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  • GOP House candidates raise 17 times more cash than Dems

    May 7th 2013


    WASHINGTON - Houston has become a bastion of Republican congressional fundraising, with GOP House candidates raising more than 17 times as much campaign cash from area donors as their Democratic counterparts in the first three months of 2013.

    A Houston Chronicle analysis of Federal Election Commission data found that Texas and national Republicans raised nearly $387,000 from the Houston metropolitan area through March 31. Democrats raised about $22,000 during the same period.

    Houston wasn't the only big-dollar center turning its back on Democrats. Republicans, who represent 24 of the state's 36 congressional districts, also trounced Democrats in the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area, $801,000 to $138,000. Democrats reported zero congressional contributions in the Panhandle, the High Plains and Deep East Texas.

    Border good to Dems

    The only section of the state dominated by Democrats was along the Texas-Mexico border region, where the party raised nearly $197,000 to $9,500 for Republicans.

    The top Houston-area fundraisers were Republican Reps. Bill Flores of Bryan, with $253,000, and Kevin Brady of The Woodlands, with $132,000. The state's most prolific fundraiser was Republican Jeb Hensarling of Dallas, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, with $617,000. The leading Democrat was freshman Rep. Pete Gallego of Alpine, who represents the only politically competitive congressional district in the state.

    Flores' contributions included what may be the final federal contribution by the late Houston real-estate magnate Bob Perry, who gave the retired Houston energy executive $1,000 on March 14, about a month before he died.

    "I'm proud to be a person that he would support - whether first, last or middle," Flores said. "He will be fondly remembered as one of the integral folks in transforming the state from 'blue' to 'red.' "

    Wide range of sources

    Texas lawmakers received their donations from a wide range of sources - and locations. Houston Democrat Sheila Jackson Lee raised 100 percent of her campaign cash from Texas donors, the only member of the Texas delegation to rely exclusively on local contributors. Rep. Louie Gohmert, a Tyler Republican, received 88 percent of his contributions from Texans.

    On the opposite end of the spectrum, Houston Democrat Gene Green raised less than 12 percent of his meager $36,000 haul from the Lone Star State.

  • Congressman Mike Conaway of Midland, Lilly & Company client, more than triples his fundraising!

    April 17th 2013

    Shuster fundraising soars as donors shift from Mica

    It’s good to be the chairman.

    House Transportation Committee Chairman Bill Shuster raised nearly $500,000 in the first quarter, six times what he brought in two years ago and almost 10 times what former Chairman John Mica (R-Fla.) made in his first quarter without the gavel.

    At this pace, Shuster is on track to eclipse in 2013 the $1.6 million he raised in all of 2011 and 2012.

    Part of the shift in donations is normal as lobbyists and industry groups donate to the chairman that oversees their issues. But more importantly, a transportation lobbyist said, is that Shuster is so well-respected in the transportation community.

    “I think it’s the routine,” the lobbyist said of the Pennsylvania Republican's large haul. “But I think people are incredibly optimistic about Shuster. It’s him as a person and as a congressman. He’s viewed as such a reasonable person by the other side of the aisle.”

    It’s not just Shuster who has benefitted from Republican term-limit rules that bring in a new group of chairmen every couple of years.

    New Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) more than doubled his first quarter contributions from 2011 to 2013, and both Foreign Relation Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.) and Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) bumped up their fundraising over the period by more than $100,000 when they took their new posts.

    But other new leaders, such as Science Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas), Homeland Security Chairman Mike McCaul (R-Texas) and House Administration Chairwoman Candice Miller (R-Mich.), all brought in less money in the first filing period of 2013 than they did in 2011.

    New House Ethics Chairman Mike Conaway (R-Texas) nearly tripled his fundraising over that same period from $132,000 to $362,000. But Shuster’s exponential lift in fundraising stands out in the House Republican Caucus — and comes as he prepares to wield the gavel over a passenger rail bill this year and a surface transportation bill in 2014 that could easily set up more than $100 billion in spending.

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