The Money in District E

Many of you have read about the recent flurry of campaign finance reports from Kuff and Greg and Muse for the City of Houston, but I noticed I hadn’t seen much mentioned about the race in District E.  Well, I decided to check out the reports myself and found some interesting information.

Mike Sullivan:  After raising over $43,000 since the last report in July, Sullivan hits the home stretch with almost $103,000.  Along with nice amounts from the usual incumbent-supporting PACs and law firms, Sullivan also raised money from various company executives.  As some of the other reports have shown, candidates have also been receiving support from other candidates.  In Sullivan’s case, he also accepted a check from At Large #1 candidate Stephen Costello.  A particularly interesting contribution came from a “William White” with Friends of Bill White for $5,000.  Expenses of interest include payments to his consultant Allen Blakemore and to voter suppression experts Campaign Data Systems.

Wayne Garrison:  After raising an impressive $30,300 since his last report, Garrison hits the home stretch with just less than $17,000.  A couple of “smaller” donations came from my nemesis in the Letters to the Editor section of the local paper, Tony Geldens, known for his anti-Latino commentary and not a fan of at all of Sullivan’s.  Along with various company execs are contributions from plenty of Kingwood businessfolks and residents.  About $10,000 also seems to have come from family, and that’s not a bad thing since the first rule of fundraising is to hit your personal circle.  One notable contributor was local businessman Rick Alspaugh, who I hear also threw a big shindig for the Bill White for Texas campaign (surprised!!!).  A couple of other notables were Jack Fields and 2007 “E” candidate Annette Dwyer whom Sullivan soundly defeated.  Expenses of note were a nice chunk of change to Spencer Neuman, another one of those GOP consultants.  What makes Garrison’s report look “good” is the number of individual local contributors.

Obviously, for progressives in District E, we have to do the almost impossible and look beyond the “conservative” credentials.  Voters must decide if Sullivan has been accessible to all residents, whether his constituency services have been effective, whether he has worked well with his at-large and District colleagues to ensure a positive position for District E, among other aspects.  For Garrison with the progressive community (because we do vote!), showing that he could be accessible is just as important.  Both have appeared at Kingwood Area Democrats events (the center of progressive Kingwood) at one time or another, but as the campaign hops up, there hasn’t much effort toward this group of activists.  So, when I am asked for whom I am voting, I basically tell them what I just wrote.

Checking my mailbox lately, I haven’t received anything from either, which means they are fighting for Republican voters, thus far.  Perhaps as we get closer to early voting, I will receive something.  Otherwise, I will be announcing my decision for whom I am voting soon, just in case some of my progressive Kingwood and District E friends really want to know.  Whether that produces a “________________ was supported by a local Socialist, Nazi, Fascist, Illegal Alien-Loving, Obama-Voting, Liberal” mailer by either campaign, well, we’ll see.

One response to “The Money in District E

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