How Much Money is Spent on Political Campaigns in Harris County, Texas?

Learn about how much money is spent on political campaigns in Harris County, Texas. Find out about contribution limits, filing fees, disclosure requirements and more.

How Much Money is Spent on Political Campaigns in Harris County, Texas?

Ron Reynolds and Senfronia Thompson, along with campaign contributions from Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Harris County Prosecutor Christian Menefee, and U. S. candidates, must comply with the contribution limits set out in Section 18-38 (a) and submit a statement of intent when appointing a campaign treasurer or, if the appointment of a campaign treasurer is not necessary, before making any expenses related to their campaign for elected municipal office. The filing fee paid to a reporting authority to qualify for a spot on the ballot is also considered a campaign expense and cannot be incurred before filing a campaign treasurer appointment form with the appropriate reporting authority. The Harris County Judge is the county's executive director and leads the five-member Harris County Commissioners Court, where Democrats are striving to maintain their 3-2 majority.

The deadlines for submitting campaign finance reports are established by state law and can be found on the Texas Ethics Commission website (choose the uniform filing schedule). Generally speaking, state laws forbid businesses (including non-profit organizations) and labor organizations from making political contributions in connection with local and Texas elections. Nevertheless, none of the four Harris County commissioners have taken the initiative to voluntarily disclose taxpayer employers or occupations for the sake of accountability, nor have they taken steps to collectively provide the public with a database on Harris County campaigns. Loose campaign finance laws allow Harris County politicians to conceal relationships between major campaign donors and contracting companies that are paid with public funds. You must submit this form when running as a candidate, even if you do not intend to accept campaign contributions or make campaign expenses. In 2003, a non-profit organization called Campaigns for People discovered that campaigns in Harris County and the city of Houston were too reliant on contractors' money.

You must submit this form before you can accept a campaign contribution or make or authorize a campaign expense, including an expense from your personal funds. According to experts, with no more disclosure requirements for local campaigns, Texas has left the door open for contractors in Harris County or elsewhere to contribute as much as they want to the Texas politicians who run some of the country's largest counties and cities. As Wheat told the Observer, the huge percentage of the total money raised by Harris County commissioners going to government contractors “really blew my mind”.The four Harris County commissioners are living in a world of abundance thanks to campaign money, which mostly comes from employees and business leaders that have professional contracts without bidding to do lucrative work in Harris County - you guessed it.

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