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Capitol Crowd

Our Capitol Crowd series outlines and highlights the politicians, advocacy groups, and donors that have the biggest impact during the 140-day legislative session. Check back throughout the session for updates.

10/11/17

Seven Things You Should Know About the Post-Special Session Report

To prevent the appearance (or reality) of politicians getting paid to vote a certain way, they are not allowed to accept campaign donations during the biennial regular legislative sessions. But it’s not uncommon for political donations to pour into campaign accounts after a legislative session. As usual, legislators raised vast amounts of money from individual… CONTINUE

10/04/17

Shocking Donations by Abbott’s Inner Circle

Would you be surprised to find out the Chief of Staff for one of the most conservative governors in the nation gave money to a group dedicated to helping elect Democrats? We were. At Transparency Texas, we routinely examine the political giving (and taking) of elected officials. And for good reason – these men and… CONTINUE

06/14/17

Abbott’s Business

Conventional wisdom in the Texas Capitol is that politicians, particularly Republicans, must decide if they are with voters or the business community. Allegedly one cannot advocate on behalf of both. A more honest explanation of the battle within the Republican party comes down to whether politicians want to side with voters and business owners who… CONTINUE

05/26/17

The Man with the Calendar

In the Texas House of Representatives, while each piece of legislation is referred to an issue specific committee, one committee has veto power over every single measure before it reaches the full House for a vote: the House Committee on Calendars. Republican State Representative Todd Hunter is currently serving his fourth term (out of ten… CONTINUE

05/17/17

Texans for Lawsuit Reform

Texans for Lawsuit Reform (TLR) is a non-profit organization focused on tort reform in Texas. It was founded in 1994 by several prominent Texas businessmen including Leo Linbeck – CEO of Aquinas Companies, Dick Trabulsi the owner of a liquor store chain in Houston, and Richard “Dick” Weekley the co-founder of Weekley Homes. TLR’s primary… CONTINUE

05/15/17

What Happened to the Ban on Abortion by Dismemberment?

A legal ban on abortion by dismemberment – a gruesome procedure whereby an unborn baby is killed in utero by dismembering his or her limbs, one by one – just died in the Texas House. What happened? Until recently, it seemed a dismemberment ban was sure to become a reality during the 85th session of the… CONTINUE

05/10/17

Border Health PAC

Headquartered along the Rio Grande in McAllen, Texas, the Border Health PAC has serious sway with lawmakers in Austin. With donations of $2,545,960 and expenditures of $2,554,042, Border Health PAC (BHPAC) is one of the “heavy-hitters” in the Texas political scene, ranking 8th for donations among Texas political PACs in the last election cycle. Border… CONTINUE

05/08/17

Why is the Tesla Bill Dead?

Electric car manufacturer Tesla, the brainchild of billionaire Elon Musk, has long sought legal permission to bypass car dealerships and sell directly to consumers in the Lone Star State. Current Texas law requires all new car sales occur through a dealership. Clearly, if Tesla were given the ability to sell directly from the manufacturer to consumers, car… CONTINUE

05/03/17

Texas Home School Coalition

Texas Home School Coalition (THSC) is the most politically active group in Texas dedicated to issue advocacy on behalf of homeschool parents and families. The THSC is made of three organizations, THSC – a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, THSC PAC – a state focused political action committee, and the THSC Association – a 501(c)(4) non-profit focused on… CONTINUE

05/01/17

Texas Association of Business

Self-dubbed the “Voice of Texas’ business,” the Texas Association of Business (TAB) has been involved in both policy advocacy and campaigns over the years. Originally aligned with Republican interests over a Democrat-led legislature, in recent years TAB has supported more moderate Republicans and Democrats friendly with the speaker of the Texas House, Joe Straus, rather… CONTINUE