Bob J. Perry
Bobby Jack Perry, known as Bob J. Perry (October 30, 1932 – April 13, 2013), was a Houston, Texas homebuilder, owner of Perry Homes, and major contributor to a number of politically oriented 527 groups, such as the Swift Vets and POWs for Truth and the Economic Freedom Fund.
In 1968, at 36, he started his homebuilding business, Perry Homes, in Houston. Perry Homes, is a construction company that has built developments comparable to those of the company Toll Brothers. In 2003, the privately held company ranked as the nation's 42nd largest home builder with $420 million in revenue.
In the 2004 election cycle, Perry gave $4.45 million to Swift Vets and POWs for Truth (formerly Swift Boat Veterans for Truth), a 527 group founded by 200 Vietnam veterans; he was the largest single donor. The group held press conferences, ran ads and endorsed a book questioning Kerry's service record and his military awards. The group included several members of Kerry's unit, such as Larry Thurlow, who commanded a swift boat alongside of Kerry's, and Stephen Gardner, who served on Kerry's boat. Chris McGreal of the left-leaning newspaper The Guardian wrote that Perry was the "leading financier" of the group, and alleged the group "smeared the 2004 Democratic presidential candidate Kerry with accusations he made false claims about his service in Vietnam."
In mid-2006, Perry donated $5 million to found a new 527 group, the Economic Freedom Fund. The $5 million makes the group one of the top ten in the 2006 election cycle. He also appears to be the sole donor to Americans for Honesty on Issues. These groups have primarily paid for negative advertisements targeting Democratic Party candidates in the 2006 United States general election.
In 2010, Perry donated $7 million to the 527 group American Crossroads, making it the largest single donation that the organization has received to date. American Crossroads primarily works to elect Republican and conservative legislators. The super PAC Restore Our Future (supporting Mitt Romney) received $3 million from Perry in February 2011. Perry also donated to the Super PAC Congressional Leadership Fund, making his total contributions to Super PACs nearly $8 million.
Between 2011 and 2012 Perry donated another $10 million to the Mitt Romney affiliated Restore our Future and another $6.5 million to American Crossroads. Perry is the biggest contributor to SuperPACs in the 2012 election cycle with a total of $18.5 million as of September 2012.
Perry was born in a one-room house in rural Bosque County, northwest of Waco. He attended Baylor University in Waco, where his father, W.C. Perry, completed a public school teaching career as vice president of student affairs. Perry graduated from Baylor in 1954 with a major in history and followed in his father's footsteps by teaching high school. He married his wife Doylene in 1961 and they have four grown children. She is a professor at San Jacinto College. He died in his sleep the night of April 13, 2013.
Perry contributed $46,000 to George W. Bush’s 1994 and 1998 campaigns for Texas Governor. He was the largest individual contributor to the Texas Republican Party during the 2002 election cycle (calendar 2001 and 2002) giving $905,000.
Perry gave $165,000 in the 2002 election cycle to Tom DeLay's Texans for a Republican Majority political action committee (TRMPAC) giving $165,000 in the 2002 election cycle. In October 2002 Perry and his wife contributed $95,000 to DeLay's Americans for a Republican Majority political action committee (ARMPAC). They also contributed $10,000 to DeLay's legal defense fund.
In March 2007, Perry was listed as a member of Mitt Romney's "Texas Leadership Team", indicating his commitment to contribute to and raise money for Romney's presidential campaign. In December 2007, he donated $200,000 to the Club for Growth for advertisements against Mike Huckabee in the Republican primary. In 2008, he donated another $400,000 to the Club for Growth, which used most of it for its campaign against Mark Udall, the Democratic nominee in the 2008 Colorado election for U.S. Senate.
During the 2012 Wisconsin Gubernatorial Recall Election, Perry donated $500,000 to the "Friends of Scott Walker" campaign - second only to Diane Hendricks with $510,000. Also in 2012, he donated $1 million to the Freedom Fund North America PAC, which spent nearly that amount on television ads against Democratic Senatorial candidates Jon Tester in Montana and Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota, both of whom won their races.
Perry was reportedly a member of the Council for National Policy, joining the CNP Board of Governors in 1982, and serving as vice president of the organization's Executive Committee from 1984–85, as well as being a member of that committee in 1988. He also reportedly was a member of the Board of Directors of the Houston, Texas Chamber of Commerce; on the executive board of the Boy Scouts of America; a former citizen member of the state banking board of Texas; and a member the Heritage Club.
- AP via Huff Post: Perry remembered as titan of political spending
- Laylan Copelin, "AAS: Texas donor supported swift boat ads: Unassuming home builder getting more notoriety for latest donation than for record amounts in 2002", Austin American-Statesman, August 28, 2004
- Paul Kiel, "Swift Boat Redux: Wealthy GOP Donor Drops $5 Mil for New Group", TPMMuckracker.com, September 14, 2006
- Brinkley, Douglas (March 9, 2004). "The Tenth Brother". Time.
- Chris McGreal, "Mitt Romney Super Pac brought in $18m in six months, FEC figures reveal" (February 1, 2012). Guardian.
- 527 Committee Activity: Top 50 Federally Focused Organizations, opensecrets.com, accessed September 15, 2006
- Bob Perry Gives $7 Million to American Crossroads, Oct 20 2010, http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2010/10/20/bob-perry-gives-7-million-to-american-crossroads/
- Friends With Benefits: Rick Perry’s Biggest Donors, swampland.time.com, accessed September 20, 2011
- PAC track Top Contributors to Restore Our Future
- PAC track Top Contributors to American Crossroads
- PAC track Top Contributors to Super PACs (Through September 30, 2012)
- "'Swift Boat' backer is major political financier: Texan has deep pockets for conservative causes", Associated Press, August 27, 2004
- "Bob Perry, major Republican contributor, dies". Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 15 April 2013.
- "Bob Perry - The Man Behind Swift Boat Veterans for Truth", Texans for Public Justice, accessed September 15, 2006
- Suzanne Gamboa, Associated Press, May 1, 2006
- Chris Cillizza and Matthew Mosk, "'Swift Boat' Figure Joins Romney", Washington Post, March 16, 2007
- "Huckabee foes open their wallets for attack ads". Los Angeles Times. January 1, 2008.[dead link]
- Greg Sargent and Eric Kleefeld, "Swift Boat Vet Financier Dumping Huge Money Into Key Senate Race", talkingpointsmemo.com, August 12, 2008
- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | http://www.jsonline.com/watchdog/dataondemand/137996288.html?appSession=109741143926847
- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | http://www.jsonline.com/watchdog/dataondemand/137996288.html?appSession=51241143957190
- "The Council for National Policy: Selected Member Biographies", seekgod.ca, "an independent Christian research and apologetics ministry", accessed September 15, 2006
- "The Quiet Republican: Backer of Anti-Kerry Veterans Groups Eschews the Limelight," Kristen Hays, the Associated Press, August 29, 2004.
- "The Public's Right To 'No'," Andrew Wheat, The Texas Observer, April 7, 2006. Article on check given by Perry to Bill Ceverha of Texans for a Republican Majority.
- Chart: "Ceverha Patrons Beecherl & Perry Gave $1.9 Million To the Politicians Who Appointed Texas' Ethics Czars," The Texas Observer, April 7, 2006. Shows donations by Bob Perry and Louis A. Beecherl Jr.