June 9th Dallas Morning News Features Letter to the Editor from CETex President Dave Jones

Published June 9, 2024 in the Dallas Morning News:

Re: “Abbott backs ‘school choice’ candidates — Governor has donated nearly $2.3 million to those in runoffs who support his plan,” May 23 Metro & Business story.

Thanks for following the money from the governor’s receipt of a $6 million campaign contribution from out-of-state billionaire voucher proponent Jeff Yass to his campaign’s multiple $100,000 to $300,000 contributions of those funds to candidates supporting his private school funding plan.

Texas law permits such large transfers of campaign funds because Texas places no dollar limit on campaign contributions from any individual or from one candidate committee to another candidate committee. The huge sums passing directly to and through our state officials may not in itself prove a quid pro quo for their policy positions, but it would be naive to not expect that bigger money provides bigger influence, including giving favored politicians leverage to get their way on public policy by spending against candidates who won’t bend to their will.

Contributions to federal candidates are limited to $3,300 from individuals and to no more than $2,000 from one federal candidate committee to another federal candidate committee. If Texas state candidates were subject to similar limits, it could make a big difference in preventing undue influence by wealthy contributors. It should be the law.

David Jones, Sherman

Additional reading on the connections between political donations and Governor Abbott’s voucher push:

Cody Meador

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