Texans for Public Justice

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Texans for Public Justice
Texans for Public Justice Logo.jpg
Abbreviation TPJ
Formation 1997
Founder Craig McDonald
Type 501(c)4
Headquarters Austin, Texas
Craig McDonald
Research Director
Andrew Wheat
$248,367 (FY 2013)
Website tpj.org

Texans for Public Justice (TPJ) is an Austin-based non-profit group founded in 1997 to take on political corruption and corporate abuses in Texas, United States. Their early focus was on tracking campaign contributions in Texas and elsewhere, including contributions to George W. Bush's campaign in the 2000 and 2004 US presidential elections. The group lodged the original complainant that led to the now overturned conviction of former US Representative Tom Delay, as well as current Texas Governor Rick Perry's widely criticized August 2014 felony indictment.[1]

It has been accused of being "funded by out-of-state foundations and rich individuals to specialize in “lawfare” against state officials of whose policies they disapprove".[2] Craig McDonald, a Michigan native, founded the organization and is its current Director. He began his career on the political left via the public interest movement in the late-1970s working as a community organizer.[1] Working for Ralph Nader's Public Citizen activist group in 1984, he went on to create the Texas office of Public Citizen in that same year.

According to TPJ, its board of directors includes, in addition to McDonald, two other veterans of Nader’s Public Citizen; a former aide to the late Texas Democratic Gov. Ann Richards who was also a Clinton-Gore organizer; and a journalist who “has written for numerous progressive publications.” [2] McDonald claims that TPJ only reveals its institutional funders and doesn’t reveal its individual supporters for fear of political retaliation. He said he doesn’t consider that policy in conflict with the group’s work in highlighting the impact of money in politics.[1]

The group receives monies from George Soros, Open Society Foundations, the Piper Foundation, the Sunlight Foundation, the Winkler Family Foundation, and Good Jobs First. Its 2005 tax return showed "Texas trial lawyers as major contributors."[1][3][4][5]


  1. ^ a b c d Aman Batheja (August 19, 2014). "Meet the Group That Sparked the Perry Indictment". The Texas Tribune. Retrieved August 21, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Michael Linda (August 25, 2014). "Rick Perry's controversy snowballs: How his indictment spawned a new flap". Salon. Retrieved August 26, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Music News | Latest in Rock, Indie, Hip Hop and More". Rolling Stone. 2014-08-18. Retrieved 2014-08-24. 
  4. ^ W. Gardner Selby (April 24, 2007). "Texans for Public Justice report analyzes lawmakers' travel costs". Statesman.com. Archived from the original on February 19, 2012. Retrieved August 25, 2014. 
  5. ^ Yardley, Jim (2002-01-02). "ENRON'S COLLAPSE: TEXAS JUDGE; Enron Ruling By Nominee To U.S. Court Is Being Noticed". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-08-19. 

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