Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Campaign Finances: Dora Olivo Takes Contribution From HillCo PAC

That just about does it.

When all the ballots are counted this March 4th, we will have a Democrat to run in Texas’s House District 27 against a Richmond coffee house owner. I would have hoped that the Democrat we choose will not be beholden to Bob Perry and his cronies who run HillCo PAC. But now it seems that we have a campaign finance disclosure that needs ‘splainin.

Take a look here at the bottom of page 6. It is State Rep Dora Olivo’s campaign finance report. In it, on page 6, she lists a $1000 contribution from HillCo PAC. This political action committee is a pet project of Houston home builder Bob Perry, notoriously the man behind 2004’s anti-Kerry swift-boat campaign. Perry himself contributed $75,000 to the PAC this year, the lion’s share of the PAC’s total funding.

I don’t know how much you remember about the frou-frou and dust that was kicked up earlier this year when teams of progressive bloggers from Texas jumped all over Mikal Watts’ campaign finance statements when they not only listed contributions from HillCo PAC, but they also revealed that Mikal Watts’ own PAC made campaign contributions to HillCo.

It was poison then. Really, it is still poison, but now we have Mikal Watts comfortably out of the limelight and the running.

Not so with State Rep Olivo.

You have to ask yourself this. When the common thread that runs between State Rep Dora Olivo, State Rep Phil King, State Rep Betty Brown, State Rep. John Davis, State Rep. Mike Jackson and State Rep. Mike Krusee is that they all received campaign contributions from HillCo PAC, you have to ask yourself why?


Names not on the list? State Rep. Jim Dunnam, State Rep. Jessica Farrar, State Rep. Senfronia Thompson, State Rep. Garnet Coleman, and State Rep. Lon Burnam to name a few.

And State Rep Rick Noriega is not there also.

You have to ask yourself, when HillCo PAC targets Democrat Dora Olivo’s campaign as one to give a hand to, when the typical receiver of funds from this PAC is generally a conservative to ultra-conservative Republican, why did they do that?

Is it because they feel a threat? Did we see any HillCo money going to the Republican challenger in HD 27? No, and not likely in the future. Republicans don’t win in HD 27. No, HillCo, and the Perry cronies want Dora Olivo to win her primary in March, because the alternative progressive Democratic candidate running for the HD 27 nomination, Ron E. Reynolds, poses a threat to them. Maybe it’s the devil they know versus the devil they don’t know, but my guess is HillCo wants friends in the legislature, and Reynolds doesn’t seem to me to be much in the way of being in HillCo’s hip pocket.

If HillCo PAC is against Ron Reynolds being a State Rep, I guess that makes me for him.


Anonymous said...

Don't you just love it when both candidates in a race are throwing mud. Looks like this could be the weakest two democratic candidates fielded recently given the legal problems Reynolds has and the PACs involved.

Thanks halfempty!

Anonymous said...

Good release Hal, but aren't you forgetting Reynolds is not in office yet to have such a history? Also don't you think those backing him from that industry are already lining up to insure access for whom ever wins? Better ck his disclosures after the election. The standard poli-trick of the special interest is to file those late so they aren't available to the public until it is already too late and what about his legal baggage?

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you democrats have some serious problems with your candidates too.

Hal said...

Anon, I don't work for the Reynolds campaign. This isn't the Reynolds campaign slinging mud. It's me.

If mud is taking campaign contributions from known supporters of the conservative cause, then I guess that makes me a slinger of it.

Olivo's best defense is to repudiate the contribution, not to cast mudslinging aspersions on a citizen/voter.

jolie said...

I worked for dora olivo - not for long, as it's the rare staffer who works for her for long - and I can confirm that she is focused on accepting any and all contributions. she also searches out contributions from people or organizations whose interests she offers to support (texas alliance for life, for example).

for dora it's not so important to advance good policy or the welfare of her constituents as it is to advance her bank balance.

she once returned from a lunch meeting outside the capitol during session, gestured to her jacket pocket and patted it with satisfaction: "got it," she said. I did not see what was in her pocket, but interpreted her gesture to mean receipt of a contribution.

all well and good, except illegal as all get-out. legislators are prohibited from accepting contributions during the session.

talentpool said...

That's funny jolie, I never had that experience with her. As a matter of fact she was involved in some very real grassroots efforts, unlike her opponent who only claims to be.

Anonymous said...

You mean that isn't you I recognized standing in the picture with the other special interest recipients on his campaign site picts?

"Anon, I don't work for the Reynolds campaign."

Anonymous said...

