Bob Perry Donates to Multiple Presidential Hopefuls

Tim Pawlenty

Mit Romney

With the 2012 presidential race heating up, candidates have begun to boast about their high-profile donors. In particular, Texas millionaire Bob Perry has been a significant contributor to both Tim Pawlenty and Mitt Romney’s campaigns.  It is not uncommon for big donors to give to multiple campaigns, explains Alexander Burns in his Politico article, but Burns goes on to say “the real test of loyalty here will be who –if any– Perry actually bundles contributions for.”  Bundling is when a large group of fundraisers get together to form their own PAC allowing individuals to funnel more money into an election.

Perry also gave to multiple candidates in the 2008 presidential election. He gave the maximum amount of $2,300 to both Romney and McCain in the Republican primary.  However, Perry is hardly alone in hedging his bets.

Michael Beckel’s OpenSecrets blog shows many donors give to multiple campaigns.  The most interesting discovery from Beckel’s report is that many people cross party lines even when they give a substantial amount to each candidate (talk about hedging your bets).  Perhaps the most surprising of the cross-overs are that two donors gave the maximum amount to Rep. Ron Paul and now Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Beckel offers a quote from an anonymous Democratic campaign operative to explain the multiple donations. The operative said “donations like these are about access. At that level of contribution, you probably get to meet the candidate and have a conversation with them.”

Perry seems to be all about access and creating chances to be in the “winner’s circle” as Larry Sabato describes.  Perry has been a influential person not only in Texas politics but also national politics. He has donated millions of dollars to 527 groups or PACs,  such as Karl Rove’s PAC American Crossroads, Tom Delay’s TRMPAC and ARMPAC (both instrumental in Tom Delay’s criminal conviction) and the highly controversial group Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.  It appears the 2012 election cycle will be no different for Perry who will continue to use his large amounts of money for access and influence.