The Amarillo Pioneer

Amarillo's only free online newspaper. Established in 2016, we work to bring you local news that is unbiased and honest.

 

Connections: Elected Officials Donating to Each Other's Campaigns

Many elected officials are connected through the cooperation that comes through different governing bodies. However, public records also reveal that many elected officials are connected through political donations, not only with similar donors, but the officials donating out of their own pockets.

According to records from the City of Amarillo, the Texas Ethics Commission, Amarillo Pioneer archives, and Amarillo Globe-News archives, many candidates have received donations from other elected officials over the years. Senator Kel Seliger benefited heavily from donations from other elected officials during his campaign for re-election earlier this year, as did the Amarillo City Council when they ran for a first term last year.

While some have decried the money in politics, there are no laws prohibiting elected officials from donating to other candidates. Steve Land, chairman of the Potter County Democratic Party, told the Amarillo Pioneer on Thursday that elected officials are allowed to make donations to other elected officials, as long as the contribution comes from the candidate's own pocket.

"He has to use his own money," Land said. "The money he takes in for his own campaign is not his money, but he can donate out of his own pocket."

However, a handful of former elected officials donated the remainder of their campaign accounts to candidates. Councilman Brian J. Eades and Mayor Paul Harpole were two candidates who took this route, as Eades resigned in 2016 and Harpole did not seek another term as mayor in 2017. State law allows candidates to donate to other candidates or committees in disposal of campaign funds. Candidates may also give that money to the state comptroller or donate to a non-profit. Candidates have six years to dispose of election funds.

According to reports with City of Amarillo City Secretary, contributions from elected officials totaled nearly $9,000 to the candidates who were eventually elected to the City Council in 2017. Elected officials contributing included state legislators, school board trustees and college regents.

To see full contribution lists, please visit the following links:

Texas Ethics Commission: https://www.ethics.state.tx.us/

City of Amarillo: http://amarillo.gov/departments/city-manager/city-secretary


Please note: the following list of elected officials includes those whose campaign finance reports are readily available at press time through Amarillo Pioneer archives, City of Amarillo archives, Texas Ethics Commission archives, or another news source. Elected officials who donated to these candidates will include those who currently hold office in the greater Amarillo area or those who have held office in Amarillo in the past two years (2016-2018). Some former elected officials may have contributed to candidates within this time, but will not be included in this list, as they fall outside of the 2016-2018 time frame. Elected officials in this list may also have not been incumbents at the time the donation was received, but eventually won their election during that cycle. Candidates with this designation will be denoted with an asterisk.

The candidate at the top whose name is bolded is the recipient of the donation. Those listed in bullet point form underneath the candidate are donors. Some elected officials may not be listed, as some searches did not return results. This list will also not include contributions by elected officials to candidates who were not ultimately elected.

