Campaign Finance

Follow the Money


Campaign Finance or Follow the Money?


Campaign Finance or Follow the Money?

Part 1

by John Holladay - Revised August 29, 2011

Campaign Finance or Follow the Money?
Campaign Finance or Follow the Money?

We all need to know more about those we support to represent us.  The State of Texas is here to help, but it is OUR responsibility to be informed voters and campaign workers.

We also know what the evils of money can do to some people.  So research and find out who you really want to support.  Who are they, really?  You need facts to make the right “judgment” call.

The Texas Ethics Commission has an outstanding data base that files the reports from all of the PACs, candidates, elected officials and more.  There is a reason we can view this very worthwhile data – use it!  Yes, this takes work, is simple, but worth it

Let’s take your Texas House Representative as an example.  Go to the following location, click on “By Filer Name”, then enter the name below the list of choices, and hit “search”.


Then you get to choose which financial report you wish to view – pick a six month period to start.  You can see who contributes what to your Rep.  I looked at one non opposed District Representative that got over $387,963.02  in the first half of this year.  Money came in from the gambling interest in Oklahoma from HP in California (what?) and of other sources you would say “what” to.  You can readily see some big bucks coming from some interesting places.

Then do a search on the big donors.  Who they are & what they are & where they get their money & why are they donating (got to be a reason).  Don’t be surprised if you see George Soros pop up along the trial.

Then look at the how your Representative voted on various issues – for many you will find a correlation between the money received, the supporter, and the bills your Rep worked for or against.  Check out those who opposed the new immigration laws and you just may find a good deal of money came from those who love illegal cheap slave labor.

No matter what your opinion is on immigration – this is just “wrong”.

The Money Trail explains the vote – and you thought they were voting for their constituents.

In a number of articles, the Texas Tribune has insinuated the power of Special Interest – in other words – money.

I am just learning but I can find a Subject Matter Expert (SME) to help.  And if you find a big problem let me know –in confidence.

Let’s take Texas back “for the people”.

John Holladay

Campaign Finance or Follow the Money

Part 2

After reading Part 1 you can see the importance of using the public data provided by the Texas Ethics Commission (TEC). All elected officials, candidates, PACs, individual contributors, etc are required to file at least semiannually so there is a lot of data out there. Note that elected officials in Texas cannot receive donations during a session thus this is the best data for now. They are alphabetically listed.

Texans for Public Justice (TPJ) has simplified things for us. See their summary pages at:

To find a specific individual go to "January2011TEC" on the following site.

Download to Excel or another tool. You now have plenty of public "data". Data must be turned into information and then intelligence.

Copy to a new tab (always save J ). Sort by Contributor. Then combine all totals per contributor - tedious but a must do. So now you have a list of contributors & their totals for the periods. Now you have usable "information".

Start with the highest Contributor. Look at just the big ones. Using the web or what other sources you have, understand who that contributor really is, what do they stand for, where do they get their money (many liberal groups donate to the GOP, even Soros), and who else do they contribute to (can find this on the TEC web site).

How did your person vote? But more important - if in a committee - what did they do there? Did they support your views in the committees (most do not) or did they support the views of the "special interest" contributors who donated to them (many do). Or did they play the childish game of "follow the leader" and not serve you. Another major fault - look to the Straus supporters who were seeking "favors". Once done you now have "intelligence".

Share it in your district and with me and I will share it with our team working these issues. Publish it on web sites and make the "public data" into "public intelligence" we can all use.
Oh, and confront your elected official - face to face - and see what ya get. If he doesn't "serve" you - get rid of 'em.

The Texas Tribune (you need to be aware of this liberal media) also has a tool:

Let's take Texas back "for the people", Oh - I said that in part 1.

John Holladay