New campaign finance reports filed this month reveal that Texans continue to shower money on Super PACs, which are allowed to raise and spend unlimited amounts of money on behalf of political candidates.
The monthly reports, which covered all July activity, show that Houston homebuilder Bob Perry provided another $2 million to the pro-Mitt Romney PAC Restore Our Future. Robert Rowling, the owner of TRT Holdings, based in Irving, gave $1 million under his own name and another $1 million under his company’s name to the pro-GOP American Crossroads. Overall, Texans gave $5.9 million.
Of course, this is only a small sample of the huge amount of money Texans have donated to these groups. Since January 2011, Texas donors have given more than $68 million, nearly 20 percent of the total money given to Super PACs. In the coming weeks, The Texas Tribune will be breaking down the numbers and taking a closer look at who is donating money, and whom they're donating to.
Don’t want to wait for us and want to play with the data yourself? The Sunlight Foundation has made the the complete list of donors available for download here, which is the source of the data used here.
To get the ball rolling, we have built a treemap that illustrates the largest donors from Texas. The list includes the usual suspects. Harold Simmons of Dallas, owner of Contran Corporation, takes the crown with combined donations of $15 million. And if you include money given by his company and his wife, Annette (represented separately in the interactive), that total jumps to $19.3 million. Bob Perry has given a combined $14.6 million.
Each cell of the graph lists the name of the contributor and his or her total. For the cells too small to read, hover your mouse over the area to see the popup.
Texas Tribune donors or members may be quoted or mentioned in our stories, or may be the subject of them. For a complete list of contributors, click here.