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The Brief: July 16, 2012

Looking for good financial news, President Obama at least appears poised to break fundraising records in Texas on Tuesday.

President Obama after his speech at the Austin City Limits Live studio on May 10, 2011.

The Big Conversation:

Looking for good financial news, President Obama at least appears poised to break fundraising records in Texas on Tuesday.

Beset by Mitt Romney's surprisingly formidable fundraising strength over the past two months, Obama will visit Texas this week mostly in search of money, not votes.

At Obama's first stop Tuesday, more than 1,000 supporters are expected to attend a San Antonio luncheon that has already been relocated, to the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, due to higher-than-expected demand, according to the San Antonio Express-News. San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro, U.S. Rep. Charlie Gonzalez and actress Eva Longoria will help host the event, which only 300 attendees were originally expected to attend.

Castro said Obama's haul for the day will likely set a new fundraising record for a Democrat in San Antonio. "Estimates within the party," the Express-News says, put that number at up to $3 million or $4 million.

"It's clear that President Obama has strong support in the San Antonio area," Castro said. "There's been a tremendous amount of enthusiasm since he visited in 2007."

Romney set a fundraising record of his own in San Antonio last month, bringing in about $3 million.

After the luncheon and a smaller, high-dollar event in San Antonio, Obama will head to Austin, where he'll attend a fundraiser at the Austin Music Hall hosted by the LGBT Leadership Council, a Democratic group, and another high-dollar event hosted by former Dell finance chief Tom Meredith, according to the Austin American-Statesman.

Though far from strapped for cash, the Obama campaign hopes to make up ground in the fundraising game before November. In June, Obama raised $71 million, compared with Romney's $106 million.


  • The number of seniors on food stamps in Texas has risen by 106 percent in six years, according to the Houston Chronicle. A still-struggling economy, competition with younger Americans for jobs and higher food prices could explain the sharp rise in senior recipients. Though the unemployment rate for seniors is relatively low, it has spiked within the past five years.
  • The Texas Conservatives Fund, the Super PAC backing Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst's U.S. Senate bid, has reported a $2.5 million second-quarter fundraising haul, according to Politico. Dallas billionaire Harold Simmons and Houston homebuilder Bob Perry, whose this year have become two of the most prolific political donors in the nation, gave $500,000 and $200,000 this quarter, respectively.
  • Ron Paul's presidential candidacy effectively came to an end over the weekend after Paul supporters in Nebraska failed to seize control of the state's national convention delegation, the Lincoln Journal Star reports. A victory in the state would have given Paul the fifth state-delegate win he would have needed for his name to be entered into nomination at the Republican National Convention in August.  

"It’s clear her father, Tom Craddick, is helping her." — Railroad Commission candidate Warren Chisum to the Amarillo Globe-News on opponent Christi Craddick


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