06server reoJers ore SMART PROGRESSIVE INVOLVED INFLUENTIAL GOOD LOOKING \($\(9 are 56server oavertisersr Get noticed by Texas Observer folks all over the state and nation. Let them know about your bookstore, service, restaurant, non-profit organization, event, political candidate, shoe store, coffee house, boutique, salon, yoga studio, law practice, etc. Q TheTexasObserver ADVERTISE IN THE OBSERVER! REASONABLE RATES GREAT EXPOSURE Call 512-477-0746 and ask for Julia Austin or e-mail [email protected] Re3, 06server recOersr Consider advertising your business or non-profit in the Observer. GOOD FOR YOU GOOD FOR THE OBSERVER cal consultants in February and March, Though he received the most media attention, Leininger wasn’t the only bigmoney donor with ties to Craddick. During the final week of the campaign, five separate direct-mail pieces flooded Arlington on Grusendorf’s behalf, all sponsored by something called the Texas Opportunity PAC. The PAC had been around since 2000, but hadn’t reported receiving or spending any money until February 17 of this year. On that day, it received $25,000 contributions from both real estate magnate Michael Stevens and homebuilder Bob Perry, the biggest campaign donor in the state for the past three years. \(Bob Perry also gave more than $152,000 Lobbyist Mike Toomey directed, and also contributed to, the PAC. \(Toomey, a former chief of staff for Gov. Perry, was a leader of the 2002 corporate-funded campaign by Texans for a Republican Majority and the Texas Association of Business that boosted Craddick into Opportunity PAC supplied a lot of aid to a select slate of GOP incumbents, including $170,000 worth of mailers on Grusendorf’s behalf in the campaign’s final two weeks. \(Of course, only certain Republicans were deemed worthy enough to receive money from this pack of Craddick allies: The Texas Opportunity PAC didn’t give a dime of support to the five moderates under 0 n the Wednesday afternoon before the primary, Carolyn Boyle was ensconced in her small, temporary Austin office across the street from the Capitol. The final push was on, and Boyle was fielding constant phone calls, trying to finalize the text for the last round of mailers, and to determine how many mailers she could afford to print and which potential voters should receive them. “Everybody is counting their penniesit’s not like these Leininger-funded candidates,” she said. Instead, the Parent PAC-backed candidates were scrounging for funds. “They’re calling me for help. I don’t know if I have any money.” Parent PAC wasn’t exactly a big money operation. It had raised a total of roughly $200,000, to be spread among 15 House races \(and one Senate entire primary campaign. In the last two weeks before the election, Parent PAC would produce 22 separate mail pieces. As soon as Boyle finished one call, she immediately picked up the phone again. “You’re probably thinking, ‘she’s insane,”‘ she told me, as she dialed. “This is not how I envisioned this.” She was calling the campaign of Charlie Williams, the candidate Parent PAC was supporting against incumbent Rep. Larry The Williams campaign was trying to figure out how many final mailers it could afford to send. “Hi, Carolyn Boyle. I have the number of people who voted in the Republican primary in 2002 or 2004. It’s 7,415 … you want it smaller? … Better to do a smaller mailing, pay more postage, and make sure they reach people in time.” The Williams people decided they wanted a smaller mailing listjust the hard-core Republicans who had voted in the last few primaries. So Boyle hung up and called her database manager. Using voter databases was a big part of Parent PAC’s strategy. To maximize turnout, the PAC needed to tailor specific messages that would spur certain groups of voters to go to the polls. Lists of Republican primary voters were readily accessible, but Boyle wanted to go beyond that. She wanted certain kinds of listslists of teachers, parents, or school district employees who had voted in GOP primaries. She tapped a friend from her Austin church who had computer experience to write a program to merge several lists. Unfortunately, some of the lists were available only as printouts. So a friend of Boyle’s recruited seven stay-at-home moms to work on matching and merging the various printed lists. After several weeks of painstaking work, the moms had helped produce lists that could pinpoint very specific populations, such as teachers in a given House district who had voted Republican. The PAC MARCH 24, 2006 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 19
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