Dark Money

Many people were upset by that anonymous non-political political mailer that went out before the general election.

But I suspect that’s not the only dark money spent on our local campaigns.

Remember when the Forma Group lent almost $7000 to their client Debbie Torres for campaign materials?

Here’s the story, from the El Paso Times:

Mailers sent to District 6 residents are missing from Torres’ report. Residents were mailed several mailers in January.

Torres said they’d been expensed by the campaign and she’d review what’s online. 

“They’ll be in the final report,” she said. 

Later she said that Forma had lent her the money.

I don’t want to tell anyone how to run their business, but lending money to losing candidates might not be a good business practice, especially when it’s your job to see that they get elected.

I’m thinking that’s not what Forma did. I think they billed some secret third party, the man behind the curtain.

And I’m thinking Forma’s not the only company involved it these kinds of shenanigans. I’m thinking there’s at least one other entity involved in our local political campaigns, paid for by the movers and shakers.

A candidate doesn’t have to declare in-kind donations, so direct help in an election doesn’t have to be reported. But if someone is paying someone else to influence the vote, they need to register as a Political Action Committee. And if someone helps a candidate get elected, and later uses their access to that candidate/office holder to influence a vote, on behalf of the third party who paid for their services, they should register as a lobbyist.

But rules and laws are only for the little people. We can’t expect our overlords to play by the rules when they can get away with breaking the rules.

4 comments

  1. Call the FBI on Forma! I don´t know if the Texas Ethics Commission has jurisdiction over corrupt campaign consulting firms and their illegal practices (like funding TV ads with no name/organization). Am distraught that 3rd place candidate could have been in the run-off rather than the monstrous Margo who benefited from dark money too. 🙁

  2. Didn’t Hunt and Foster lend $50K to Steve Ortega in his run against Leeser? But it wasn’t reported until after the election. Can’t imagine why. I wonder if the same tactic is in the works for Margo, not that he needs it as much?

    1. Yes, and the donation to Mr. Ortega was reported and then deleted. The only mention of it you can find these days is on one of Martin Paredes’ blogs.

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