Mayor Ginger Nelson (2017)*

  • 12/12/16 - Dr. David Woodburn, Amarillo College Regent: $1,000

  • 12/13/16 - Walter "Four" Price, State Representative: $1,000

  • 12/30/16 - James Farren, Randall District Attorney: $100

  • 12/31/16 - Anette Carlisle, Amarillo College Regent: $250

  • 1/11/17 - Leon Church, Potter County Commissioner: $100

  • 1/13/17 - Johnny Mize, Amarillo College Regent: $500

  • 1/17/17 - Daniel Henke, Amarillo College Regent: $250

  • 1/19/17 - Jim Austin, AISD Board President: $1,000

  • 1/20/17- Marty Rowley, Texas SBOE Member: $250

  • 3/7/17 - John Board, District Judge: $100

Councilmember Elaine Hays (2017)*

  • 3/18/17 - Marty Rowley, Texas SBOE Member: $200

  • 3/29/17 - Michelle Fortunato, Amarillo College Regent: $100

  • 4/10/17 - Paul Harpole, former Mayor: $224.61

  • 4/10/17 - Jim Austin, AISD Board President: $200

  • 4/14/17 - Terry Harman, Randall Republican Chairman: $100

  • 4/14/17 - Leon Church, Potter County Commissioner: $100

  • 4/27/17 - Johnny Mize, Amarillo College Regent: $100

  • 5/3/17 - Daniel Henke, Amarillo College Regent: $100

Councilmember Freda Powell (2017)*

  • 3/16/17 - Randall Sims, 47th District Attorney: $250

  • 3/17/17 - Pamela Sirmon, Potter County Court at Law #2 Judge: $100

  • 3/20/17 - Paul Harpole, former Mayor: $224.61

  • 3/23/17 - Anette Carlisle, Amarillo College Regent: $150

  • 3/26/17 - Leon Church, Potter County Commissioner: $75

  • 3/25/17 - Michelle Fortunato, Amarillo College Regent: $100

  • 4/1/17 - Johnny Mize, Amarillo College Regent: $100

  • 4/1/17 - Paul Proffer, Amarillo College Regent: $100

Councilmember Eddy Sauer (2017)*

  • 1/26/17 - Jim Austin, AISD Board President: $200

  • 3/1/17 - Sally Jennings, Amarillo College Regent: $500

  • 3/15/17 - Leon Church, Potter County Commissioner: $50

  • 3/23/17 - Paul Harpole, former Mayor: $224.61

  • 3/30/17 - Michelle Fortuanto, Amarillo College Regent: $100

  • 3/30/17 - Johnny Mize, Amarillo College Regent: $100

  • 3/30/17 - Paul Proffer, Amarillo College Regent: $100

  • 4/21/17 - Anette Carlisle, Amarillo College Regent: $100

Councilmember Howard Smith (2017)*

  • 2/16/17 - Jim Austin, AISD Board President: $200

  • 3/20/17 - Leon Church, Potter County Commissioner: $100

  • 3/23/17 - Paul Harpole, former Mayor: $224.61

  • 4/4/17 - Michelle Fortunato, Amarillo College Regent: $100

  • 4/14/17 - Sally Jennings, Amarillo College Regent: $100

  • 5/2/17 - Michelle Fortunato, Amarillo College Regent: $100

AC Regent Jay L. Barrett (2017)

  • 2017 - Anette Carlisle, Amarillo College Regent: $250

  • 2017 - Johnny Mize, Amarillo College Regent: $100

  • April 2017 - Neal Nossaman, former Amarillo College Regent: $50

AC Regent Sally Lampe Jennings (2017)*

  • 2017 - Eddy Sauer, City Councilman: $250

  • 2017 - Leon Church, Potter County Commissioner: $100

AC Regent Michelle Fortunato (2017)

  • 2017 - Anette Carlisle, Amarillo College Regent: $250

  • 2017 - Eddy Sauer, City Councilman: $250

  • April 2017 - Dr. Paul Proffer, Amarillo College Regent: $100

  • April 2017 - Johnny Mize, Amarillo College Regent: $100

  • April 2017 - Patrick Miller, Amarillo College Regent: $50

AISD Trustee Cristy Cooper Wilkinson (2017)*

  • 2017 - Anette Carlisle, Amarillo College Regent: $250

  • 2017 - Doug Woodburn, District Judge: $100

  • 2017 - Caroline Woodburn, Potter County District Clerk: See Above

Potter Commissioner Leon Church (2016)

  • 2016 - Sally Jennings, Amarillo College Regent: $500

  • 2016 - Anette Carlisle, Amarillo College Regent: $100

Senator Kel Seliger (2018)

  • 11/10/17 - John Ben Blanchard, AISD Trustee: $500

  • 11/15/17 - Johnny Mize, Amarillo College Regent: $100

  • 11/16/17 - Anette Carlisle, Amarillo College Regent: $250

  • 11/16/17 - Paul Proffer, Amarillo College Regent: $500

  • 1/21/18 - Sally Jennings, Amarillo College Regent: $200

  • 1/25/18 - Leon Church, Potter County Commissioner: $200

  • 1/30/18 - Eddy Sauer, City Councilman: $250

Representative Four Price (2018)

  • 9/3/17 - Ginger Nelson, Mayor: $500

  • 9/6/17 - Randall Sims, 47th District Attorney: $250

  • 9/22/17 - David Woodburn, Amarillo College Regent: $1,000

47th District Attorney Randall Sims (2016)

  • 1/14/16 - Ginger Nelson, Mayor: $250

  • 1/14/16 - Freda Powell, City Councilwoman: $100

  • 1/21/16 - Freda Powell, City Councilwoman: $100

  • 1/21/16 - Leon Church, Potter County Commissioner: $100

  • 2/16/16 - Anette Carlisle, Amarillo College Regent: $250

Congressman Mac Thornberry (2018 Cycle)

  • 3/8/18 - Randall Sims, 47th District Attorney: $375

 Photo by KSUT

Photo by KSUT

Amarillo Residents Rally Against 'Sod Poodles,' Other Naming Finalists

WTAMU Speech and Hearing Clinic to Host Summer Program

0