The Texas Political Endorsement Orchestra

Chris Tackett
Jan 12 · 6 min read

As we enter the full on crazy primary season, endorsements from various groups will start popping up in your social media feed, in your local papers, and overloading your mailbox. It’s important to understand who the money is behind these groups, who is conducting the orchestra.

One of the Texas groups rolling out endorsements is Texans for Lawsuit Reform, who have been big players in Texas politics for a bunch of years. Since 1/1/2011, this group has contributed $24,678,603 to 375 different campaigns at all levels.

According to Drew Darby, who received his endorsement on January 8, Texans for Lawsuit Reform is pushing to make sure our legal system “remains efficient, effective, and fair for all Texans”, which is parroting what TLR said in their endorsement. Is TLR pushing for all Texans?

Here are the Texans for Lawsuit Reform donor charts from the 2012 cycle. $8.59m in contributions 654 contributors 10 people make up over 50% 164 wrote checks for $200 or less Weekley, McNair, Perot all giving around $500k.

Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC 2012 Cycle

Here are the Texans for Lawsuit Reform donor charts from the 2014 cycle. $7.28m in contributions 611 contributors 10 people make up 43% 67 wrote checks for $200 or less Weekley, McNair, Perot all giving $500k or more.

Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC 2014 Cycle

Here are the Texans for Lawsuit Reform donor charts from the 2016 cycle. $8.32m in contributions 589 contributors 10 people make up 46% 44 wrote checks for $200 or less Weekley (Richard and David) gave over $800k, McNair $600k, Perot $300k, plus eye popping amounts from others.

Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC 2016 Cycle

Here are the Texans for Lawsuit Reform donor charts from the 2018 cycle. $8.48m in contributions 499 contributors 10 people make up 42% 19 wrote checks for $200 or less Weekley (Richard and David) gave over $800k, McNair $600k, Perot $300k.

Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC 2018 Cycle

Here are the Texans for Lawsuit Reform donor charts from the 2020 cycle thru the Semi-Jul 19 report $3.9m in contributions 266 contributors 10 people make up 45% 6 wrote checks for $200 or less Weekley (Richard and David) gave over $500k, McNair $150k, Perot $300k.

Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC 2020 Cycle through Semi Jul 19 Report

Who the heck are these people? And do we think they are really spending all this money to make sure our legal system “remains efficient, effective, and fair for all Texans”? Or maybe just to make sure the legal system works to benefit a few Texans (and their businesses).

Three of the largest financial backers of the Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC

The images above are just highlighting the three biggest donors over the past 4+ election cycles. Other major donors have very similar backgrounds / wealth. They are real estate developers, oil & gas execs, and financial specialists. Do they want to keep things fair for all Texans? If you think so, I may just have a bridge to sell you.


Are these folks giving just to Texans for Lawsuit Reform? Nope.

Richard Weekley has given $2.5m to TLR since 1/1/11. He has also given $4.2m directly to 271 other PACs and candidates, including:

  • $193k Greg Abbott
  • $410k Harris Co Rep Party
  • $125k to Rep Party of TX
Richard Weekley Contributions other that Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC

Robert & Janice McNair have given $2.3m to TLR since 1/1/11. They have also given $3.6m directly to 93 other PACs and candidates, including:

  • $900k Greg Abbott
  • $220k Harris Co Rep Party
  • $330k to Rep Party of TX
Robert & Janice McNair Contributions other than Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC

H Ross Perot Jr has given $1.1m to TLR since 1/1/11. He has also given $2.4m directly to 68 other PACs and candidates, including:

  • $917k Greg Abbott
  • $170k Associated Republicans of Texas
  • $70k to Don Huffines
H Ross Perot Jr Contributions other than Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC

Now that we are mentioning parties, what does the Republican Party of Texas PAC look like for the 2018 cycle? Who’s donating the biggest share of the $5.4m they took in?

  1. Harris County Republican Party PAC $705k
  2. Don Huffines $602k
  3. Holloway Frost and Kathaleen Wall $506k
  4. Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC $170k
Republican Party of Texas PAC 2018 Cycle

How about the Harris County Republican Party PAC? What does their chart look like from the 2018 cycle, when they took in $2.9m? Hey, look at that, it’s all the same names from the Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC!

  • Holloway Frost and Kathaleen Wall $172k
  • Richard Weekley $130k
  • Robert McNair $115k
  • David Weekley $105k
Harris County Republican Party PAC 2018 Cycle

Let’s look at Don Huffines 2018 cycle, where he took in $2.3m.

  • Republican Party of Texas $482k
  • Greg Abbott $160k
  • Texans for Lawsuit Reform $100k
  • Texans for Fiscal Responsibility (Farris Wilks) $100k
  • Empower Texans $50k
  • H Ross Perot $50k
Don Huffines 2018 Cycle

How about Holloway Frost and Kathaleen Wall, where were they putting their money in the 2018 cycle?

  • $506k to Republican Party of Texas
  • $393k to Greg Abbott
  • $200k to Texas Right to Life
  • $200k to Texans for Lawsuit Reform
  • $172k to Harris Co Rep Party
  • $50k to Empower Texans
Holloway Frost & Kathaleen Wall 2018 Cycle

And we can’t forget Associated Republicans of Texas PAC. Surely it won’t have the same old donors giving to it too. Whelp…it’s just a bunch of Texans for Lawsuit Reform contributors.

Associated Republicans of Texas PAC 2018 Cycle

It’s all a big loop of money, with the same core people behind so much of it. When it’s the same people driving, realize the endorsements are pure propaganda, pushing you to support the candidate who will support keeping those at the top at the top, not “fair for all Texans”.


You can access all of the charts used in this piece at christackettnow.com and the data therein was all directly sourced from the Texas Ethics Commission website.

Chris Tackett

Written by

I chart Texas Politics at christackettnow.com and write about things that matter (to me at least) whenever the muse hits.

More From Medium

More from Chris Tackett

Also tagged Texas Politics

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade