Who Profited Most in the Fall Campaign?

We already know that the major-party candidates in the governor's race spent more on advertising than others on last year's ballot, thanks to the cost of television. But some other ad vendors also received lucrative business from the competitive state House races, with mixed results.

The Texas Ethics Commission recently updated its downloadable campaign-finance database, which has a decade of itemized fundraising and spending transactions — more than 7 million records in all.

Downloading the full database, rather than using the advanced search online, makes it easier to group and sum dollar amounts by candidates, donors and campaign vendors. The table below shows which advertising vendors were paid the most by candidates in our 2010 election directory from July 1 to Dec. 31.

We already know that the major-party candidates in the governor's race, Gov. Rick Perry and Bill White, spent more than others on last year's ballot, thanks to the cost of television advertising. But some ad vendors also received lucrative business from the competitive state House races, with mixed results on Election Day. 

For example, notice that The Thompson Group did work for losing Democrats, including state Reps. Patrick Rose, Stephen Frost, Kirk England and Joe Heflin. Conversely, Anthem Media helped several Republican challengers — Reps. Jason Isaac, Bill Zedler and Dee Margo, among others — win their elections. The top 10: 

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Vendor Amount Candidate(s)
CrossRoads Media $18,788,385 Gov. Rick Perry (R)
Media Strategies $14,189,013 Bill White (D), Valinda Bolton (D), Linda Chavez-Thompson (D), et al.
Alexander Group Consulting $3,175,880 Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst (R)
Anthem Media $1,367,998 Reps. Jason Isaac (R), Bill Zedler (R), Dee Margo (R), et al.
Davis Lenz Media $1,337,204 Gov. Rick Perry (R), Reps. Paul Workman (R), Tim Kleinschmidt (R)
The Thompson Group $1,202,146 Reps. Patrick Rose (D), Stephen Frost (D), Kirk England (D), Joe Heflin (D)
LatinWorks Marketing LP $828,090 Gov. Rick Perry (R)
The Election Group $690,960 Ag. Comm. Todd Staples (R), Reps. Dwayne Bohac (R), John Kuempel (R), et al.
Murphy Turner & Associates $641,724 Reps. Cindy Burkett (R), Stefani Carter (R), Charlie Geren (R), et al.
Pathfinder Communications $594,000 Land Comm. Jerry Patterson (R), Rep. Marva Beck (R)

(It should be noted that these sums didn't necessarily go to each firm's profits. Some likely took just a percentage of total ad buys from televsion stations and printers).

Coming soon: How do the candidates compare in other political spending categories — polling, consulting, staff, etc. Let us know if you have ideas for data-driven features or visualizations, and be sure to follow @TribData on Twitter.

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