by Forrest Burnson, The Texas Tribune
July 22, 2010
Gubernatorial candidate Bill White may have more campaign cash on hand than Republican incumbent Gov. Rick Perry — but where it came from could hurt the former Houston mayor’s campaign. That’s because nearly 25 percent of the donations since Feb. 20 — about $1.8 million — came from contributors in Washington, D.C.
Perry, by contrast, got about 97 percent of his contributions from people and groups who listed Texas addresses. In a political cycle defined by anti-Washington sentiment, the Perry campaign has characterized White as a ‘D.C.-insider,’ taking any opportunity to associate him with President Barack Obama, whose popularity has declined in recent months.
“It’s not surprising that Bill White would raise such large amounts of money from Washington considering he is the poster boy for President Obama’s liberal policies,” Perry’s campaign spokesman, Mark Miner, said in a statement.
White has been careful to distance himself from Obama, planning not to attend the President’s two scheduled fundraisers in Texas next month. He’s also voiced disagreement with some of Obama’s policies.
To be fair to White’s campaign, $1 million came from the D.C.-based Democratic Governor’s Association. Perry is expected to receive a similar contribution from the Republican Governor’s Association in August, if past precedent holds. Another $300,000 in White’s report came from the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, one of the largest unions in the country. The Service Workers International Union also donated $125,000 to White. Both are D.C. based.
Only 135 individual donations to White’s campaign were from D.C. And although White has more money than Perry, his average contribution was more than $200 less – meaning White might have more grassroots support, receiving smaller contributions from more people.
“Bill White has over 16,000 contributors, which shows that Texans are ready for a governor who is ready to put Texas above his own political career,” said Katy Bacon, White’s spokeswoman.
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