campaign fundraising

Brendan Hoffman / CC

Reporting by the Center for Public Integrity has shown that despite spending hundreds of millions of dollars on elections, nonprofits--many considered "social welfare" groups--are regularly getting away with breaking election law and aren't being audited or investigated by the Internal Revenue Service.

Since the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision in 2010, a deluge of campaign spending has been poured in by dark money groups. 

Democratic nominee for governor Wendy Davis’ campaign has announced they were able to raise $11.2 million in donations over the last quarter in tandem with Battleground Texas.

With less than four months to go before the general election, Davis' campaign has $13.1 million cash on hand.

In the same time frame, Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott raised $11.1 million, giving his campaign a combined total of $35.5 million cash on hand.

David Martin Davies / TPR News

Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott’s campaign confirmed they have spent $10 million to secure prime advertising spots in the last month of the general election.

Political expert Cal Jillson, a political science professor at Southern Methodist University, said an early buy-in can mean locking in lower rates and the campaign’s ability to reserve the best ad placement. 

Jillson said the timing of this news, which comes the same time of the Texas Democratic Party convention, is also a "shot across the bow."

Ryan E. Poppe / TPR News

Former House Majority leader Tom DeLay and his attorneys argued the merits of whether Delay’s 2010 money laundering conviction should remain overturned or if the original punishment should stand.

DeLay was found guilty of taking money donated to his political action committee and feeding it into a number of Texas Republican's campaigns.

In 2013 his conviction was overturned because checks are not considered funds, therefore the prosecution lacked evidence. But earlier this year the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals agreed to hear an appeal of that overturned conviction.

This week both a U.S. Senate committee and Texas House committee took up the issue of whether political nonprofits should be required to disclose their campaign contributions.

Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are concerned with how these groups are trying to buy elections thanks to laws that don't require such groups to report their campaign contributions.

At the U.S. Senate Campaign Finance Committee hearing, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas argued that campaign contributions are a form of free speech.