Bob J. Perry

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Bobby Jack Perry, known as Bob J. Perry (October 30, 1932 – April 13, 2013[1]), 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.[2]

Political donations[edit]

527 groups[edit]

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.[3] 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,[4] and Stephen Gardner, who served on Kerry's boat.[5] 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."[6]

In that cycle, Perry also donated $3 million to Progress for America Voter Fund. In all, he donated almost $8.1 million to 527 groups in 2003-2004.[3]

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.[7] 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.[8] The super PAC Restore Our Future (supporting Mitt Romney) received $3 million from Perry in February 2011.[9] Perry also donated to the Super PAC Congressional Leadership Fund, making his total contributions to Super PACs nearly $8 million.[10]

In 2011, Perry donated $2,531,799 to Texas Governor and United States Presidential Candidate Rick Perry (R, TX) toward his Presidential campaign.[11]

Between 2011 and 2012 Perry donated another $10 million to the Mitt Romney affiliated Restore our Future[12] and another $6.5 million to American Crossroads.[13] Perry is the biggest contributor to SuperPACs in the 2012 election cycle with a total of $18.5 million as of September 2012.[14] He was a 2012 donor to Christi Craddick, a Republican elected to the Texas Railroad Commission, and a daughter of former Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives Tom Craddick of Midland, Texas.[15]


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.[16]

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).[17] They also contributed $10,000 to DeLay's legal defense fund.[18]

In 2006, Perry was the largest political donor in Texas. His donations included nearly $400,000 to the campaign of GOP Governor Rick Perry (no relation).[19]

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.[19] In December 2007, he donated $200,000 to the Club for Growth for advertisements against Mike Huckabee in the Republican primary.[20] 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.[21]

During the 2012 Wisconsin Gubernatorial Recall Election, Perry donated $500,000 to the "Friends of Scott Walker"[22] campaign - second only to Diane Hendricks with $510,000.[23] 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.[24]

Personal life[edit]

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.[25] He married his wife Doylene in 1961 and they had children.[2] She was a professor at San Jacinto College.[26]

Perry was a resident of Nassau Bay, Texas in Greater Houston and lived there for over thirty years. He was a member of the Nassau Bay Baptist Church.[27]

He died in his sleep the night of April 13, 2013.[26] Bob Perry's daughter, Kathy Britton is now the CEO of Perry Homes.


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 of the Heritage Club.[28]


  1. ^ AP via Huff Post: Perry remembered as titan of political spending Archived November 6, 2015, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ a b Laylan Copelin, "AAS: Texas donor supported swift boat ads: Unassuming home builder getting more notoriety for latest donation than for record amounts in 2002" Archived October 2, 2006, at the Wayback Machine, Austin American-Statesman, August 28, 2004
  3. ^ a b Paul Kiel, "Swift Boat Redux: Wealthy GOP Donor Drops $5 Mil for New Group" Archived October 16, 2006, at the Wayback Machine,, September 14, 2006
  4. ^ "'Hardball with Chris Matthews' for August 19". NBC News. Retrieved 2013-04-22.
  5. ^ Brinkley, Douglas (March 9, 2004). "The Tenth Brother". Time. Archived from the original on March 12, 2004.
  6. ^ Chris McGreal, "Mitt Romney Super Pac brought in $18m in six months, FEC figures reveal Archived March 7, 2016, at the Wayback Machine" (February 1, 2012). Guardian.
  7. ^ 527 Committee Activity: Top 50 Federally Focused Organizations Archived July 23, 2008, at the Wayback Machine,, accessed September 15, 2006
  8. ^ Bob Perry Gives $7 Million to American Crossroads, Oct 20 2010, Yadron, Danny (20 October 2010). "Bob Perry Gives $7 Million to American Crossroads - Washington Wire - WSJ". Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on 2016-12-27. Retrieved 2010-10-20.
  9. ^ "Search Campaign Finance Data by Individual Contributor". Archived from the original on 2016-12-02. Retrieved 2008-02-02.
  10. ^ "Super PACs and Their Donors: Buying Your Future - Home". Archived from the original on 2016-10-14. Retrieved 2012-07-23.
  11. ^ Friends With Benefits: Rick Perry’s Biggest Donors Archived April 1, 2016, at the Wayback Machine,, accessed September 20, 2011
  12. ^ PAC track Archived September 21, 2016, at the Wayback Machine Top Contributors to Restore Our Future
  13. ^ PAC track Archived September 21, 2016, at the Wayback Machine Top Contributors to American Crossroads
  14. ^ PAC track Archived September 21, 2016, at the Wayback Machine Top Contributors to Super PACs (Through September 30, 2012)
  15. ^ "Enrique Rangel, "Chisum faces uphill battle for new seat"". Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, June 3, 2012. Retrieved June 3, 2012.
  16. ^ "Bob Perry - The Man Behind Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" Archived May 28, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, Texans for Public Justice, accessed September 15, 2006
  17. ^
  18. ^ Suzanne Gamboa, Associated Press, May 1, 2006
  19. ^ a b Chris Cillizza and Matthew Mosk, "'Swift Boat' Figure Joins Romney", Washington Post, March 16, 2007
  20. ^ "Huckabee foes open their wallets for attack ads". Los Angeles Times. January 1, 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-01-13. Retrieved 2008-01-03.
  21. ^ Greg Sargent and Eric Kleefeld, "Swift Boat Vet Financier Dumping Huge Money Into Key Senate Race" Archived August 12, 2008, at the Wayback Machine,, August 12, 2008
  22. ^ Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | "2012 gubernatorial recall election contributions". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2012-05-13.
  23. ^ Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | "2012 gubernatorial recall election contributions". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2012-05-13.
  24. ^ "Swift Boat Backer Bob Perry Funded Mysterious Super PAC | TPMMuckraker". Archived from the original on 2013-06-08. Retrieved 2012-11-29.
  25. ^ "'Swift Boat' backer is major political financier: Texan has deep pockets for conservative causes" , Associated Press, August 27, 2004
  26. ^ a b "Bob Perry, major Republican contributor, dies". Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 15 April 2013.
  27. ^ Gwynne, S.C. "Bob Perry Needs a Hug." Texas Monthly. April 2007. p. 2 Archived December 21, 2014, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on June 20, 2014. "He lives in a stately, 13,874-square-foot, eight-bedroom, dun-colored stucco house with four big pillars in the town of Nassau Bay, southeast of Houston, on a narrow bayou called Clear Creek a few miles from NASA at Clear Lake. He has lived there for thirty years. Aside from a small crop of large homes, the neighborhood is pretty solidly middle class. Nothing fancy. The house is appraised by Harris County at $662,010, though most of the houses around it are in the $200,000 range. He is an ardent pro-lifer and a member of the Nassau Bay Baptist Church."
  28. ^ "The Council for National Policy: Selected Member Biographies" Archived March 9, 2016, at the Wayback Machine,, "an independent Christian research and apologetics ministry", accessed September 15, 2006

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