The Federal Election Commission green-lighted Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s request to turn the funds he collected for his presidential campaign to other political uses -- just not all the funds.
After Perry dropped out of the race for the GOP nomination in January, his presidential campaign asked the FEC whether it could use its leftover funds to create a traditional political action committee or a super PAC -- either of which would enable the Texas governor to support other politicians, a traditional way of building goodwill for candidates with national aspirations.
All the commissioners present at the open meeting agreed that ...Continue reading
|Photo by the Dallas Morning News|
(This is the first in an occasional series that will shine a light on little known but highly influential donors.)
Even under the post-Citizens United campaign finance rules that unleashed a new generation of mega-donors, Harold Simmons stands out as old political money.
The Dallas-based billionaire, dubbed the king of superfund sites after acquiring an environmentally-challenged company, has gotten plenty of attention for the $10 million he’s given super PACs in the first four months of this year.
But a closer examination of the record shows that Simmons’ 2012 donations are just the ...Continue reading
When Titanium Metals Corp., a defense contractor that's part of Harold Simmons's business empire, lobbied for protectionist policies designed to shield it from foreign competition, the fight allied the Texas billionaire and Republican mega-donor with some unlikely political bedfellows, including Sen. Sherrod Brown, a liberal Democrat from Ohio, and a union that overwhelmingly gives to Democrats.
Of the more than $34 million that Harold Simmons, his wife and daughters have contributed to politicians, parties and political organizations, just $520,000 has benefited Democrats.
Monday was the day that super PACs on a monthly filing schedule file financial disclosure reports with the Federal Election Commission. Sunlight Foundation's Reporting Group is watching as they go online to see who is writing big checks. Highlights so far:
- American Crossroads, which put super PACs on the map in the last election cycle with mega-donations to GOP candidates, took in just over $5 million in January, almost all of it from one man: Harold Simmons, a major Republican donor who also has written checks to super PACs backing three of the party's presidential candidates.
- The super ...
Former presidential candidate Rick Perry is urging the Federal Election Commission to let him convert his presidential campaign contributions into a political action committee -- and is asking whether he might turn his campaign apparatus into a super PAC, able to raise and spend money in unlimited amounts.
In a letter to the Federal Election Commission this week, Perry campaign treasurer Salvatore Purpura writes that the Texas governor ended the campaign with a warchest of $270,000 earmarked for the general election. The campaign is in the process of asking donors for permission to transfer their funds to the as-yet uncreated ...Continue reading
Texas Gov. Rick Perry's decision to drop his bid for the GOP presidential nomination Thursday raises a tantalizing question: What will happen to the big-spending super PAC that dropped close to $4 million backing his campaign?
Make Us Great Again, the super PAC set up by Perry’s former chief of staff Mike Toomey has yet to file a financial disclosure with the Federal Election Commission, but based on its spending, it appears to be the biggest of the super PACs left orphaned so far by the winnowing of the Republican presidential field. The uncertainty over its fate underscores ...Continue reading
One of the highest spending super PACs so far, the pro-Rick Perry Make Us Great Again is headed by the Texas governor’s former chief of staff Mike Toomey. A Texas lobbyist, Toomey is a longtime friend and confidant of Perry's who was behind Perry’s switch in party affiliation in 1985 after he was elected to the Texas legislature. He has a reputation of being Perry's “enforcer.”Continue reading
When voters cast their ballots in January’s presidential nominating contests, they may not know the moneyed interests behind the attack ads run by shadowy outside groups trying to influence their votes, despite a Federal Election Commission deadline requiring many of them to disclose information next week.
Although FEC regulations suggest that groups making expenditures in New Hampshire’s Jan. 10 primary must file a pre-primary report on Dec. 29, it’s not clear how many of them will do so.
There are plenty of opportunities for these groups to avoid scrutiny until, in some cases, Jan. 31. The first ...Continue reading
Earlier this month the New York Times revealed that Texas Governor and Republican presidential nominee-hopeful Rick Perry often uses the private planes of businesspeople — some long-time donors — to travel the country for free for various political events and even lobbying.
The use of the plane is legal under Texas ethics guidelines but it obviously raised some questions. A Perry spokesman said the governor was trying to save tax dollars. After the stories, Perry disclosed to the Federal Elections Commission some new travel-related campaign expenses — eight of them totaling more than $227,000, all travel costs.
Under FEC guidelines, candidates have ...
Tuesday, Oct. 11, will mark the 9th Republican presidential debate, two weeks after a string of debates in Florida, California and South Carolina. Sponsored by Bloomberg News and the Washington Post, this next matchup of Republican rivals will take place at Dartmouth University in New Hampshire. The Sunlight Live team will once again provide a live video feed, as well as real-time analysis, fact checking and context to help keep viewers informed.
The organizers say this debate will specifically address fears about the economy, jobs and a possible double-dip global recession.
Since the last debate, held Sept. 22 in Florida ...Continue reading