The 'moderate Republican' Dallas businessmen for Bill White...are Democrats

Dave Montgomery, FWST:

More than a dozen prominent Dallas business and civic leaders, including several who supported Kay Bailey Hutchison in the Republican primary for governor, have signed a letter backing Democrat Bill White in his effort to unseat Republican Gov. Rick Perry in the Nov. 2 general election.

The White campaign hopes to use the prestigious names to help the former Houston mayor cut into Perry's support among conservative business circles and illustrate his ability to reach across party lines.

John Adams, former chairman and CEO of Chase Bank of Texas, said the majority of the signers are moderate Republicans like himself. But he said some are independents who have supported both Democrats and Republicans.

About half the signers supported Hutchison in the primary, according to White's campaign.

Eyeballing the list (printed below), I didn't see names I recognized as being Republicans, moderate or otherwise. Here's the list:

Among the signers are Dallas investor Edward "Rusty" Rose, a prominent supporter of former President George W. Bush who served with Bush as a partner in the Texas Rangers baseball club; former Pizza Hut executive Mike Rawlings; and Lucy Billingsley, who heads a multimillion-dollar real estate company. Others include Garrett Boone, co-founder of the Container Store, and his wife, Cecilia; investor Bill Montgomery and his wife, Susan; and Naomi Aberly, a philanthropist who formerly chaired Planned Parenthood of North Texas. Former Dallas/Fort Worth Airport board Chairman Tom Dunning, who signed the letter with his wife, Sally Dunning...

I'm all for people calling themselves whatever they want to call themselves, but if someone gives hundreds of thousands of dollars to Democrats and never to Republicans, I generally don't call that person a moderate Republican. I call them a Democrat.

So let's go in reverse order of the people mentioned by Dave Montgomery as business leaders (and moderate Republicans) for Bill White, according to the research I spent this morning doing in databases for federal races:

Tom and Sally Dunning. Sally Dunning is a prolific donor. By the records I checked, she had given 100% to Democrats. Her husband Tom had given even more prolifically, and about 95% of his hundreds of thousands of dollars went to Democrats.

Naomi Aberly. The former chair of Planned Parenthood has also given hundreds of thousands. 100% to Democrats.

Susan and Bill Montgomery. Susan Montgomery has given about 75-80% of her donations to Democrats. If you take out donations to Kay Bailey Hutchison, she's given about 90+% to Democrats, including to Bill Clinton over George Bush in 92 and Ron Kirk in 2002. She maxed out for Obama in 08. Bill Montgomery is a little bit more difficult to say for certain, as there are alot of William Montgomerys who contribute politically. However, if I located his giving correctly -- and I'm about 90% sure I have -- he's given mostly to Democrats, including Bill Clintons campaigns, Ron Kirk in 2002 and several challengers to W in 2004.

Garrett and Cecilia Boone. Garrett Boone has probably donated about $100k, and 100% of it was to Democrats. Obama, John Edwards, Rick Noriega, Harry Reid, Ron Kirk. Cecilia Boone has given even more prolifically, maxing out to both Hillary, John Edwards and Obama, as well as Chet Edwards, Ron Kirk, etc etc. 100% of her donations were to Democrats.

Lucy Billingsley. She maxed out for both Obama and Hillary in 2008. She maxed out to Ron Kirk over John Cornyn in 2002, though she did give Cornyn $1k a month after that election. She's probably given about 50/50 to Republicans and Democrats, although if you took out Kay Bailey Hutchison (her largest recipient) then she would have given distinctly more to Democrats.

Michael Rawlings. Maxed out to Obama, Hillary, McCain and John Edwards in 2008. Without calculating exactly, I'd say he's given between 75-90% of his money to Democrats. If I'm correct about his wife -- and I'm pretty sure I am -- she's also an 80%ish Democratic donor (the exception being W).

Edward "Rusty" Rose. Chose Ron Kirk over John Cornyn in 2002. The majority of his donations are to George W. Bush and committees that W raised money for while he was president. Because of that, more than 50% of his donations have gone to Republicans. If, however, you exclude his donations to W, then he's 50/50 or even leaning Democrat. In Texas races, he appears to have frequently chosen the Democrat. For example, he chose Bob Krueger over Kay Bailey Hutchison in 93, as well as Kirk over Cornyn.

John Adams. Longtime and frequent contributor to Martin Frost. Maxed out in primary and general to Chet Edwards this cycle. Chose Ron Kirk over John Cornyn in 2002. Adams has probably given about 65% to Republicans, I'd say, although a significant amount of that is contributions to W and KBH. You could make the argument that in the competitive races in Texas that he's donated to, John Adams favored the Democrat.

Despite John Adams' spin, these "moderate Republicans" are actually not moderate Republicans. If they are, they are a very strange breed of moderate Republican that likes to give lots of money to Democrats.

In short, Bill White has the support of some Democrats who are Dallas businessmen. How exactly does that help him reach into conservative business circles and cross party lines?

Posted by Evan @ 07/30/10 08:54 AM


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1 step further: did any of those folks give to KBH for governor as opposed to her Senate cmte? Methinks no

Posted by snooki @ 07/30/10 12:17 PM

I did a cursory search of the state database.

Ed Rose
100k Tom Schieffer for Governor
20k Bill White

John Adams
100k KBH for gov
5k Bill White

Michael Rawlings
5k Bill White
3.2k White

Lucy Billingsley
10k Bill white
1k KBH

Cecilia Boone
55k Bill White

Garrett Boone
20k bill white

Bill Montgomery
Bill White 5k

Susan Montgomery
10k KBH
Naomi Aberly
79k Bill White
2k Tom Schieffer
Thomas Dunning
2500 KBH
5k White

I think it's pretty obvious that these aren't Republicans, but a few of them did donate, and obviously John Arnold was a big KBH supporter.

Posted by Rick Perry vs World @ 07/30/10 01:16 PM

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