Trial Lawyer millions funding Bill White attack ads?

Paul Burka writes about how the Democratic Governors Association is spending $700k per week on ads on top of a $2 million contribution to Bill White. His headline is "DGA targets Perry."

Dan Balz's story today says that White and Perry are running "about even" in the Houston area but that Perry holds a "solid lead" in the Dallas area. Dallas County has turned Democratic for the past four years, but the suburban collar counties–Collin, Denton, Rockwall, Kaufman, Ellis–are a Democratic graveyard. [Evan note: link to WaPo added.]

I don't get what the DGA sees in this race, except that things may be so bad for the Democrats in governor's races that they are looking for longshots to come in. But all of the indicators in this race are bad

The DGA probably doesn't see anything in this race. The DGA is a 527, headed by Tom Daschle's kid and unregulated by the FEC, that can accept unlimited contributions and pass them through to the campaign.

So is the DGA targeting Perry? Maybe...but likely not because there are much smarter places for the DGA to spend its money (FL, CA, OH, MA, PA, IL, MD, etc off the top of my head). It is much more likely that an uber-rich political donor is using the DGA to temporarily conceal the source of the money. That way, the media won't report who is funding the attacks, just that the DGA is spending money. Not only does it more or less conceal the source of the funds, but it leads political reporters who aren't paying attention (what's up WaPo?) to write about how the DGA is targeting the campaign, thus creating the illusion that DGA thinks the race is winnable.

Who would have a motive to try to conceal their identity for at least a few weeks? Well, one person has spent quite alot of money on attacking Rick Perry in order to help Bill White: Steve Mostyn. Donors generally don't want to become the issue in the campaign, especially when their contributions get into the multi-million range. I'm just speculating, but if I were betting, I'd bet that Steve Mostyn made a sizable contribution to the Democratic Governors Association. If you go check the data on the biggest contributors to the DGA up until the beginning of September, you will find that the Mostyn Law Firm is one of the largest DGA contributors (the first 5 are all unions). I could certainly be wrong, but it seems likely to be a good guess.

By the way, I seem to recall Texas Dem partybloggers complaining for the last 4 years when Bob Perry donated $1M to the RGA, yet they seem to be strangely silent this time around. I look forward to seeing if they are equally outraged this time.

Posted by Evan @ 09/28/10 06:32 PM


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If your assumption is correct (and you suggest no evidence so this remains speculation), perhaps Texas Dem partybloggers have recognized the futility of complaining, deciding instead that turnabout is fair play.

Posted by Mule Breath @ 10/05/10 06:36 AM

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