A handful of mega-wealthy donors helped Gov. Rick Perry raise almost twice as much money as Democrat Bill White between July and September, according to campaign releases Monday.
The $8.2 million that poured into Perry’s campaign account was boosted by $600,000 from Houston home builder Bob Perry, no relation, and $275,000 from Gulf States Toyota owner Thomas Friedkin.
Perry also received $250,000 from Dallas investor Harold Simmons, whose company is building a low-level nuclear waste dump in West Texas.
White reported raising $4.68 million between July 1 and Sept. 23. His biggest individual donation was $125,000 from Robert Patton Jr., owner of Fort Worth magazine.
Neither Perry’s campaign nor White’s released his full Texas Ethics Commission filing, making it difficult to assess their campaign spending and cash-on-hand reports.
Perry’s release said he had $10 million cash on hand for the final five weeks of the campaign, while White reported having $2.75 million.
White spokeswoman Katy Bacon said that was because White had spent $11 million on buying television airtime going forward into October.
Here’s White’s report and here’s Perry‘s. White had a $3 million cash on hand advantage as of June 30, and he’s obviously been using it. From what I am told, White had spent $4 million on TV ad buys for the month of October as of September 23, while Perry had only paid for TV time through September 27. He’s bought more since then – I know I’ve seen some ads – and he’ll surely buy more – what else are you going to do with $10 million in campaign cash? – so the cash-on-hand number as of September 23 is a bit misleading. If you suddenly start seeing a bunch of Perry TV spots, you’ll know. I should note that one usually gets a better deal on TV ad buys the earlier one makes them, so White’s money ought to go farther.
There’s also still third-party spending to be accounted for. The Back to Basics folks have another statewide newspaper ad attacking Perry, which you can see here if you don’t read your paper the old-fashioned way. Unlike their previous ad, this one was accepted by the Houston Chronicle; you can see it on page A9. And speaking of newspapers, it’s not an ad but you ought to see the Tyler newspaper calling out Perry for his refusal to debate (full text here).