A negative ad released this week by the Republican State Leadership Committee attacking Democrats has confused two state legislators from Texas and North Carolina.
The ad warns of gerrymandering efforts by radical liberals while flashing images of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. At one point, an image of El Paso Democrat and Speaker Pro Tempore Joe Moody appears on-screen where he is incorrectly labeled as Darren Jackson, a state House lawmaker from North Carolina.
Moody was among those on social media who caught the mistake.
One would expect less shoddy work for a PAC so deeply invested in Texas. Financial reports filed in Texas by the Republican State Leadership Committee show the group has raised $3.8 million since January.
A significant share of political contributions for the PAC come from well-known GOP megadonors, including the DeVos family who donated $200,000, JPMorgan Chase, oil & gas billionaires Jan Duncan and J. C. Walter III who together donated $2,000,000, and Home Depot billionaire co-founder Bernard Marcus who donated $500,000.
A similar newly formed PAC led by Karl Rove that is trying to keep Republicans in power in the statehouse, the Leading Texas Forward PAC, has raised a little more than $900,000, mostly from contributions by Republican campaigns.
By contrast, the Texas House Democratic Campaign Committee raised $1.3 million this year, surpassing its fundraising haul from the 2018 cycle with 8,500 donors and an average donation of $34.
Democratic PACs, like Beto O’Rourke’s Powered by People and Attorney General Eric Holder’s National Democratic Redistricting Committee, are also raising and pumping money into Texas. Powered by People has raised $809,000 and spent $440,000 this year; the NDRC has raised $288,000 and spent $133,000 so far. Both groups have relied on small to medium-sized grassroots donations for their funding this cycle.
“Texans have endured more than a decade of one-party rule that has left us poorer, sicker, and more politically divided than ever,” said All on the Line Texas State Director Genevieve Van Cleve. The group serves as the anti-gerrymandering campaign arm of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee.
“The fundamental structural barrier that prevents progress is rigged electoral maps drawn by politicians to preserve political advantage and silence the will of the people,” Van Cleve said.
Republicans currently hold a nine-seat advantage in the Texas House. The Texas Legislature will meet in 2021 to redraw congressional and state district lines that will last for a decade.
Photo: Texas House Democratic Caucus
Fernando covers Texas politics and government at the Texas Signal. Before joining the Signal, Fernando spent two years at the Houston Chronicle and previously interned at Houston’s NPR station News 88.7. He is a graduate of the University of Houston, Jack J. Valenti School of Communication, and enjoys reading, highlighting things, and arguing on social media. You can follow him on Twitter at @fernramirez93 or email at email@example.com