Nov. 4 election has passed, we can get a better snapshot of the financial health of Texas candidates. Use this tool to search data for all statewide, State Board of Education and legislative candidates who filed electronically with the Texas Ethics Commission. You can see the top-line totals for contributions, expenditures, loans and cash on hand for each campaign.

Campaign Finance Database Updated

Ahead of the final month leading up to the November elections and the pending 30-day filing deadlines, we've updated our campaign finance database to include all data up to the last filing deadline in July. The app is current up to June 30, 2014. Search our database by contributor or filer name.

Texas Governor's Race: Analyzing the Money

The candidates for Texas governor have been raising millions for their campaigns since last summer. The Tribune identified their top donors, famous givers and other noteworthy contributions. Republican Greg Abbott has amassed a record-setting bank balance, and Democrat Wendy Davis received cash from a laundry list of celebrities.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott isn't on TV right now, but he is spending campaign funds to screen his latest 30-second spot at theaters before screenings of some summer blockbusters.
Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott isn't on TV right now, but he is spending campaign funds to screen his latest 30-second spot at theaters before screenings of some summer blockbusters.

Campaigns Test Conventional Wisdom With Summer Ads

In Texas, the traditional model for general election campaign advertising — don't run ads before Labor Day — is being challenged by some campaigns. Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott has aired ads in movie theaters, and Democratic comptroller hopeful Mike Collier has already bought TV airtime in some markets.

Gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott speaks at a NE Tarrant Tea Party meeting at Concordia Lutheran Church in Bedford on Nov. 12. State Sen. Wendy Davis, who is also running for governor, speaks to veterans at Luby's in Forest Hill the day before.
Gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott speaks at a NE Tarrant Tea Party meeting at Concordia Lutheran Church in Bedford on Nov. 12. State Sen. Wendy Davis, who is also running for governor, speaks to veterans at Luby's in Forest Hill the day before.

Abbott Campaign Reports $35.6 Million War Chest

Attorney General Greg Abbott has amassed a $35.6 million war chest in the race for Texas governor. His Democratic opponent, Sen. Wendy Davis, says she has $13.1 million for the effort. 

Tim Dunn, CEO of CrownQuest Operating, LLC, speaks at the 2011 Executive Oil Conference.
Tim Dunn, CEO of CrownQuest Operating, LLC, speaks at the 2011 Executive Oil Conference.

In Tim Dunn, Far Right Has Big Spender Who Gets Results

A Midland oilman has spent millions over the last decade financing groups focused on moving the Texas Legislature in a more conservative direction. While critics have decried his hardball tactics, Tim Dunn isn't backing down. In recent years, he has ramped up his political spending and expanded his reach to city council and school board races.

Federal Contribution Limits Drift Toward Texas

The federal campaign finance system moved a step closer to the Texas model Wednesday as the U.S. Supreme Court struck down some limits on political donations to federal candidates. Take a look at how Texas' campaign finance system compares to the federal campaign finance system, and see how political contribution laws differ from state to state. 

Campaign Finance Viewer, Primary 8-Day 2014

Texas candidates have filed their required eight-day campaign finance reports ahead of the March 4 election. The reports, filed eight days before the election, account for activity from Jan. 24 through Feb. 22. Use our interactive analyzer to view contributions and expenditures in the final weeks of the primary campaigns.

Campaign Finance Viewer, Primary 30-Day 2014

With the primaries just a month away, Texas candidates have filed campaign finance reports for Jan. 1-23. We have put those reports into our interactive analyzer, allowing you to view contributions, expenditures and where all of the money originated.

Gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott speaks at a NE Tarrant Tea Party meeting at Concordia Lutheran Church in Bedford on Nov. 12. State Sen. Wendy Davis, who is also running for governor, speaks to veterans at Luby's in Forest Hill the day before.
Gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott speaks at a NE Tarrant Tea Party meeting at Concordia Lutheran Church in Bedford on Nov. 12. State Sen. Wendy Davis, who is also running for governor, speaks to veterans at Luby's in Forest Hill the day before.

Six-Figure Donations Help Fuel Abbott's January Total

Fundraising reports for the month of January show Greg Abbott largely outraising Wendy Davis with the help of several six-figure contributions, while Davis relied on smaller donations.

In Gubernatorial Race, Candidates Spend Big to Win Big

In the high-stakes gubernatorial race, the candidates are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in a competition to raise more money — and, hopefully, win more votes — than the competition. Greg Abbott and Wendy Davis have spent big on experienced fundraisers working to help fill their campaign coffers.

For Candidates, the End of the Year is a Deadline

Dec. 31 is not a deadline voters care about — at least not in a political sense — but the candidates sure do. It's the last day they can bring in money for a January report that will demonstrate their strength or weakness. Showing some traction in that report might help them raise the money they need to win a March primary.

Campaign Finance Analyzer — Water Texas PAC

Well over half of the money raised so far by a political action committee promoting a water funding initiative in Texas came from heavy contractors, Dow Chemical Co. and Energy Future Holdings/Luminant, according to a report filed this week with the Texas Ethics Commission. Use our analyzer to take a closer look at the Water Texas PAC.

Debra Medina hosts a monthly potluck with Tea Party activists at her home in Wharton on Sept. 6, 2013. Medina is exploring a run for state comptroller.
Debra Medina hosts a monthly potluck with Tea Party activists at her home in Wharton on Sept. 6, 2013. Medina is exploring a run for state comptroller.

A Maverick Tries to Stay in the Picture

If Debra Medina does not run for comptroller in 2014, it will be because of a lack of money, not will. The former gubernatorial candidate said grass-roots supporters can't contribute enough funds to wage a serious statewide bid. And two of the Republicans already in the running have million-dollar war chests. 

Interactive: Campaign Finance Analyzer — All Called

We’ve updated our campaign finance analyzer to cover all of the contributions to statewide officeholders and candidates during the three special legislative sessions this summer. The contributions, which came in from May 27 to Aug. 25, are broken down by biggest donors, donor location, donation size and the dates the money came in. 

Interactive: Campaign Finance Analyzer — 2nd Called

We've updated our campaign finance analyzer for July contributions to statewide candidates and officeholders during the second special legislative session this summer. The donations are shown by size, location, donor and even by daily totals from June 26 to July 30. 

Interactive: Top Contributors in Statewide Races

Texas Weekly

Though it's still early in the 2014 campaign season, major donors have wasted no time throwing their cash behind candidates — including some (hello, Wendy Davis) who haven't even officially jumped into statewide races. Use our interactive to check out the top contributors in the first half of 2013 to candidates running for or considering a shot at governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, land commissioner and agriculture commissioner. 

Video: Biggest Ethics Reforms Died on Governor's Desk

A few minor ethics measures passed in the 83rd legislative session. But the real story is what didn’t happen — the legislation that might have changed the information available to voters who’ll be making decisions about candidates. This story is part of our 31 Days, 31 Ways series, a monthlong look at how the bills and budget passed by the 83rd Legislature will affect Texans' lives starting Sept. 1.