TFN Asks for Investigation into Leininger PACs

TFN Asks for Investigation into Leininger PACs

Complaint Seeks Ruling on Whether PACs Have Followed Campaign Finance Law

March 2, 2006

AUSTIN Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller today asked state election officials to investigate whether two political action committees funded by the state’s biggest private school voucher pusher have complied with campaign finance laws.

One complaint Miller filed with the Texas Ethics Commission asks whether the Texas Republican Legislative Campaign Committee (TRLCC) – funded almost entirely by San Antonio businessman Dr. James Leininger – has met legal requirements before making campaign expenditures. The other notes that All Children Matter PAC – a beneficiary of large Leininger contributions over the years – may not have reported all of its contributions.

“One man is spending mountains of money to buy a Legislature that will agree to siphon money from neighborhood public schools to pay for private school vouchers,” Miller said. “Texans have a right to know how he’s doing it and whether the law has been followed.”

State law requires that PACs receive contributions from 10 people before making expenditures. Yet the TRLCC, to which Dr. Leininger has donated $1.8 million, has identified just one other donor so far. The other donor gave $100 to TRLCC. The PAC has also reported $225 in contributions that were not itemized. TRLCC is funding campaigns for five candidates challenging anti-voucher Republicans in the March 7 party primary.

All Children Matter PAC reported a December 2005 in-kind contribution of $54,360 for polling services to The Future of Texas Alliance PAC. (The Leininger-funded Future of Texas Alliance has so far backed pro-voucher candidates in the Republican primary.) Yet All Children Matter PAC reported a cash-on-hand balance of just $2,168.95 in July and has reported no income since. In fact, the PAC even failed to make monthly reports for August and September 2005. As a result, voters have no way of knowing how the PAC is accounting for the more than $52,000 difference in income and expenditures.