Richard Weekley is a co-founder of Weekley Homes and co-founder, Chairman and CEO of Texans for Lawsuit Reform (TLR), a statewide tort reform organization. Since the 1990s, TLR has won hard-fought legislative victories, including preventing trial lawyers from “shopping” for juries. Supporters of TLR and Mr. Weekley himself have argued these efforts made Texas more business-friendly and were a large component of what’s been dubbed the “Texas Miracle.” Mr. Weekley resides in Houston and gave $1,559,235 in the last cycle.
Not surprisingly, 40% of Mr. Weekley’s giving went to TLR, coming in at $623,730. The remainder is split between direct contributions to candidates and to other PACs offering endorsements to candidates.
Here’s an overview of Richard Weekley’s giving from the last election cycle:
|Richard Weekley – A Closer Look|
|Total Number of Donations||182|
|Average Donation Amount||$8,567.23|
|Donations to Republicans||$466,110|
|Donations to Democrats||$56,500|
|Donations to Texas House Candidates||$286,500|
|Percentage of Donations to Texas House Candidates||18.37%|
|Donations to Texas Senate Candidates||$147,000|
|Percentage of Donations to Texas Senate Candidates||9.43%|
|Donations to Statewide Candidates||$81,110|
|Percentage of Donations to Statewide Candidates||5.2%|
|Donations to Advocacy Groups||$941,625|
|Percentage of Donations to Advocacy Groups||60.39%|
|Donations Given Inside Home District||$15,000|
|Percentage of Donations Inside Home District||.96%|
|Donations Given Outside Home District||$1,544,235|
|Percentage of Donations Outside Home District||99.04%|
Key takeaways from Mr. Weekley’s giving:
Most interesting donation:
Texas House candidate Abraham Padron sought to oust three-term State Representative Sergio Munoz in the Democrat Party Primary. Apparently, State Rep. Munoz is a top target of TLR and their affiliated donors; TLR spent over $200,000 in favor of Mr. Padron, along with a $10,000 direct contribution from Mr. Weekley. One has to wonder why a traditionally Republican donor like Mr. Weekley, and an organization traditionally aligned with Republicans like TLR, would spend north of $210,000 on a state house race in a Democrat district, against a three-term incumbent? While State Rep. Munoz was ultimately successful, winning re-election with 60% of the vote, this level of financial support for his opponent suggests State Rep. Munoz will have another heated primary challenge in 2018.
Our A Closer Look series provides a breakdown of a particular donor’s giving habits within Texas politics. We specifically analyze to whom money is given and when, providing context so citizens can determine the motivation behind the donor’s giving. Stay tuned for the next installment.