Report: Texas PAC spending jumps© 2009 The Associated Press
April 27, 2009
AUSTIN, Texas — A record number of Texas political action committees spent about $120 million in the 2008 election cycle, up 21 percent from the preceding two-year election period, a report released Monday shows.
Texas political action committee spending for the 2006 election cycle was $99 million, according to the report by the nonprofit Texans for Public Justice, which tracks money in politics.
The Texas Democratic Trust, funded heavily by plaintiff lawyer money, and Texas Democratic Party spent close to $6 million each in the 2008 cycle, increasing their combined spending 211 percent to become the two largest political committees in Texas, the report said.
The organization based its findings on disclosure reports filed with the Texas Ethics Commission.
Texas' two biggest new PACs, First Tuesday and Blue Texas, spent more than $900,000 apiece promoting Democrats. The ActBlue Texas PAC spent more than $800,000, and the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund surpassed $300,000.
Meanwhile, the Republican Party and GOP-leaning Texans for Lawsuit Reform collectively spent $8.7 million, ranking as the state's No. 3 and No. 4 PACs.
Although ideological and single-issue committees led the dramatic increase in 2008 spending, they accounted for a smaller share of total spending than business political action committees.