TX: Rick Perry’s allies are largest funders of Rove-linked American Crossroads
Conservative 527 organization Americans Crossroads has become synonymous with the free-for-all post-Citizens United world of campaign finance. The national organization was founded at the impetus of George W. Bush’s senior adviser Karl Rove and former Republican National Committee Chair Ed Gillespie and has run ads across the country attacking Democrats and bolstering Republican candidates. New reports released Thursday from the Federal Elections Commission reveal that though the group aspires to impact national elections, its funding is primarily an extension of Texas’ network of elite Republican donors.
American Crossroads has received almost half of its funds from Houston-based home builder Bob Perry. Split over four donations between Sept. 10 and Oct. 12, Perry contributed $7 million to the conservative “super PAC,” accounting for 47 percent of the group’s total funding. Perry has long been one of the most active political donors in the country; he was one of the primary funders for the 527 group Swift Boat Veterans For Truth that attacked Sen. John Kerry’s military service during the 2004 presidential election.
But Perry’s spending has reached a new level this cycle, even by his already high standards. Through Sept. 23, Perry and his wife Doylene had spent $6,228,055 just on Texas candidates and PACs alone since the beginning of 2009. That included over $900,000 in contributions to Gov. Rick Perry’s reelection campaign. (There is no relation between the Perrys.) With a month and a half remaining between the last campaign finance period and Election Day, the Perrys had already spent more in Texas this year than they did during the 2008 cycle, and they are close to matching their $7.1 million spent for the 2006 election.
The $7 million Bob Perry contributed to American Crossroads outpaces the $4.45 million he spent in 2004 on the Swift Boat organization. He also has directed $3.5 million in funds to the Republican Governors Association this cycle.
Wayne Slater of the Dallas Morning News notes that Bob and Doylene Perry have given $450,000 to GOP New Mexico governor candidate Suzana Martinez.
Bob Perry was joined by fellow Texan Robert Rowling in funding American Crossroads. Rowling has contributed $2.5 million to the 527 group so far this year, and his company, TRT Holdings, has donated an additional $1.5 million to American Crossroads as well. Like Perry, Rowling has been a perennial major donor in Texas politics. He has spent $519,663 to date this cycle on supporting Republican causes such as $25,000 to Rick Perry and $225,000 to Associated Republicans Of Texas Campaign Fund.
Two other Texans have contributed significant sums to the conservative organization earlier this summer. Trevor Rees-Jones and Harold Simmons both chipped in $1 million to fund the 527 group. Simmons and his wife Annette are currently the fourth largest spenders for Texas state politics, contributing a total of $1,117,350 this cycle, including $350,000 to Rick Perry.
American Crossroads recently released an advertisement targeting U.S. Rep. Chetwards, D-Waco, in his reelection bid against the GOP’s Bill Flores of Giddings.
(Photo: Flickr Creative Commons/jonmallard, Image by Matt Mahurin)
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