Robert J. Perry

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Robert J. "Bob" Perry is a Houston, Texas, homebuilder who has "helped bankroll the widespread success of Republican candidates", has "long-standing ties to many close associates" of President George W. Bush, and has "contributed to Bush's last four campaigns. According to interviews and campaign documents, he has given a total of more than $5 million to scores of political candidates," the Houston Chroncle reported in August 2004.[1]

In the 2006 election cycle, Perry, who was the "#1 individual donor to 527 committees, donated as much as the #2, #3 and #4 on the list. That is $9,750,000 in total."[2]

In the 2012 Election cycle, Perry was the second largest overall donor to 527 committees. Perry's donations to conservative SuperPAC's, formed after the 2010 Citizens United decision, totaled $16 million dollars [3]

Influencing the 2012 Election

Bob Perry donated to a diverse group of conservative superPAC's during the 2012 election cycle. He was one of the largest financial supporters of Mitt Romney during the Republican Primary, supplying two $500,000 donations to Restore Our Future in 2011. Restore Our Future is a superPAC created expressly for the purpose of electing Mitt Romney. He followed these donations with a $3 million dollar donation in February of 2012, during the height of the primary, followed by $4 million in donations in the summer of 2012. In total, Perry has given $10 million to the PAC. In the same two years, Perry also donated $7.5 million to American Crossroads (the SuperPAC spinoff of Crossroads GPS), and $1 million dollars to the Congressional Leadership Fund, and $1 million to the Club for Growth political action fund. [4]

Bankrolling Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker

Perry gave $250,000 to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker to fight an expected 2012 recall election in Wisconsin. Perry was one of the top four donors who collectively gave Walker $1 million for his campaign. Perry had given Walker $250,000 in an earlier contribution, bringing his total donation to $500,000. Mike McCabe, executive director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, said Walker had raised more money from donors than any other candidate in state history. Walker raised an astounding $5,749,926.26 from out-of-state donors within five weeks. [5]

Buying the California 2008 vote for the GOP

During summer 2007, the California law firm Bell, McAndrews & Hiltachk, LLP, which has represented such Republican front groups as the Economic Freedom Fund, also bankrolled by Perry,[6] "filed a ballot initiative that would apportion the state’s presidential electors on a district-by-district,[7] rather than statewide, basis. The ballot initiative 'would rig elections in a way that would make it difficult for a Democrat to be elected president, no matter how the popular vote comes out'[8]."[9]

Swiftboating Hillary Clinton

Chris Kelly of The Huffington Post "writes[10] that[11] — funded by the likes of Republican heavy hitters T. Boone Pickens and Bob Perry — aims for satire and misses. Light on the laughs, he says, and heavy on the lame when firing at the junior senator from New York.

"'You look at this site and all you can think is: You’re Republicans. … Now you can’t even run a smear campaign? Do you expect to win the next election on Diebold (election computers) alone?'"[12]

Bankrolling Mitt Romney

A member of Romney's Texas Leadership Team, in March 2007 Perry threw a fundraiser for 2008 Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney.[13]

"While Bob Perry will not be able to write Romney any more than a $2,300 check, his willingness to fund third-party groups[14] could play a key role as the campaign heats up.

"Second, the Romney team is likely to paint Perry's decision as a slap in the face to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). Back in 2005, Perry cut a $4,200 check to McCain's Senate reelection committee, which was subsequently transferred to McCain's presidential exploratory committee. Now, it's important to remember that McCain never claimed Perry as a formal backer for his presidential campaign, and the two would seem an unlikely pair given McCain's advocacy for legislation that would severely curtail the political activities of 527 groups like Swift Boat Veterans for Truth."[15]

"Third is the symbolism of Romney linking himself to Perry. No single person is more closely identified with the Swift Boat Veterans and their controversial campaign to discredit John Kerry than Perry. While most Democrats decried the actions of the group as the lowest form of negative politics, many on the Republican side credit it with fundamentally altering the public perception of Kerry -- a transformation some say led directly to President Bush's reelection in 2004."[15]

Bankrolling Free Enterprise Fund in 2007

Perry was the primary financier for the Free Enterprise Fund, the 527 group that came under fire for producing the attack ad that implied that New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez has mob connections. In addition, FEF harassed Democratic candidates by placing their personal, home telephone numbers in FEF's TV ads.[6]

Bankrolling Matt Blunt in 2007

One financial report states that, as of July 2007, Perry had only contributed a total of $471,000 in campaign cash, a far cry from "his record contributions of 2006 of $4.5 Million."[16]

However, August 2007 research shows that Bob Perry and Doylene Perry of Perry Homes in Houston, Tex., contributed $300,000 between March and June 2007 to Missourians for Matt Blunt Inc., a political action committee (C051019) in support of Missouri's Republican Governor.[17]

Bankrolling the GOP in 2006

In 2006, Perry surpassed George Soros as the largest political donor in the country, contributing over nine million dollars to GOP senate and house candidates nationwide, according to Bloomberg News.[18]

"In the 2006 midterms Perry spent about $9 million on robo calls, mailers, and TV and radio ads attacking 20 Democratic House and Senate candidates. Highlights included Montana's gay-baiting TV ad 'Brokebank Democrats,' and his impish habit of putting the home phone telephone numbers of Democratic challengers in his ads. Perry even took the trouble to funnel his meddling millions through three separate, generically-named '527' groups"[19] like the Economic Freedom Fund, Free Enterprise Fund, and Americans for Honesty in Issues.[20]

Perry's "cash" made its way "into the Iowa, Colorado, Indiana and Tennessee campaigns, among others", and funded the "especially negative ad attacking Democrat Harold Ford's Armani suits and expensive cigars".[20]

