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The Brief: July 17, 2014

Wendy Davis' fundraising figures from Tuesday that showed her raising slightly more money than her GOP rival for governor are now being questioned.

Texas gubernatorial hopeful Wendy Davis addresses delegates at the Black Caucus at the 2014 Texas Democratic Convention held at the Dallas Convention Center in Dallas, Texas, June 27, 2014.

The Big Conversation

Wendy Davis' fundraising figures from Tuesday that showed her raising slightly more money than her GOP rival for governor are now being questioned. The Tribune's Jay Root reports that the $11.2 million raised by Davis had more than $500,000 in "in-kind" contributions, including a concert by Willie Nelson valued at $250,000, as well as contributions that could benefit fellow Democratic candidates.

With those in-kind contributions factored in, Davis edged Greg Abbott's $11.1 million raised over the most recent fundraising period. Abbott, though, has $35.6 million in cash on hand, or close to three times the $12.8 million banked by Davis — a figure, by the way, that was $300,000 less than what her campaign announced on Tuesday.

"The lower-than-advertised cash figure and non-traditional accounting methods raise questions about how much money can be accurately attributed to Davis for the latest period, which ran from late February to the end of June," Root wrote. "And it has left Davis open to criticism from Abbott’s campaign, which has already used the complicated math to slam her previously."

The Dallas Morning News' Wayne Slater also had follow-up coverage on Davis' fundraising figures, noting that her fundraising haul included "big contributions from Houston trial lawyers Steve and Amber Mostyn, labor unions and groups supporting abortion rights in her latest campaign report. She also got support from some big names in Hollywood."

He also called attention to Abbott's receipt of $25,000 from GM, which is being investigated in Texas and other states for its actions in recalling vehicles to address an ignition-switch defect.

Trib Must-Reads

Fact Check: Dan Patrick at the Republican Convention, by Alexa Ura

Fact Check: Van De Putte at the Democratic Convention, by Alexa Ura

Abbott Stands By Transparency Record Some Say is Mixed, by Terri Langford

Lt. Gov. Candidates Hone Their Immigration Messages, by Alexa Ura


Source: Dewhurst to name Nelson chairwoman of Senate Finance, The Dallas Morning News

Mike Conaway helps friends in chase for Ag chair, Politico

After negative publicity, nonprofit scraps plan to buy hotel to house immigrant children, San Antonio Express-News

Chancellor: Private talk with UT’s Bill Powers went public, Austin American-Statesman

El Paso businessman Paul Foster in middle of UT controversy, El Paso Times

Slot machine-like devices at Texas racetracks?, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Henry Cuellar bill not on table at Obama, Hispanic Caucus meeting, Politico

Towns Fight to Avoid Taking In Migrant Minors, The New York Times

Quote to Note

"When is a veto a veto?"

— SBOE member Mavis Knight, questioning Education Commissioner Michael Williams' approval of an Arizona-based charter school's expansion into the Dallas area after a November vote by the SBOE to block more campuses

Today in TribTalk

Nothing to fear from migrant children, by Anna C. Dragsbaek

What a real conservative budget looks like, by Talmadge Heflin

Trib Events for the Calendar

•    The Texas Tribune Festival runs from Sept. 19-21 at the University of Texas at Austin. The next round of participants has now been announced, a list headed by Dan Patrick, state Rep. Sarah Davis, and Houston ISD Supt. Terry GrierAct now!

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Explore related story topics

Health care Higher education Politics Public education Dan Patrick David Dewhurst Greg Abbott Henry Cuellar Jane Nelson Mike Conaway Wendy Davis