Could you give away $8 million in a week?
The state's top political financiers did just that during the last seven days, raising the stakes on the governor's race and, mostly, on a relatively small number of bare-knuckle Texas House races. The largest donors of the last week include the state's most influential tort-reform group, Texans for Lawsuit Reform, and some of the state's biggest trial lawyer interests, including the Mostyn Law Firm in Houston and the attorney-backed Texans for Insurance Reform. Dallas dentist David Alameel and his North Texas Leadership PAC dug deep as well.
Top Donors: 10/24 to 11/1
|Texans for Lawsuit Reform||$986,357|
|Mostyn Law Firm||$740,000|
|Texans for Insurance Reform||$329,288|
|North Texas Leadership PAC||$328,015|
|House Democratic Campaign Committee||$259,745|
|North Cypress Medical Center||$250,000|
|The Republican Party of Texas||$100,018|
Not surprisingly, the biggest single beneficiaries were gubernatorial candidates Rick Perry and Bill White, who each raised enough in the last week to get elected to smaller offices, like the state House or Senate. Perry was just shy of a million dollars; White came in at $800,000.
Top Recipients: 10/24 to 11/1
|Texans For Rick Perry||$977,539|
|William H. White||$798,692|
|David Dewhurst Committee||$413,100|
|North Texas Leadership PAC||$400,000|
|House Democratic Campaign Committee||$348,000|
|Coalition of Harris County Democratic Elected Officials PAC||$315,000|
|Stefani Danielle Carter||$313,046|
|Texans for Insurance Reform||$258,000|
|Harris County Republican Party (CEC)||$207,350|
|George E. Lavender||$145,867|
Steve and Amber Mostyn and their law firm have contributed at least $9.2 million so far this election cycle — by far the most of any single donor. And they played big through the last week, giving three-quarters of a million dollars to a collection of PACs and candidates.
Donations by Mostyn/Texans for Insurance Reform: 10/24 to 11/1
|Coalition of Harris County Democratic Elected Officials||$315,000||Mostyn|
|House Democratic Campaign Committee||$250,000||Mostyn|
|Texans for Insurance Reform||$100,000||Mostyn|
|Stephen J. Frost||$50,000||TIR|
|James R. Dunnam||$50,000||TIR|
|Robert J. Miklos||$49,563||TIR|
|Diana M. Maldonado||$39,028||TIR|
|Allen R. Vaught||$32,525||TIR|
The single largest donor of the last week, Texans for Lawsuit Reform, gave just under $1 million, all of it to Republican House candidates. Only one of them, Charles "Doc" Anderson of Waco, was an incumbent.
Donations by Texas for Lawsuit Reform: 10/24 to 11/1
|Stefani Danielle Carter||$281,352|
|James F. Landtroop||$113,900|
|George E. Lavender||$107,485|
|Erwin A. Cain||$88,861|
|James E. White||$83,412|
|Marva E. Beck||$74,222|
|Connie L. Scott||$43,820|
|Larry D. Gonzales||$42,750|
|William W. Zedler||$41,569|
The numbers include so-called "telegram reports" filed with the Texas Ethics Commission and posted on the agency's website by the end of the day Monday. The last full reports, filed a week ago with the state, include campaign finance data through Oct. 23. After that date, candidates and PACs have to report any contributions of more than $1,000 in the telegram reports detailed here.
Editor's note: The North Texas Leadership PAC generally supports Democrats. An earlier version of this story mischaracterized their political orientation.