Which citizen voter are you talking about Halfempty? Is it Reynolds the candidate, you, or are you talking about the quote from this article,

"On Nov. 22, 2005, Ronald E. Reynolds, 31, of Houston, accepted a six-month, partially probated suspension effective March 31, 2006, upon completion of his current active suspension, with the first three months actively served and the remainder probated. An evidentiary panel of the District 4-D Grievance Committee found that Reynolds was retained to represent his client in a personal injury case. In January 2004, Reynolds settled the case without his client’s knowledge or consent. Reynolds then received settlement proceeds from the insurer without notifying his client, negotiated the settlement check without distributing the funds to his client, and misrepresented to his client that he was still working on the case after he had successfully negotiated the settlement check. Reynolds violated Rules 1.01(b)(2), 1.03(a) and (b), 1.14(a) and (b), and 8.04(a)(3). He agreed to pay $350 in attorney’s fees."

I think I would rather support someone who hadn't done anything like this report states.

Anonymous said...

"all well and good, except illegal as all get-out. legislators are prohibited from accepting contributions during the session."

I wonder who this nameless, faceless former employee is Hal? More mud from your "D club"?

Anonymous said...

I thought you voted for Ms. Olivo in 2006?

Anonymous said...

What's this sh__? Democrat on democrat?

Hal said...

Anon, I also have seen a photograph of me standing next to Minnie Mouse but that doesn't mean that I am a member of the Wisconsin Dairy Farmers Association.

jolie said...

@talentpool: I'm not disputing dora's involvement with grassroots efforts. I'm talking about who she accepts money from - hillco, big pharma, a right to life organization.

there is also the fact that her legislative record is mighty thin for someone who has been at the capitol for as long as she has.

the district deserves better.

Hal said...

Anon, This "sh__" is called a primary. That's where people of the same party and core of beliefs vie for the same spot on the November ballot.

And as far as firing canons into the deck, you might want to ask yourself "who fired first?".

talentpool said...

This doesn't look like a lite bill load jolie:

blue power said...

These are the kind of good ole Texas fights I like. It reminds me of the old LBJ days,,,go blue!

Hal said...

Don't want to butt in on the pissing contest between Jolie and @talentpool, but I just took a look at that list, tal, and can't bring myself to agree with you on your take, whatever that is, besides NOT being a lite bill load.

Where's the beef?

nuts101 said...

you are just hating because she is a women. admit. submit.

jolie said...

@talentpool: darlin', you're proving my point, thanks!

of the 27 bills that dora authored (see link talentpool provided), only two passed. I'm not a heavy math person, but I believe that's less than 10%.

the two that became law had to do with "certain subdivision golf courses" and creating a MUD in ft bend county. these bills can only be described as parochial - i.e., lightweight and of concern to only a narrow constituency. anything substantive or substantial either never gets a hearing or is left pending. what that means, which if you work at the capitol you would recognize, is that she didn't do the legwork necessary to move her bills.

dora did have great success with the four resolutions she filed. every one of them passed!

seriously, it's really hard work to pass legislation. you have to understand the process and be willing to take the time to do what needs to be done to convince your fellow legislators to vote for your bill. honest, the reps won't just vote for your bill because you filed it.

Anonymous said...

Should be one he__ of a race then! I will keep an eye on it for more entertainment value.

Pass the popcorn somebody and pull up a chair.

Hal said...

OK, I'll do the math. That's a 7.4% success rate. By way of comparison, the odds of drilling a wildcat in Texas and finding pay is just below 10%.

That notwithstanding, I really do appreciate the work that HB 3232 did for Texas golfers. Not to mention that it was a bipartisan bill co-authored by Republicans Charlie Howard, John Davis, John Zerwas and Craddick D Sylvester Turner.

It keeps golfers on the fairways and out of the streets where they can get into trouble.

Anonymous said...

"the two that became law had to do with "certain subdivision golf courses" and creating a MUD in ft bend county. these bills can only be described as parochial"

I don't think the Quail Valley homeowners (about 5500 houses or 10 to 15,000 people) would agree with you jolie and I think her '07 efforts are pretty normal when you consider the sheer number of bills introduced each session that don't make it through the SIG gauntlet. You keep trying to belittle her, why? Is it she doesn't support your abortion views? So your another one of those 1 issue democrats. Too bad.

--hal, how about being just a wee bit fair and allowing this answer?

Hal said...

Oh . . . I'll be fair. See? Just keep is civil and try to avoid petty personal attacks . . . and other rules as I make them up.

