October 26, 2010
By Sarah Kleiner Varble
Records from the Texas Ethics Commission show Republican Gov. Rick Perry and his Democratic challenger, Bill White, have collectively raised $59.8 million in this election cycle — and they spent all but $12.8 million as of late September in their quest to win the Nov. 2 election.
Together, the two major-party candidates in this race have raised slightly more than Perry and his three opponents in the 2006 race for governor, who collectively brought in $58.4 million in the same time period. (Democrat Chris Bell raised about $4 million in the same time it has taken White to generate nearly $21.4 million, and Perry has out-raised himself by about $5.6 million.)
The stakes are undoubtedly high for both candidates this election cycle. . .
Bob Perry, a homebuilder from Houston, has given Rick Perry (no relation) more than $900,000 this campaign cycle, according to ethics commission reports. On the other side of the aisle, Steve Mostyn and his wife, Amber Anderson-Mostyn, of Houston, gave White $125,000, and their law firm donated more than $3 million to the Back to Basics political action committee that was behind the attack ads labeling Rick Perry a “coward.”
“When there are no campaign contribution limits, and you have a sort of cowboy political culture like we have in Texas, it allows wealthy people to push large piles of chips into the middle of the table very late in the process with little public disclosure and no time to combat it — and it does affect the outcome of the elections,” said Cal Jillson, political science professor at Southern Methodist University.
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