Campaign Contributions, partial Adkisson, as of June 30, 1986. list; Frank Tejeda and Tommy TEJEDA H. B. Zachry, Jr. J. P. Zachry Southwest Public Affairs PAC TEXPAC Houston Harte AMOCO TEXAS PAC IBAT PAC Gene Canavan SEPAC PAC for Engineers Hughes and Luce Committee for Good Government Monsanto Texas Citizenship Fund Texas Phillips Petroleum Gene F. Canavan JUSTPAC HOSPAC TEXPAC Texas Medical Association PAC DuPont Good Government Committee Chevron-PAC TEX DEN PAC USAA Group PAC Diamond Shamrock PAC Russell T. Kelley assorted defense attorneys and firms ADKISSON plaintiffs’ lawyers and firms construction construction Fulbright and Jaworski Texas Medical Association Harte Hanks Communications oil independent bankers insurance Shell employees PAC chemicals oil insurance defense attorneys hospital association Texas Medical Association chemicals oil Texas Dental Association insurance oil Texas Civil Justice League lobbyist TOTAL $ 2,000 1,000 500 10,000 1,000 2,000 1,000 10,000 500 500 1,000 1,000 1,000 1,000 2,000 2,000 20,000 5,000 200 800 5,000 500 1,000 1,000 3,190 73,190 10,650 the first eight months of this year. The insurance industry PACs are also spending liberally. At least $364,543 has been disbursed by private companies and insurance trade associations this year. Various oil PACsreport spending $364,485, chemical interests , $106,662, construction, engineering and architecture groups and companies $248,291, and the Texas Association of CPAs collected $140,833 and spent $106,590. Large corporate law firms, in addition to encouraging their associates to contribute to campaigns also have formidable PACs. Their contributions frequently represent indirect contributions from corporate clients. The ACME Fund which acts on behalf of the Baker and Botts firm in Houston has spent $94,254 in 1986. Baker and Botts represents Aetna Casualty and Surety Co.; Cavalier Insurance Corp.; the Great Western Life Assurance Co.; Dominion Life Assurance Co.; U.S. Aviation Underwriters; Browning Ferris Industries; the Houston Retail Merchants Assoc.; and a collection of banks, oil exploration and drilling companies, development groups and broadcast companies. Fullbright and Jaworski’s Texas Central. Committee and Southwest Public Affairs Committee spent $77,600 so far this year but the TCC also reported having $350,558 on hand in unexpended contributions on August 25. This represents only a fraction of the money spent by law firms on elections. Under the Texas Election Code most law firms are exempt from the prohibition against direct campaign contributions by corporations. The Trial Lawyers Allied against this assault on the civil justice system are consumer groups and trial lawyers who seek to protect individuals’ rights to sue for redress of corporate wrongdoing. Consumer groups traditionally have relatively little money at their disposal and rely instead on grassroots support to influence legislation. But the complexity of civil justice system legislation and the perceived remoteness of this issue makes rallying public support difficult. In addition, the insurance industry has been spending heavily on advertising portraying the “insurance crisis” as a populist issue. Trial lawyers, on the other hand, have a lot of money at their disposal and are one of the most active and successful legislative lobbying groups in the state. The Texas Trial Lawyers’ PAC LIFT has been generous with its money, donating $276,050 so far this year. The financial clout of the trial lawyers, both as an organization and as individual donors is evident in the campaign contribution record of state Sen. Oscar Mauzy’s race for the Texas Supreme Court. Mauzy’s record as a liberal Democrat puts him firmly in the anti-tort-reform camp, and the state’s trial lawyers are backing him heavily. Between January and July, the Mauzy campaign reported total contributions of $539,669. Of this, $311,632 can be traced to lawyers or firms that are members of the Texas Trial Lawyers’ Association or do workers’ compensation, negligence, personal injury and product liability cases. In contrast, Mauzy’s opponent in the Democratic primary, Shirley Butts, received at least $39,024 from tort reform proponents in the final two months of the campaign. Raul Gonzalez’s campaign for a seat on the Supreme Court represents the other end of the political spectrum; his campaign coffers reflect the financial power of tort reform proponents. By July 2, the campaign reported having raised $404,006. The single largest donor was the Medical Association’s TEXPAC which gave $50,200, followed by the Dental Association’s DENPAC which gave $20,000. The Defense Attorney Association’s JUSTPAC gave $5,000 and six corporate law firms gave a combined $44,000. In 1982, Justice William Kilgarlin spent a total of only $434,660 in the primary, runoff and general election to win a Supreme Court seat. The financial power of the two sides in the tort reform issue is starkly apparent in two state senate races. Democratic Rep. Frank Tejeda of San Antonio made the call for tort reform a major issue in his primary campaign against Rep. Tommy Adkisson. Over $100,000 of the $222,561 he raised came from individuals or groups with a stake in limiting damage awards, $40,000 of that from the Texas Medical Association which may well have been decisive in Tejeda’s narrow win over Adkisson in May. Rep Adkisson spent a total of $217,652 on his race of which less than $20,000 can be traced to groups that could benefit from tort legislation. In contrast, it is money from the trial lawyers that may win the race for Judith Zaffirini of Laredo in her bid for a seat in the Senate. By July, she reported having raised $174,219; $60,775 came THE TEXAS OBSERVER 9
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