As we passed beyond the reporting period triggering 8-day-out reports, four new PACs have registered with the Texas Ethics Commission and appointed treasurers:
- Our Conservative Texas Future – Cabell Hobbs of Austin, treasurer
- Texas Family Project – James Daly of Flower Mound, treasurer
- Texans for Fairness – Kevin Kennedy of Houston, treasurer; and
- Texas Truth in Politics – Sharollet Thompson of Dallas, treasurer.
None of these four PACs has filed a campaign finance report disclosing its contributors or expenditures, so we are not sure whether, or to what extent, these entities are involved in the runoff election.
According to one legislator, Our Conservative Texas Future PAC is involved in the HD8 runoff between Cody Harris and Thomas McNutt. Rep. Jonathan Stickland (R-Bedford) tweeted this last night:
Shame on Our Conservative Texas Future PAC for their lies & deception on HD8! Establishment is desperate. @VoteMcNutt will be a great Rep!
— Jonathan Stickland (@RepStickland) May 16, 2018
Hobbs is the treasurer of an identically named federal SuperPAC, which has reported a pair of donations totaling $105K: $100K from the Dallas-based Dartmore Group and $5K from Dallas hotelier Monty Bennett, a longtime backer of Empower Texans PAC. The federal SuperPAC has spent nearly $300K to date supporting Rep. Lance Gooden (R-Terrell) in the CD5 runoff over Bunni Pounds.
Hobbs is also the treasurer of the dark money #PROJECTREDTX PAC, which formed in Texas in December, and several federal PACs including Commonwealth Conservative Leadership Club, Mississippi Republican Senate Nominee Committee, New OC Future PAC, Red Sentinel and Tennesseans for a Better Tomorrow.
We were not able to track down specifics for the other PACs. Using campaign finance records, we located a Flower Mound pilot named Jim Daly who has given small donations to Democratic candidates and causes over the years, and a Houston attorney named Kevin Kennedy who has contributed to a Democratic judicial candidate. These may not be the same individuals as those associated with the new PACs. It does not appear that Sharollet Thompson of Dallas has made any recent reportable political contributions.
We’ll keep our eyes on the independent expenditure reports to see if any of these PACs appear over the next few days. Even if expenditures are reported, we likely have to wait until July to see who may have funded them.
©2018 Texas Election Source LLC