Wednesday, May 04, 2005

TRMPAC Document of the Day

In explosive testimony in the TRMPAC civil trial this past March, Chuck McDonald, who was doing direct mail for the Texas Association of Business in 2002, talked about how he and uber-lobbyist Mike Toomey, TAB President Bill Hammond, and TRMPAC Executive Director John Colyandro would meet regularly to coordinate help for the candidates that the corporate-backed campaign had decided to support. “If they [TRMPAC] were doing something in a race, then the TAB effort could be expended elsewhere,” testified McDonald.

The issue of coordination appears to be a dagger in the heart of TAB. A corporate entity (in this case TAB) cannot legally coordinate with a candidate. This is because a coordinated expenditure constitutes an in-kind corporate contribution to the candidate's campaign, which is illegal under Texas law.

TRMPAC was providing direct candidate support through consultant Kevin Brannon, who was paid by TRMPAC to work on several candidates' campaigns. TRMPAC appears to have been meeting regularly with TAB to divide who would help whom. Thus, TAB and TRMPAC appear to have been coordinating with candidates.

Also involved in the GOP's 2002 effort to take over the Legislature using corporate money was Texans for Lawsuit Reform. If anyone doubts that this was a coordinated campaign, they need look no further then this extraordinary document. It shows how the groups (see the lead group column) divvied up the candidates (known in some circles as "the TRMPAC babies"). And even what they thought of them.