Either Tom Leppert's Gearing Up for a U.S. Senate Run or He Just Wasted 75,000 Bucks

Tom_Leppert_102110_Merten.jpg
Sam Merten
Tom Leppert
Mayor Tom Leppert hasn't formally announced his candidacy for Kay Bailey Hutchison's gig just yet, but he hired Republican fund-raiser Shelly Carson last year as his finance director and paid her nearly $75,000, according to campaign finance reports. Carson has yet to return a phone call placed to her office at The Reeds Public Relations Corporation -- Leppert's top political advisor.

Carson previously served as deputy finance director for Mitt Romney's presidential campaign and finance director for South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint's successful 2004 campaign. She also worked as senior finance advisor for ex-U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra and finance director for businessman Dick DeVos during their failed attempts to become governor of Michigan in 2010 and 2006, respectively.

Leppert also hired Stan Olshefski last year to manage his revamped website. Olshefski's a former Internet strategist for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and he worked on former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum's unsuccessful 2006 reelection campaign.

The $74,671.06 paid to Carson came from the Re-Elect Tom Leppert political committee created in October 2008. The specific-purpose committee raised almost $83,000 during the second half of 2010 and spent more than $150,000, reducing its balance to less than $11,000. Texas Election Code allows for such committees to support a candidate "who is seeking an office that is unknown," and that office can be a federal position as long as any documents filed regarding his candidacy are also provided to the Texas Ethics Commission.

The mayor raised $52,580 through his officeholder account during the same time period, draining its balance to zero after repaying part of the $950,000 he lent himself during his 2007 campaign. Republican County Commissioner Maurine Dickey, South Dallas political consultant Willis Johnson and former mayoral candidate Darrell Jordan were among the contributors. The balance of Leppert's personal loans stands at $736,412.74.

He also nabbed almost $40,000 through Friends of Tom Leppert. Donations to his second specific-purpose committee created in October 2007 were highlighted by $20,000 given by oil and gas tycoon Trevor Rees-Jones and wife Jan.


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12 comments
Kenton
Kenton

Is it possible Leppert is gearing up for a senate bid AND he just wasted $75k?

Gangy
Gangy

Are we sure he's not running for president?

3rd Wheel Marketing
3rd Wheel Marketing

It will be interesting to see him run since he is burdened with having to do a real job like mayor. I am against most of his building projects, but otherwise he's pretty liberal socially. I'd hate to see him turn into a Rick Perry replicant but I fear that is what it will take for him to succeed in this twilight zone political arena.

Couple of typos polticial & leant... sorry I used to be a typesetter, I can't help it.

G_David
G_David

Tom Leppert has a website? What a colossal waste of bandwidth.

Tom L (No, Not That L)
Tom L (No, Not That L)

If he's got any sense at all he won't run for Senate. He and TPTB may be able to get the people of Dallas to vote for pretty much anything but that voodoo-like ability does not extend to the rest of the state. All any opponent has to do is mention the taxpayer-funded hotel, the fancy taxpayer-funded Calatrava bridge(s), and of course the Floodway Highway. In fact, as I think about it, I'd imagine TPTB would get pretty nervous about having their dirty laundry dragged out into a statewide fight and may be actively discouraging him from any Senate run.

MattL1
MattL1

Judging from his tenure as mayor, I wouldn't discount the fact that he may have wasted $75k for no reason. I kid, Mayor Tom (I know you're reading this).

[Generic rant decrying the overwhelmingly corrupting influence that money has on American politics and government, followed by a call for publicly financed elections or serious reform to the current system.]

Trey
Trey

This is self-delusion on a scale not seen since Nora Desmond.

Bob
Bob

As of a few weeks ago he was definitely running, but who knows right now? The Superbowl is the biggest annual gathering of the U.S.'s captains of industry. I think he'll make his final decision as shakes hands and shills for donations. No sponsors, then no campaign.

Personally, I think he won't run, which is why he is acting so "lost" right now. I don't feel a lot of energy from him right now. He does not know what to do next if he cannot run for Senate.

Montemalone
Montemalone

apprently my "like" button isn't working, so consider this kudos for that.

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