Campaign Finance

Reform Austin is dedicated to increasing transparency by engaging and educating taxpayers about what goes on behind the doors of our state Capitol. Our mission is to ensure our elected leaders are working for the public good. 
Campaign finance is all about money in politics and the corrupting influence it has. Reform Austin provides investigative reporting on who is funding campaigns, how much candidates are receiving, and how it influences votes. This includes the millions of dollars in special interest cash that pour into campaign coffers, and the lobbyists and political action committees (PACs) who contribute with the expectation that legislators will vote for them, rather than for their constituents. 
Campaign finance reports are filed semi-annually with the Texas Ethics Commission and are made available to the public. During election years, candidates must file two additional pre-election reports: one 30 days prior and one eight days prior to an election. 
These reports are comprised of total political contributions (the total amount of money a candidate or officeholder raised in the last six months), total expenditures (the total amount of money a candidate or officeholder spent in the last six months), and cash on hand (the total amount of money a candidate has to spend).
Contributions tell us who donated to a candidate or officeholder. They often speak to the motivations the person might have should they be elected. 
Reform Austin also reports on legislation, laws, and reforms concerning campaign finance, such as closing loopholes in the moratorium to give taxpayers more confidence in their representatives. Elected officials should be looking out for us, not their big donors.

World series, money, Houston, economy

DATA: Download Personal Financial Statements

When lawmakers are transparent and accountable, we all benefit. Unfortunately, current laws don’t require the state to post Personal Financial Disclosure of...

“Late” Lozano and “Just missed it” Johnson

Each year, Texas politicians, candidates, and state officials are required to file a Personal Financial Statement (PFS) disclosing their assets and liabilities,...

Joe Straus, former House speaker, wakes the sleeping centrist giant of the Republican Party.

Joe Straus (R-San Antonio) will return to Texas politics after retiring from his representative seat in 2017. With the announcement of Texas...

San Antonio Democrat Lopez Outraises, Outspends House District 125 Opponent

With Election Day one week away, the Texas Ethics Commission recently released eight-day campaign finance filings, the last required report before the March 12th election.

Special Interest PACs, Corporations Bankroll 2019 Texas Inauguration

Last Friday, the 2019 Inaugural Committee released the list of inaugural contributors, more than a month after the inauguration for Governor Abbott and Lt....

Houston Democrat Morales Outraises, Outspends House District 145 Opponent

With Election Day one week away, the Texas Ethics Commission recently released eight-day campaign finance filings, the last required report before the March 5th election.

Here's to the Losers: How Incumbents Spent Millions to Lose in 2018

With the final campaign finance reports for the 2018 election cycle turned in three weeks ago, Texas residents can now have a better idea...

Follow the Freshmen: Campaign Finances and the Sprint to Session

Second in an occasional series Reform Austin has reported extensively on the nexus of special interest campaign money and its impact on state legislation. Millions of...

8-DAY FILING FOR SPECIAL ELECTION IN HOUSE DISTRICT 125

With Election Day a week away, the Texas Ethics Commission recently released the four candidates’ 8-day campaign finance filings, the last required report before the February 12th election.

8-Day Filing for Special Election in House District 79

When State Representative Joe Pickett (D- El Paso) announced his resignation from the Texas Legislature just prior to the start of the 86th session, a vacancy opened in Texas House District 79.

Campaign Finance Must Read