HB 3232 is anything but a clear cut win for Quail Valley homeowners. Go look here for the whole story.

Anonymous said...

Go blue go, go blue go! Who should I pull for half? BTW, what are you half of?

Hal said...

Halfway sure that most of the anti-Reynolds postings on this thread are from a single individual.

jolie said...

@hal: yeah, I was just thinking that - most of the anti-reynolds postings are from a single individual.

anyway, anchors aweigh all! it's primary season! woohoo!

TexasSusan said...

And according to voting records at the election office, the person - Chris, we know it's you - has only voted in one primary election. The 2006 REPUBLICAN primary. Of course he wants Dora to win - so the weakest Democratic candidate will face the Republican opponent in November.

More GOP dirty tricks.

Anonymous said...

Don't you just love it. I bet halfempty is actually an old soviet spy for texassusan or maybe they are the same. Good clues! Go Team Blue.

Hal said...

Они открывали наш план, Susan. Используйте план б.

Anonymous said...

Der Worte sind genug gewechselt,
lasst mich auch endlich Taten sehn!

Mark Bankston, ideological proofreader said...

Hal -

It would probably more accurate to describe HillCo as Republican Speaker Tom Craddick's pet project, and that bothers me even more. Mr. Perry is of course a quite generous under-writer of HillCo, but he's like a rich old uncle with money to burn. It's Craddick who gives HillCo its marching orders.

And if we're going to start talking about PAC money, we might as well talk about the other 800-pound gorillas in Dora Olivo's living room. Fact is, Dora has two sources of money.

First is the Trial Lawyers Association and their group TIR. This money was secured by fellow House Democrats (who now support Ron) when Dora pleaded back in 2006 that she was under threat from "an even worse Craddick D" named Steve Brown. Her evidence, by the way, was a similar contribution made to Brown from HillCo PAC.

Her other source of money is Speaker Craddick's money, corporate PACs, real estate developers, and various groups hostile to the interests of working Texans. She has taken thousands and thousands from:

HillCo PAC
Carl Parker CAP Lobbyist PAC

Developer's and Realtors PACs:

Home Builders Association PAC
Greater Houston Builders Associaton PAC
Texas Association of Realtors PAC
Texas On-Site Wastewater Association PAC

Bankers / Lenders PACs:

ACC Capital Holdings PAC
Bankers Association of Texas PAC
Texas Credit Union League PAC

Big Medical Industry PACs:

Texpac Texas Medical Association PAC
Texas Academy of Physicians PAC
Texas Podiatric Physician PAC
Texas Optometric PAC
Taro PAC

Energy PACs:

CenterPoint Energy PAC

Just a few of her Corporate PACs:

Automobile Dealers PAC
Toyota PAC
One Call Concepts PAC
Trinity Industries PAC
Whole Sale Beer Distributors of Texas
Beer Alliance PAC
Licensed Beverage Distributors PAC

On the other hand, 99.9% of Ron's donors have been individuals, reflecting what I see as genuine grassroots support:

(Oh, and that .1%? A small contribution from those damn lobbyists at Fort Bend Academy of Dance.... They probably want tax breaks for doing the Charleston.)

Anonymous said...

What idiot posted the partial list above?

Hal said...

Now as a matter of course, I do not allow comments through that use words of deprecation toward me or other commenters. The word "idiot" falls within that classification. I do allow them through however, when I find it of use.

The commenter clearly has no idea how to read through a passage for comprehension. Had the commenter been alert, he/she would have seen that the commenter with the list clearly identified himself (as opposed to using the "Anonymous" moniker, something that I disdain). Had the commenter chosen to delve further into the preceding comment he/she would have discovered that the phrase "She has taken thousands and thousands from . . ." qualifies the list that followed as an incomplete list.

Now just who is the "idiot" around here?

Anonymous said...

Go Richard, Rick & Dora!

XDora Staffer said...

We really should start a support group of people who have been former staff members of Dora Olivo--the list would be long. We could all wear different color t-shirts depending on how long you were able to take working for her.

I started working for her in the 2003 session and worked until the end of Regular Session, that is the most I could take. A month after session, she called me and said, "OK, you've taken enough of a vacation, now come back to work." I told her I would rather be unemployed than work for her.

jolie said...

@xdora staffer - yay team! I worked for her before you .... sounds like dora's good times just keep on rollin' ....

OK so did she close her door to catch a nap in the afternoons while you were there? and who did she assign to make sure her novelas were taped?

Anonymous said...

I not only had to tape her novelas, I had to tape all the newscasts that happened when she went to Oklahoma with the other Dems that went.