Bankrolling Swift Boat Veterans for Truth in 2004

Perry, described as a "close friend" of both Karl Rove and John E. O'Neill and said to be the "single largest Texas donor" to the Republican Party, contributed 4.5 million dollars[21] to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth smear campaign against then presidential candidate John F. Kerry.[22][23]

Bankrolling Progress for America Voter Fund in 2004

In the 2004 election cycle, Perry "also donated $3 million to Progress for America Voter Fund, a so-called '527' group that raised more than $38 million that cycle."[24]

Bankrolling Tom DeLay

Perry was "the largest contributor" to Tom DeLay's political action committee, Texans for a Republican Majority PAC (TRMPAC), "giving $165,000 in the 2002 election cycle." In 2001, Perry "contributed $95,000" to DeLay's Republican Majority Issues PAC.[25]

DeLay (R-Tex.) represented Texas's 22nd congressional district from 1984 to 2006, served as House Majority Leader from 2002 until his resignation in 2005 following his indictment on conspiracy charges, and stepped down from his seat in Congress on June 9, 2006.


"Perry has been a political donor for years, working with White House political director Karl Rove during Rove's Texas years, contributing to Texas Governor Rick Perry's rise in politics and giving $20,000 to Bush's two campaigns for governor in the 1990s.

"But Perry, no relation to the governor, began increasing his donations in 2000. Today, campaign documents and his representatives confirm that he has given more money to campaigns and political organizations in the past four years than any other Texan. A few of his donations have gone to Democratic candidates, but most have gone to Republicans and conservative causes.

"He has given almost $1 million to the Texas Republican Party. He has donated at least $200,000 to Texans for Lawsuit Reform, one of the most successful tort reform" organizations in the nation.

"In the 2002 election cycle, he also provided about $700,000 for the GOP's effort to dominate Texas politics. That included $165,000 given to Texans for a Republican Majority, an offshoot of US House majority leader Tom DeLay's Americans for a Republican Majority, formed to help conservatives get elected.

"The election that year of a slate of DeLay-backed Republicans -- all supported by Perry -- gave the GOP control of the state House for the first time in 130 years. That paved the way for passage of a host of conservative measures, such as abortion restrictions and limits on medical malpractice cases. The GOP also redrew congressional maps for Texas, a move designed to shore up Republican control of Congress.

"Perry is largely unknown outside campaign finance databases and a small group of political leaders, shunning social activities often embraced by major donors. Many of the politicians who have received Perry's money say they have never met him."[1]


Also see


  1. 1.0 1.1 Scott Gold, "Top Bush supporter funds attacks on Kerry's war record. Homebuilder is longtime force in Texas GOP," Houston Chronicle (Boston Globe), August 15, 2004.
  2. "Romney scores Texas’ biggest political donor," 2008 U.S. Presidential Campaign Finance Blog, May 28, 2007.
  3. 2012 Top Donors to Outside Spending Groups, Accessed October 8th, 2012
  4. Donor Detail report for Bob Perry, Accessed October 30th, 2012
  5. Patrick Marley, Jason Stein, Four donors jointly gave Walker $1 million in recent weeks, JS Online, January 24, 2012
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Free Enterprise Fund," Swiftboating USA Blog, January 23, 2007.
  7. Dan Morain, "GOP eyes California's electoral pie. Strategists push a 2008 ballot initiative that would slice up the state's 55 votes for president, based on congressional districts," Los Angeles Times, August 6, 2007.
  8. Editorial: "Stacking the Electoral Deck," New York Times, August 22, 2007.
  9. "GOP Power Grab For California Votes Linked To Swift Boat Funder," Think Progress, September 4, 2007.
  10. Chris Kelly, "How They'll Beat Hillary," The Huffington Post, August 8, 2007.
  11. website.
  12. "Politics: Hillary Rodham Punchline,", August 8, 2007.
  13. Chris Cillizza and Matthew Mosk, "'Swift Boat' Figure Joins Romney," Washington Post, March 17, 2007.
  14. Pat Doyle, "Swift Boat contributor funded ads against Hatch," Star Tribune, December 20, 2006.
  15. 15.0 15.1 Chris Cillizza, "Swift Boat Money Man Raising $ for Romney," The Fix Blog/Washington Post, March 16, 2007.
  16. John Coby, "Raising Campaign Cash 2007 from Bob Perry," Bay Area Houston Blogspot, July 28, 2007.
  17. "Texas Republicans Doing Missouri Republican Dirty Work," KC Blue Blog, August 30, 2007.
  18. Michael Forsythe and Jonathan D. Salant, "Soros Bumped as Top Political Giver by Swift-Boat Group's Perry," Bloomberg News, November 3, 2006.
  19. Justin Rood, "He Burned Thru $9 Mil, But Rich GOPer Couldn't Start a Fire," TPMmuckraker, November 9, 2006.
  20. 20.0 20.1 Cody Lyon, "Who is Bob Perry and Why Should Voters Care?" CodyLyon's Blogolater Blogspot, March 13, 2007. A repost of the 2006 "What Bob Perry's Politicking Says About Campaign Finance Rules In America."
  21. Michael R. Blood, "Calif. Ballot Proposal's GOP Ties," Associated Press ( (N.H.)), September 4, 2007.
  22. Kate Zernike and Jim Rutenberg, "Friendly Fire: The Birth of an Anti-Kerry Ad," New York Times, August 20, 2004.
  23. Bill Berkowitz, "The power of Bob Perry's 'Swift-Boating' money," Media Transparency, October 27, 2006.
  24. Paul Kiel, "Swift Boat Redux: Wealthy GOP Donor Drops $5 Mil for New Group," TPMmuckraker, September 14, 2006.
  25. "Bob Perry - The Man Behind Swift Boat Veterans for Truth," Texans for Public Justice, accessed September 5, 2007.

External links