The ethics commission financial reports for the SD-6 runoff were released earlier this week, making clear where Carol Alvarado's financial support has come from in the last month of this expensive race to replace Sen. Mario Gallegos.
Carol Alvarado raised almost half of her run-off money from Texans from Lawsuit Reform, Stand for Children PAC, a teacher's union-busting organization, payday lenders, and several Republican PACs and mega-donors.
Her campaign is being heavily funded by organizations and individuals that work every day to block our core Democratic values.
Sylvia Garcia, on the other hand, is primarily funded by trial lawyers and labor organizations, the tradional donors to our Democratic candidates and causes.
Before we get into the details of who's giving to who, here's a quick run-down of the notable donors and links to each candidate's runoff report.
February 22 Runoff Reports for SD-6 Special Election Covering January 17-February 20
Alvarado's Major Donors: $184,000 from TLR PAC
$54,317 from Stand for Children PAC (in-kind)
$20,000 from Barbara and John Nau
$14,000 from payday lenders
$10,000 from HillCo PAC
$10,000 from Ryan Texas PAC
Garcia's Major Donors: $356,750 from the Mostyn Firm
$117,000 from Texas Organizing Project (in-kind)
$8500 from AFSCME's federal PAC
$5000 from the Teamsters
$5000 from the Plumber's union
$2500 each from ILA Local 24 & 28
$2000 from SEIU's federal PAC
Below the jump, find out more about Alvarado's donors and their long history of working against Democratic ideals and -- and usually candidates, too.
Former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords' new organization calling for sensible gun policies will have strong ties to Texas. Giffords and her husband, former astronaut Mark Kelly, formed Americans for Responsible Solutions on the two-year anniversary of the shooting in Tucson that wounded her and killed six. Giffords named Texas attorney Steve Mostyn treasurer of the Super PAC, which has a goal of raising $20 million by the 2014 elections. Mostyn has already contributed $1 million towards the goal.
Mostyn told Politico that he met Kelly when the former astronaut was based in Houston, and that they reconnected after the horrible shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. Americans for Responsible Solutions is planning to go toe-to-toe with the NRA in campaign spending in the 2014 cycle. The group will also advocate for universal background checks and a close of the gun show loophole, as well as a pan on high-capacity magazines.
Giffords and Kelly announced the group in a pointed op-ed in USA Today that's worth a read. They write:
Special interests purporting to represent gun owners but really advancing the interests of an ideological fringe have used big money and influence to cow Congress into submission. Rather than working to find the balance between our rights and the regulation of a dangerous product, these groups have cast simple protections for our communities as existential threats to individual liberties. Rather than conducting a dialogue, they threaten those who divert from their orthodoxy with political extinction.
As a result, we are more vulnerable to gun violence. Weapons designed for the battlefield have a home in our streets. Criminals and the mentally ill can easily purchase guns by avoiding background checks. Firearm accessories designed for killing at a high rate are legal and widely available. And gun owners are less responsible for the misuse of their weapons than they are for their automobiles.
Mostyn's a great choice for treasurer, since he's not only a prominent donor, but also a gun owner who can speak credibly on the need for sensible reforms that won't impede hunting and rifle sports. As Mostyn told Politico, "I'm a gun-owner, but I'm also a father of a five-year-old who I take to school everyday. We aren't anti-gun, but we also aren't anti-common sense."
There's definitely a need for a broad range of organizations calling for measures to prevent gun violence. It's great to see one of Texas's most prominent donors step up and lead the most significant of these efforts to emerge in the wake of the Newtown tragedy.
Well, with election news coming fast and furious, it's time for another update.
Vote for A Texan: Joaquin Castro, Nick Lampson, and Pete Gallego are in a contest with other DCCC candidates to win a fundraising email. Vote for them here. The winner gets a sweet fundraising email.
Ron-Paul-Supporting SuperPAC supporting... Michael Cargill? Yes, the crazy gun nut in the Democratic primary for Travis County Constable in Precinct 2 has picked up support from the "Liberty for All" SuperPAC. The SuperPAC was started by John Ramsey, a 21-year-old college student from Nacogdoches, and apparently has substantial cash in it -- they spent a half-million in a Kentucky Congressional race and won an open primary. Yikes.
CD-21: Some of the Anti-SOPA folks have organized to buy a billboard outside of Internet freedom-hater Lamar Smith's office, which reads "Don't mess with the Internet." There is also a kick-ass tee-shirt.
CD-23: The national League of Conservation Voters is going hard against Ciro Rodriguez in the CD-23 primary. First they spent $95,296 on a mail program, and now they're spending $100,000 on TV. Here's the ad:
Harris County Board of Education: Diane Trautman was endorsed by Democracy for America. Trautman previously ran for Harris County Tax Assessor Collector.
SD-11: Democratic donor Steve Mostyn has donated $275,000 to one of Larry Taylor's Republican primary opponents, Dave Norman, in the open race for SD-11. No surprise, since Larry Taylor's main funders are Texans for Lawsuit Reform, who have given Taylor $800,000. Taylor is basically a wholly paid subsidiary of TLR, as he helps the group their efforts to fight consumer-focused insurance reform, gauge insurance purchasers, and not pay insurance claims. While it may be surprising, remember that given our gerrymandered state and basic lack of competitive general election districts, often the only way to get rid of bad Republicans is to knock them out in the primaries. The Texas Tribune has more.
Do This Thing: Last reminder, go vote in the DCCC contest!