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TX Rep’s Fundraiser May Violate Campaign Finance Law

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Texas Rep. Craig Goldman (R-Fort Worth) | Image by Jordan Vonderhaar for The Texas Tribune

A member of the Texas House may be in violation of federal campaign finance laws.

Texas Rep. Craig Goldman (R-Fort Worth) is named on the host committee for an upcoming fundraiser for Speaker of the House Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont), according to the Texas Scorecard.

Phelan is heading to a runoff election against David Covey and has faced backlash for leading the Ken Paxton impeachment process last year, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.

Phelan is scheduled to have a fundraiser on April 10 in Dallas with a list of state representatives, including Goldman.

Goldman will be facing businessman John O’Shea in a runoff in the Republican primary in May to fill the seat of Texas’ 12th Congressional District. The seat is currently filled by U.S. Congresswoman Kay Granger (R-TX), who will not seek re-election.

Federal election law makes it illegal for candidates running for federal positions to participate in non-federal campaign fundraiser events unless the fundraiser event has a “clear and conspicuous oral or written disclaimer that the solicitation is not being made by the federal candidate,” reported the Texas Scorecard.

Furthermore, federal candidates cannot solicit funds for non-federal races over the federal limit of $3,300 per person. The event, however, has host levels as high as $50,000.

“This is a huge screwup on Goldman’s part and it leaves the donors and other participants in the event exposed for potential federal campaign finance violations,” Texas campaign finance attorney Tony McDonald told the Texas Scorecard.

Goldman’s campaign has not been without controversy. As reported by The Dallas Express, campaign donor Eric Fox was allegedly caught stealing signs targeting Goldman. Fox had reportedly donated $3,300 to Goldman’s campaign on November 16, 2023.

Another incumbent going into May’s runoff election has recently been scrutinized for their fundraisers.

Texas Rep. Stephanie Klick (R-North Richland Hills) is facing a runoff against David Lowe and is having a fundraiser in Austin on April 3. The hosts include former Speaker of the Texas House Dennis Bonnen.

Bonnen announced his decision not to run for re-election in 2019 after a quid pro quo scandal, in which an audio recording appeared to capture Bonnen trying to offer Michael Quinn Sullivan of Empower Texans media credentials in exchange for media targeting of 10 House Republicans, per the Texas Scorecard.

Sullivan posted on X, “Looks like [Rep. Klick] is going to be in Austin on April 3, asking lobbyists to protect her from her record and her constituents….”

The Dallas Express reached out to Goldman’s office but the representative was not immediately available for comment.

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