Friday, June 10, 2016

Trump Could Have a Hard Time Trolling for Cash in San Antonio

Posted By on Fri, Jun 10, 2016 at 3:56 PM

click to enlarge Donald Trump will try to pump some cash out of Texas next this week. - WIKIMEDIA COMMONS/GAGE SKIDMORE
  • Wikimedia Commons/Gage Skidmore
  • Donald Trump will try to pump some cash out of Texas next this week.
With a three-city Texas tour reportedly slated for next week, Donald Trump will try to do something that's routine for many Republicans: raise big money in the Lone Star State.

Texas, among the reddest of the red states, is typically a piggy bank for GOP candidates, and that's been true this year too — just not for Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for president. 

Trump's campaign has raised just over $361,126 in Texas, pocket change for a national political campaign, and San Antonians have been especially stingy, contributing just $17,691 to that amount, according to reports from the Federal Election Committee. That's the lowest amount of any metro area in Texas.

Those totals pale in comparison to Trump’s now-vanquished Republican rivals and Democratic candidates. The graph below shows the amount of money Republican presidential candidates raised in Texas this election cycle through their campaign:
Those figures don’t include money from outside groups, although Trump hasn’t raised much from those either. So far most of the $55 million he’s spent on the campaign has come out of his own pocket through loans to his campaign.

However, that's changing as fundraisers in Houston, Dallas and San Antonio aim to raise thousands for Trump Victory, a political action committee. It costs $500 to just get into the invitation-only luncheon on Friday, while a $250,000 contribution gets a couple into the "Champion's Circle," giving them to 10 tickets, a photo op and meet-and-greet, according to the San Antonio Express-News.

Candidates are permitted to attend PAC events, but can't ask donors for more than $2,700. But before or after a candidate appears at an event, officials for the PAC can ask for substantially more than that.

Few big-name San Antonio donors have contributed to Trump's campaign, although there's plenty of time left to give.

Spurs owner Peter Holt donated to three of Trump's opponents — Ben Carson, Jeb Bush and Rick Perry — including a $9,800 gift to Bush's super PAC. Holt's wife, Julianna, gave almost $150,000 to Carson and his PAC, and another $25,000 to Carly Fiorina's PAC. Billionaire auto dealer Red McCombs gave $7,700 to Perry and his PAC, but hasn't financially supported any other presidential candidates.

Trump's biggest backer in Texas so far has been Andy Beal, the billionaire banker amateur mathematician. Beal gave $100,000 to the Trump-aligned Make America Great Again PAC.

Even though Trump hasn’t pulled in much money from the Alamo City, he’s spent considerable cash for a couple local services.

Trump has paid almost $2 million over the past year to Giles-Parscale, a San Antonio-based web design company. The company’s owner, Brad Parscale, has designed other projects for the Trump family according to the San Antonio Express-News.

Trump also tapped Arturo Fontes, a former FBI agent who now runs a private security consultancy based in San Antonio and Houston, for consulting. Trump paid Fontes $3,737 in November 2015. When reached Friday, Fontes said he was still doing work for the campaign, but would not divulge any other details.



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