Wealthy Texans Are Big Spenders in 2012 Elections
Texas may not be considered a presidential battleground state, but it’s still a leader when it comes to campaign contributions.
It’s home to the big spenders, the biggest contributors to SuperPacs, the no limits vehicles for political contributions, with four of the nation’s top 10 biggest donors from the Lone Star State, according to the latest federal election data, including a 22-year-old student who has already spent $2.8 million of his inheritance promoting libertarian candidates.
Texas mega-donors on the 100 top donors list tabulated opensecrets.org who have given at least $1 million include Fort Worth hedge fund honcho John Kleinheinz, who gave $1 million to a pro-Romney political action committee, Restore Our Future.
“Texas is definitely one of the ATM states,” said Bill Allison, a SuperPac expert at the Washington-based watchdog group the Sunlight Foundation. “Texas has an ‘anything goes’ campaign culture so you see so many Texans contributing to SuperPacs in both parties.”
SuperPacs emerged after a landmark Supreme Court decision in 2010, Citizens United, which lifted corporate contribution limits for political action committees that operated separately from a candidate’s campaign or party.