AUSTIN, Texas — A west Texas cattle rancher and his wife have donated $1 million to Gov. Greg Abbott, following a trend of seven-figure political donations across the U.S.
Mike and Mary Porter made the donation in June, the Houston Chronicle reported .
“We don’t expect anything out of this. . nothing in return,” Mike Porter said. “We believe Governor Abbott has put forward a vision to keep Texas exceptional, and we wanted to do our part in supporting what he’s doing. That’s all there was to it.”
Politicians are becoming accustomed to asking for and receiving million-dollar contributions, said Michael Malbin, executive director of the Washington-based Campaign Finance Institute.
“If more candidates are asking for these larger contributions, it becomes part of an atmosphere where there will be more,” Malbin said.
The National Institute on Money in State Politics analyzed the 2016 election cycle’s campaign finance records. It found there were nearly 50 contributions of $1 million in eight states. Illinois had the most with $32 million donated in multiple seven-figure chunks.
Texas is among more than 10 states that don’t limit campaign donations from individuals.
Some political scientists and campaign consultants have said the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 decision to allow donors to give candidates millions of dollars through super PACs may be contributing to the trend.
By 2015, nearly 80 donors gave $1 million or more to super PACs, which accounted for nearly a quarter of the money raised by presidential candidates, according to a review Malbin published.
“In the future, I would expect that we’ll see more and more of these signature donations, seven figures on the checks where we used to see mostly six figures,” said Mark Jones, a political scientist at Rice University in Houston.
Information from: Houston Chronicle, http://www.houstonchronicle.com