"Pro-Perry PAC Raised $5.5 Million to Help His Presidential Bid" was first published by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.
Wealthy donors and companies, most of them from Texas, poured more than $5 million into an independent Super PAC that tried for a few months to help Rick Perry get elected president.
The federal Make Us Great Again political action committee, co-founded by Texas lobbyist and Perry confidante Mike Toomey, raised $1 million alone from Contran Corporation, the holding company controlled by Dallas billionaire Harold Simmons, new disclosures show.
Toomey lobbies for one of Simmons’ companies, WCS, which is planning to build a radioactive waste dump in far West Texas, records show.
Toomey shelled out a little more than $100,000 of his own money for the doomed effort, while his co-founder, Dallas businessman Brint Ryan, chipped in $250,000.
A total of $5.5 million was raised, most of it from Texas.
Also giving handsomely to Make Us Great Again were Houston Texans owner Robert McNair ($100,000); former Houston Astros owner Drayton McLane; Houston homebuilder Bob Perry ($100,000), who is not related to the governor; Western Rim CEO Marcus Hiles ($200,000); Chief Oil and Gas CEO Trevor Rees-Jones ($100,000); Buzbee Law Firm attorney Tony Buzbee ($250,000); and Chesapeake Energy Corporation and its federal PAC ($250,000 combined).
Besides Chesapeake, headquartered in Oklahoma, out-of-state donors included Ann J. Templeton of Sarasota, Fla., who gave $100,000; John Mumford of Portola Valley, Calif., and founding partner of Crosspoint Venture Partners, who gave $200,000; and Joe Sanderson, Jr., of Laurel Miss., chairman of Sanderson Farms, who gave $50,000, records show.
The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma gave $50,000.
The PAC, which spent most of the money running TV ads in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, had spent all but about $600,000 of the money by the close of the reporting period on Dec. 31.
Perry pulled out of the race on Jan. 19.
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