Smitherman takes pay-to-play to a whole new level

raining money

Holy buckets Batman, it’s raining money in the Harris County pay-to-play slate system! Dr. Steve Hotze’s Conservative Republicans of Texas PAC (CRT) has blown the doors off of their prior endeavors on behalf of candidates that pay into the system. And Attorney General candidate Barry “the not so proven prosecutor” Smitherman has gone all in with the second largest ad buy in CRT’s history. CRT’s 30 day out report also includes the largest contribution in CRT’s history from George Ryan, a tax consultant and huge Rick Perry donor.

On the contribution side, we see this:

  • George Ryan – 1/03/2014 – $200,000
  • Friends of Barry Smitherman – 1/03/2014 – $100,000
  • Norman Frede (Smitherman’s father-in-law) – 1/22/2014 – $5,000
  • Norman Frede (Smitherman’s father-in-law) – 1/23/2014 – $7,500

On the expenditure side, we see who they paid with all that money:

  • 3rd I, LLC, – 1/03/2014 – $457,693.74 for a mailer

Reading through the list of candidates supported, it is obvious that this is the statewide mailer we’ve heard rumors about as Hotze/Blakemore try to stretch their influence.

Convict contributes to CRT

Guess who else is on the contributor list? Convicted felon Jerry Eversole closed his Friends of Eversole account and gave the amount remaining in the account, $4,370.86 to the “conservatives”. I wonder what the “not so proven prosecutor” thinks about being supported by a convict?

Now the big question – how will the Harris County GOP PAC respond to this effort? We basically have Branch/Hegar in that group going against Smitherman/Hilderbran in this group, the rest are just along for the ride. During the 2014 election cycle, the CRT PAC has received $483,871 in contributions plus Dr. Hotze loaned the group another $200,000. The table below lists the 2014 contributors.

[table id=25 /]

Link Letter doing just fine, thank you

But don’t worry about my little buddy Terry Lowry and his Link Letter. Whoa boy, don’t worry at all. The little fella took in $353,715 in January to put out his slate.

[table id=23 /]

No fun at all if you’re a little guy trying to win on issues. Oh well, all is fair in love, war, and pay-to-play politics! Tip: it ain’t gonna change until YOU decide to change it.

Click here to view the Endorsement Matrix.


Print Friendly


  1. Mainstream says

    I may be unclear about the election law, but I thought all candidates must be offered the same advertising rate, or else it is an illegal contribution by Lowry to their campaign. So if Smitherman paid $50,000 to Terry Lowry, then does that mean he gets 5 full page ads, while Bettancourt gets one page, and Schofield gets a half page?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *