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Lone Star Project Report

Two Peas in a Pod

Abbott and Perry’s Shared Interests and Donors Leave Little Difference

Notes on methodology:

This list was compiled by taking the top ten individual (non-PAC) contributors to Abbott’s campaign and then pulling corresponding data from Perry’s campaign finance reports.

All campaign finance data sourced from the Texas Ethics Commission Website, and is current as of 7/16/2013. Links have been included when available.

When Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott announced his run for Governor, two words he didn’t use were Rick and Perry. Abbott not only tried to sidestep a record of partisanship and divisiveness, he also sought to distance himself from Rick Perry.

In reality, Abbott and Perry are inextricably linked. Both are career politicians who have spent most of their careers on the public payroll. They have used their positions in public service to reward friends and donors – often by manipulating taxpayer-supported agencies like CPRIT and the Texas Enterprise Fund. Their partisanship is matched by examples of outright incompetence ranging from embarrassing (“Oops”) to dangerous (The AG’s office disclosing Texans’ Social Security numbers).

Different candidate - same handlers, same donors

The similarities extend to who runs their campaigns and who gives them money. Abbott’s gubernatorial campaign is recycling many of the same consultants who spent years working for Perry. The source of Abbott’s campaign cash tells a more important story. Abbott’s war chest is funded by many of Perry’s longtime donors - a who’s who of Texas corporate millionaires who use their money to flex their political muscle.

In fact, shared top donors have given Abbott over $6.2 million. These deep-pocket donors have financial interests in fields that are affected by state policy on a day-to-day basis – oil and gas, nuclear waste disposal, healthcare, homebuilding and others. Each are top contributors to Rick Perry and are now establishing the same deep financial ties to Greg Abbott. In fact, some of these top Perry donors have already contributed more to Abbott than to Perry.

We expect Greg Abbott to continue trying to brand himself as new and different. Informed observers, members of the press and, hopefully, voters will see that Abbott is a reflection of Perry who, if elected governor, will be a continuation of Perry’s caustic divisiveness and cronyism.