Rich folks give to Republicans
By contrast, Wal-Mart heiress Alice Walton, who ranks No. 20 on the Forbes list with $15.7 billion in the bank, generally contributes in the hundreds of thousands to GOP politicians, particularly those who support private-school vouchers. Gov. Rick Perry is one of those pro-voucher recipients, and Walton rewarded him last year with a $100,000 contribution. She also gave Abbott $50,000 and House Speaker Tom Craddick $25,000. The third richest Texan, Houston energy billionaire Dan Duncan, who ranked No. 100 on the list, is usually good for a couple hundred thousand each year, with Perry, Abbott and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst taking the top prizes in 2005. Oil, gas, and real estate tycoon Robert Rowling of Irving is one prolific donor who gets what he pays for. A UT regent and a member of Perry's Tax Reform Commission, Rowling gave Perry $100,000 in 2005. Rounding out the top five richest Texans is former presidential candidate Ross Perot who, for better or worse, is the least generous political donor, contributing a measly $3,500 in 2005, with most of that going to state Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Lewisville.