Wendy Davis, running for Texas governor on the strength of her stand in favor of late-term abortion, raised nearly $3.80 million in the second half of 2013. Nearly $1.07 million - 28 percent - of that money came from outside of Texas, according to my analysis of her campaign finance filing.
Davis's national fame, of course, comes from her filibuster of a bill to ban abortions after five months of pregnancy, and to regulate abortion clinics as other outpatient surgical facilities are regulated. So it's a safe guess that a huge portion of that $1.07 million in out-of-state money is pro-choice money - which is no surprise, given the central role the abortion cause plays in Democrats' fundraising network.
In fact, the biggest out-of-state contributions Davis lists are all cash or in-kind contributions from pro-choice groups. EMILY’s List contributed $135,000 in cash, plus $25,000 in speechwriting and $4,761 in postage. Planned Parenthood and its affiliates have contributed more than $60,000 between cash, list rental, staff time, and other in-kind gifts.
NARAL has been fundraising for Davis, which accounts for more than $18,000 in in-kind contributions. Naomi Aberly, who sits on the board of Planned Parenthood’s lobbying arm, spent more than $10,000 as an “event expense” for Davis. Aberly has deep connections in Texas, but Davis's campaign reports her as living in Boston.
Fully a quarter of Davis’s out-of-state money, then, is directly attributable to the cause of legal abortion. Considering Aberly’s and NARAL’s fundraising for Davis, and Planned Parenthood’s providing mailing lists to Davis, probably most of that million in out-of-state money was motivated by her standing up against abortion restrictions.
It’s not shocking that a stalwart on an issue would raise so much money from people who agree with her. But as a money-in-politics reporter, it’s interesting to note how lucrative Davis’ filibuster of the late-term abortion ban was.
Also, Davis's other campaign-finance filings due this month will likely show more dependence on large checks from out of state.