Texas connections abound in the campaign finance reports from Super PACs filed yesterday with the Federal Elections Commission.
Texans made up the majority of funding for at least five Super PACs involved in the presidential race.
Two wealthy Texans in particular, Harold Simmons of Dallas and Bob Perry of Houston, were especially active, giving to multiple groups. Both men previously helped fund Swiftboat Veterans for Truth, a group credited with undermining John Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign against George W. Bush.
Simmons is known as a pioneer of the leveraged buyout and is developing a controversial nuclear waste disposal site in West Texas. Bob Perry is the CEO of homebuilding giant Perry Homes.
Here's a closer look at how deep-pocketed Texans figured into Super PAC funding in 2011:
(The group has said it actually raised $51 million when you include Crossroads GPS, a related group that is not required to publicly list its donors.)
In the fall, Simmons personally gave $5 million to the group while Contran Corporation, his Dallas-based holding company, gave another $2 million. Bob Perry gave $2 million in August. Robert Rowling of Irving, owner of the Omni Hotels chain, gave $1 million. Two more Dallas sources, entrepreneur Kenny Troutt and Crow Holdings, gave $500,000 each.
Make Us Great Again: The most active pro-Perry PAC reported raising $5.5 million last year. More than 80 percent of the funds came from Texas contributors.
Simmons’ Contran Corp. gave $1 million, its largest contribution. Another 26 Texans gave between $50,000 and $250,000, including Bob Perry, who gave $100,000.
Americans for Rick Perry: This smaller pro-Perry Super PAC reported raising $433,256 last year, 67 percent of it from Texans.
Once again, Simmons was the largest donor at $100,000. Donations of $50,000 came from Dallas entrepreneur Kenny Troutt, Williams Brothers Construction CEO James Pitcock and electronics firm Dealer Computer Services, Inc., both of Houston. Americans for Rick Perry changed its name to Restoring Prosperity PAC last month.
Texans for America's Future: This anti-Perry super PAC was entirely funded via $125,000 from the Mostyn Law Firm of Houston. Lawyer Steve Mostyn is a longtime Perry critic who has heavily funded Democratic causes in the past.
Winning Our Future: The Pro-Newt Gingrich Super PAC reported raising $2.1 million, however that doesn’t include $10 million donated by Las Vegas Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson in January. Of the group’s 2011 haul, 24 percent was due to a $500,000 donation from Simmons.
Strong America Now: This smaller pro-Gingrich Super PAC was entirely funded in 2011 via $101,000 in donations from Dallas businessman Mike George. George is also the founder of a nonprofit of the same name that promotes reducing wasteful government spending.
Texans played a smaller role in Super PACs supporting US Rep. Ron Paul and Mitt Romney.
Restore Our Future: This pro-Romney Super PAC raised $30.2 million, just 7 percent from Texans in 2011, including $1 million from Bob Perry.
Endorse Liberty: This pro-Paul Super PAC launched in December and raised just over $1 million via six donations. Digital advertising executive Stephen Oskoui of Austin gave $50,000, 5 percent of the total haul.