Wednesday, February 08, 2006

"Right-Wing" Millionaire Bankrolls Republican Strategy To Eat Their Own

Here's the DMN story, PAC seeks to unseat Republicans who opposed school vouchers, on how much money Leininger has pumped into the Republican primary against incumbents he's targeted. It looks like he has the RPT's (Republican Party of Texas) blessing on this.
A political action committee gave nearly $700,000 last month to the Republican primary opponents of five state House members who fought school voucher proposals during last year's legislative session.

James Leininger, a prominent supporter of school vouchers, was the only contributor during the latest reporting period to the Texas Republican Legislative Campaign Committee, according to reports to the Texas Ethics Commission.

Using taxpayer dollars to pay for private-school tuition has been a perennially contentious issue for public school advocates, but it is gaining momentum among Republican leaders, including Gov. Rick Perry.

[...]

The political action committee made in-kind contributions of advertising and mailings to primary opponents of Reps. Carter Casteel, R-New Braunfels; Tommy Merritt, R-Longview; Roy Blake Jr., R-Nacogdoches; Delwin Jones, R-Lubbock; and Charlie Geren, R-Fort Worth.

The donations amounted to $182,911 for Nathan Macias, an opponent of Casteel; $166,528 for Mark Williams, an opponent of Merritt; $160,668 for Wayne Christian, an opponent of Blake; $130,158 for Van Wilson, an opponent of Jones; and $50,385 for Chris Hatley, an opponent to Geren
Of course one of their main targets is Texan of the Year Rep. Carter Casteel. Here's a couple more things I found interesting.
Bill Crocker of Austin, one of the state's two members of the Republican National Committee, said he founded the Texas Republican Legislative Campaign Committee in October to go after "liberal Republicans" in the Legislature.
Is it "liberal" to be against school vouchers and for public education? If all us Texans against this "right-wing" plan to kill public education are liberals, then there are many more liberals in Texas than Mr. Crocker thought. I'm sure he knows, just like Mr. Leininger does, that if he didn't have the bankroll he does many of those that vote for vouchers wouldn't. And the last thing is this:
Casteel said the donations to beat her were "a little bit daunting," but that she wouldn't back down.

"My mother would be rolling in her grave if she thought I was intimidated by someone who is trying to buy a (House) seat," she said.

Adam Bell, political director for Macias, who is challenging Casteel, said Macias "is his own man," regardless of the donations.

"They're implying that my candidate is owned, that he's beholden to doing whatever Dr. Leininger wants. That is not the case," Bell said.

The donations averaged out to $138,000 for each challenger.
In this day and age I don't think anyone needs to imply anything, it's just a given.

Harvey Kronberg has more on this in his News 8 Commentary, Boyle vs. Leininger:
The Republican primary in the Texas House has turned into a free-for-all, pitting a grassroots-driven soccer mom against one of the GOP's wealthiest and most persistent contributors.
Check out Texas Parent PAC.


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