The Political Committee, We Love Plano, should really be called We Love Developer’s Cash. The group’s first Texas Ethics Commission report states they got $70,000 in contributions from 10 people/entities. Nine of them are developers, and eight live outside of Plano.
Our first donor is Eric Schmitz, a real estate developer, whose company, Aquatech Saltwater Disposal, in Denton made a $25,000 contribution to We Love Plano. Our next pair of donors is a couple from Dallas. James and Sarah Feagin are also developers who gave $25,000. Then there is Steve Folsom, a developer from Addison. He gave $1,000. Next we have the Harry LaRosilier Campaign. The Mayor took $15,000 from his campaign coffers and gave it to We Love Plano. Our sixth donor is Randy Heady from Dallas. He owns Heady Investments, a development company. He donated $1,000. The second Plano resident and seventh donor on the list is Dave Johnson. He is the CEO of Aimbridge Hospitality, a hotel management and investment firm. Mr. Johnson gave $1,000. The eighth donor is Mark Lewis from Dallas. He is also a developer who gave $1,000 to We Love Plano. Lastly, we have Mehul and Vaishali Patel from Southlake. Guess what they do for a living. If you guessed developers, you were correct. They also gave $1,000.
By now you are probably wondering what We Love Plano is doing with all the money they are getting, and why out of town developers are donating to it? According to the TEC report, the group is supporting four candidates for the City Council election. They are Maria Tu, Ron Kelly, Rick Grady, and Ann Bacchus. Those candidates have also received direct campaign contributions from developers. The report for We Love Plano says they spent $38,977.89 on advertising and consulting expenses from Nasia Murphy in Austin.
Clearly big money has come to the Plano City Council election. Unlike federal campaign contribution law, there is no limit to the amount of money a person or business can give to a local campaign. As far as we can tell, the Plano Citizen Collation PAC, the counter group to We Love Plano, does not collect that much in donations. As of their last TEC report PCC had $136.92. The group does not get money from big out of town developers. PCC PAC is supporting Danial Long, Colleen Aguilar-Epstein, Shelby Williams, and Lily Bao for City Council.
Why would big developers, mainly out of town developers, care about a Plano city council election? The developer wants to make sure the city council is made up of people who will remember they donated to them directly or indirectly when a zoning change is needed.
Of course the Mayor donated to people he knows will rubber stamp his agenda. Lord forbid he should have independent thinkers on city council with him.
The TEC reports show that this election is truly a David and Goliath battle. Big business developers’ money against small grass roots activists. We wonder who the voters will get behind?
This is Plano’s Political Pit Bull Signing Off.
We at Plano’s Political Pit Bull are not endorsing any candidate for City Council. We encourage voters to do their homework on each candidate, attend the forums, and go vote on May 4th. Early voting starts April 22nd.
As of April 8, 2019 PPPB knows of the following city council forums….