Monday, December 30, 2013

And Harold Simmons makes three

Leo Linbeck Jr. and Bob Perry were the other two who bit the dust this year, ICYMI.

Dallas billionaire and heavyweight GOP political donor Harold Simmons, who has given tens of millions of dollars to Republican candidates, including Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former presidential candidate Mitt Romney, has died. He was 82.

Simmons managed some contributions to both Planned Parenthood and LGBTQ organizations, but will be best remembered for funding what became known as the Swift Boat attacks, along with Bob Perry and T. Boone Pickens.

Simmons donated $2 million to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, whose advertisements against Mr. Kerry, the Democratic candidate for president, included one impugning his military service as a Swift boat captain during the Vietnam War. The allegations were later discredited. Mr. Simmons gave heavily to other groups through the Dallas-based Harold Simmons Foundation, which is run by two of his daughters, Lisa Simmons and Serena Simmons Connelly.

Funny thing about Mr. Simmons' daughters.

It turns out that at least one of Simmons' daughters, Serena Connolly, is a max-out donor to both Senators Clinton and Obama. She wrote her first check to Senator Obama in the 2nd quarter of 2007.

Another Simmons daughter, Lisa Epstein, has donated to Democrats in the past.

So Rick Perry and Greg Abbott and all the rest of the Republican one-percenters sucking at the moneyed teats of these recently-deceased men are going to have their heir-groveling work cut out for them in 2014.  Leo Linbeck III might also be a difficult mark for them; he's cut from a similar bolt of cloth as his dad, but appears to be the Republican equivalent of a disruptor company.  From a two-year-old Mother Jones story about the man and his PAC...

... (T)he Campaign for Primary Accountability isn't your typical super-PAC, and its top donor, Houston construction magnate Leo Linbeck III, isn't your typical conservative sugar daddy. While groups like American Crossroads and Priorities USA have sprouted up in the last two years to boost specific values and candidates, the CFPA has a different goal entirely: electoral mayhem.

Led by Linbeck, the group's aim is to use the power of the purse to do what political parties and state redistricting panels won't—make congressional races competitive again. CFPA, which has raised $1.8 million to date, is targeting at least 10 Republican and Democratic incumbents in half a dozen states, with plans to increase that number over the next few months. And it's starting to work. The group has taken credit for the Super Tuesday defeat of Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-Ohio) and the retirement of another Republican, Dan Burton of Indiana.

Much more worth reading at that link.  If indeed there aren't other conservative billionaires willing to step up to replace these three, then the GOP is in even bigger trouble than previously imagined.

Update: Chris Tomlinson of the AP has more.

1 comment:

Gadfly said...

Oh, I kind of like the Linbeck group's ideas. I notice that PB&Johnson [thank you!] again has no primary opponent, and sadly, no Green in the general.

When I was up in the Metroplex, exactly once did she in person step outside the city limits of Dallas and visit the southside suburbs in her district, over nearly 9 years. She's a hack, and, not even that liberal of one, all things considered.

And, the change in donations with age? All part of the graying of the GOP, eh? Of course, some of these younger donors may still just be neolibs.