Prop 8 donations from Texas exceed $1.4 million

Posted on 11 Feb 2009 at 12:23am
By John Wright News Editor

Groups opposing Prop 8 received more contributions from Texas, but groups supporting the measure received more money


Patti Fink

Texans spent more on the fight over same-sex marriage in California last year than they did in their home state in 2005, according to campaign filings released last week.

And more than three-fourths of the money from Texas went to groups supporting Proposition 8, California’s ban on same-sex marriage that was approved by voters in November.

The campaign filings from the California secretary of state cover the period from Jan. 1, 2007 through Dec. 31, 2008.

Donors from Texas contributed more than $1.45 million to groups supporting and opposing Prop 8, according to an analysis of the filings by Dallas Voice. In 2005, groups supporting and opposing Texas’ same-sex marriage ban, Proposition 2, raised a combined total of about $1.28 million.

Groups supporting Prop 8 received more than $1.12 million from Texas donors, while groups opposing the same-sex marriage ban received about $331,000, the filings show.

"I find it sort of shocking actually and very disappointing," said Dallas Gay and Lesbian Alliance President Patti Fink, who contributed $250 to No on 8. "I think a lot of people took it for granted that marriage equality would happen. I think people just assumed and didn’t take action."

Texas ranked fifth among all states for contributions to groups supporting Prop 8, 10th for contributions to groups opposing Prop 8, and eighth overall, according to a national analysis of the filings published Tuesday by The Salt Lake Tribune.

Prop 8 was the most expensive ballot initiative on a social issue in the nation’s history, with a total of $83.1 million raised.

While Prop 8 supporters from Texas outspent opponents three-to-one, groups opposing the measure actually received a greater number of individual contributions.

Groups supporting Prop 8 recorded 423 individual contributions from Texas, for an average contribution of $2,652, while groups opposing the ban received 1,183 individual contributions from Texas, for an average contribution of $280.

Groups supporting Prop 8 received 122 contributions of $5,000 or more from Texas, while groups opposing the measure received only nine contributions of $5,000 or more.

The two largest individual contributions from Texas in support of Prop 8 came from Rachel Weidman of Dallas and of Dale Brown of Midland, who each contributed $50,000.

Weidman’s occupation is listed as "none," but she reportedly is married to David Weidman, chairman and CEO of Celanese Corp., a global chemical company based in Dallas.

Brown is president of Petroleum Strategies Inc.

The biggest contribution from Texas to a group opposing Prop 8 came from Austin-based Apple Inc., which kicked in $100,000.

The largest contribution from a private individual to a group opposing Prop 8 came from William Edwards, a self-employed software investor from Austin who contributed $15,000.

Lee Fikes, president of Bonanza Oil Co. in Dallas, was second at $10,000.

For a complete list of Texas donors supporting Prop 8, see here.

For a complete list of Texas donors opposing Prop 8, see here.

For more on Prop 8 contributions from Texas, see Friday’s Dallas Voice.

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