My Pledge for Transparency and Community Power

Charting a New Course in Houston’s District 07: My Pledge for Transparency and Community Power

As we stand at the cusp of a pivotal election in Houston’s Newly Re-Drawn Congressional District 07, I want to share with you my vision for a new era in politics – one grounded in transparency and powered by our community.

My View on Campaign Financing

The source of campaign funding is more than a financial matter; it is a reflection of a candidate’s values and commitment. While my opponent, Lizzie Fletcher, has a history of substantial corporate and industry PAC contributions, I have chosen a different path. My 2024 campaign is a testament to grassroots support, relying entirely on individual contributions. This is not just a choice but a statement – a campaign should be of the people, for the people…by the people.

A Closer Look at the Funding Landscape

In my pursuit to bring a new level of transparency to Houston’s District 07, it is crucial to illuminate the funding patterns that have characterized Lizzie Fletcher’s campaigns and contrast them with the grassroots model I staunchly advocate for.

Shifting Tides in Small Individual Contributions

The small individual contributions to Fletcher’s campaign have seen a significant shift. In 2018, she received $988,960 [1] from small donors. By 2020, that number nearly halved to $441,066[2], and by 2022 it dipped further to $205,720[3]. As of September 30, 2023, the small contributions for the 2024 cycle stand at a mere $8,225[4] on record as of September 30th, 2023. This downward trajectory in small donor support coincides with an increased reliance on PAC contributions, suggesting a pivot towards larger funding entities.

The Role of Industry PACs such as Oil & Gas

Energy & natural resource sector PACs such as for Oil & Gas, are significant backers, contributing a total of approximately $556,500 since the 2020 election cycle. The healthcare and pharmaceutical sector’s PACs follow suit with contributions totaling approximately $293,500 to date. The transportation sector’s PACs, which bring together air, sea, and rail interests, have collectively contributed $136,500 over recent years, marking a consistent flow of industry support. These figures represent more than just monetary support; they signify where a politician’s policy focus will lean, given the industries’ vested interests.[5]

Pro-Israel PAC Contributions

Furthermore, Pro-Israel PACs have also supported Fletcher, with contributions totaling $19,500[6] since the 2020 elections. Although not the largest in financial terms, the consistency of this support is reflective of policy expectations and alignments, especially in foreign policy areas such as the Middle East where U.S. involvement is heavily scrutinized. This does not include dark money outside spending that may come in against our campaign through groups such as AIPAC or DMFI. This was the case in the 2022 North Carolina election where pro-Israel outside groups spent more than $2.8 million to support a candidate[7].

Comprehensive Industry Contributions

When we examine the broader picture, the combined contributions from these key sectors – wall-street, healthcare, energy, Pro-Israel, and others – exceed $986,000 flowing into Fletcher’s campaigns since the 2020 election. This amalgamation of industry and lobbyist PAC funds paints a complex donor mosaic and warrants a conversation about the influence of such contributions on a candidate’s policy stances.

My Commitment to Individual Funding

Contrasting with this, my campaign stands firm on a foundation built by individual contributions. Nearly 99.9% [8]of our funding comes from individual donors, which ensures our policy direction is not dictated by the interests of industry PACs but by the collective voice of our constituents. I pledge to uphold this model of campaign financing to ensure that the representation of Houston’s District 07 in Congress remains unswayed by PAC influences and true to the community’s will. We are unbought and unbossed.

As we move forward, I invite you to engage with this data, reflect on its implications, and join me in championing a campaign that exemplifies the values of integrity and public service. Together, we can shape a future where political campaigns and their elected representatives are fully accountable to the people they serve.

Why Grassroots Matters

In stark contrast to the funding landscape of my opponent, my campaign is entirely fueled by individual voices. A staggering 99.9% of our funding comes from individual contributors. This overwhelming support from individuals ensures that our campaign remains deeply accountable to you, the residents of Houston.

This funding structure is more than a financial strategy; it’s a reflection of our commitment to maintain independence and ensure that our policies are aligned with the needs of our community, not dictated by special interests. It represents a political campaign rooted in the very heart of democracy, where every voice matters and every contribution, large or small, is a testament to our shared vision for Houston’s District 07.

The Influence of Funding on Policy

The way a campaign is funded directly impacts a politician’s decisions. My grassroots funding model means my policy decisions are aligned with what’s best for our community, not dictated by the wealthy special interests. From healthcare to education, to environmental policies, my commitment is to serve the collective interest of Houston’s District 07.

As I campaign for a seat in Congress, I am not just advocating for policy changes; I am advocating for a change in how politics is done. My commitment to transparency and grassroots funding is a promise of a more democratic, accountable, and people-focused approach to representation.

References:

  1. $988,960 in 2018: “Texas District 07 2018 Race.” OpenSecrets. Accessed January 26, 2024. https://www.opensecrets.org/races/candidates?cycle=2018&id=TX07&spec=N.

  2. $441,066 in 2020: “Texas District 07 2020 Race.” OpenSecrets. Accessed January 26, 2024. https://www.opensecrets.org/races/candidates?cycle=2020&id=TX07&spec=N.

  3. $205,720 in 2022: “Texas District 07 2022 Race.” OpenSecrets. Accessed January 26, 2024. https://www.opensecrets.org/races/candidates?cycle=2022&id=TX07&spec=N.

  4. $8,225 in 2024: “Texas District 07 2024 Race.” OpenSecrets. Accessed January 26, 2024. https://www.opensecrets.org/races/candidates?cycle=2024&id=TX07&spec=N.

  5. Top 100 Industries Contributing to Campaign Committee.” OpenSecrets. Note: Data is available for various election cycles through dropdown selection. Accessed January 26, 2024. https://www.opensecrets.org/members-of-congress/lizzie-fletcher/industries?cid=N00041194&type=I.

  6. Details on Pro-Israel PAC funding can be found by navigating through various election cycles. Accessed January 26, 2024. https://www.opensecrets.org/members-of-congress/lizzie-fletcher/industries?cid=N00041194&type=I

     

  7. In the face of pro-Israel super PACs, young Jewish progressives move further left.” May 20, 2022. Accessed January 26, 2024. https://religionnews.com/2022/05/20/in-the-face-of-pro-israel-super-pacs-young-jewish-progressives-move-further-left/
  8. Candidates: Texas District 07 – 2024.” Note: Specific information on Pervez Agwan’s funding can be found on the page. Accessed January 26, 2024. https://www.opensecrets.org/races/candidates?cycle=2024&id=TX07&spec=N.

Pervez Agwan

For U.S. Congress

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