Campaign against firefighter pay parity raises nearly $1 million

ByTed Oberg and Keaton Fox via KTRK logo
Tuesday, October 30, 2018
EMBED <>More Videos

Mayor Sylvester Turner and the fire union went head-to-head on Saturday to debate a contentious issue on the November ballot.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The campaign against a measure that would give Houston firefighters equal pay with police of a similar rank raised nearly a million dollars since the last reporting deadline a month ago, campaign finance reports show.

Monday was the 8-day deadline for specific-purpose committees to file campaign finance reports.

Protect Houston PAC raised $930,681, its report shows. One-third of that is in-kind contributions from Mayor Sylvester Turner.

The records show Turner's campaign paid $355,000 for television and radio ads.

Other contributors include another political action committee called "Houstonians for Sound Fiscal Policy" housed at the Greater Houston Partnership, two owners of Yellow Cab and a number of real estate developers.

Nearly half of the PAC's business or labor contributions came from a $100,000 donation from Industrial Fabrics of Baton Rouge.

The Houston Police Officers' Union, previously listed as the only other donor outside the mayor, donated $56,631.49.

The PAC spent $451,973.68 mostly on consulting, advertising, and polling.

A report for the Support Our Firefighters PAC shows just over half a million in political contributions.

The largest contributions come from other firefighting departments and political groups from around the country and a single $100,000 donation from an individual. The PAC also reports lots of smaller individual contributions that make up the rest.

It spent just under $500,000 in the reporting period. The PAC paid for advertising expenses, t-shirts for blockwalkers and consulting fees.

Voters head to the polls on Nov. 6.

Previous reporting on Prop B:

  • Houston mayor and fire union debate ballot initiative on firefighter pay
  • Turner agrees to 7 percent raise for police weeks before fire pay vote
  • 'How about you resign?' Houston council members get heated after failed meeting over prop b
  • Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly indicated Support Our Firefighters PAC was supporting Prop A. It is supporting Prop B.

    For the latest investigations, follow Ted on Facebook and Twitter.

    Have a tip for Ted Oberg? A problem to solve? Get in touch with us on our tip page, or send a tip below. (On mobile? You can open our form by tapping here.)