Developers and other special interests from outside Plano are writing big checks to help re-elect the city’s current mayor. Numerous contributions from residents in Dallas, Frisco, Highland Park, and elsewhere range from $1,000 to $15,000 each.
Plano residents are left wondering where on the mayor’s priority list their concerns reside. Through April 26 of this year, Plano Mayor Harry LaRosiliere had raised more than $318,000 for his 2017 re-election effort. According to data compiled by a local citizen group Plano Future, more than $175,000 comes from individuals and other PACs with ties to developers, apartment projects, or other special interests.
The $318,000 figure is a massive sum for a suburban municipal race and there is likely more coming in the next report. It’s also more than twice the $137,000 LaRosiliere had already raised, which included contributions from 2016.
Texas Scorecard previously reported how LaRosiliere inaccurately told the Dallas Morning News in March he had raised only $60,000 as of the “most recent” reporting period. That figure excluded his 2016 contributions.
LaRosiliere is also touting support from “former mayors.” While several former city officials are supporting the incumbent, campaign finance reports reveal a clever bait and switch. None of the contributors to the “Former Mayors” PAC are former Plano Mayors. Only one of the contributors actually lives in Plano, and even that couple is tied to the Legacy West developers. The remaining six hail from Dallas, McKinney, or Frisco. Total contributions to LaRosiliere from the misleading PAC total nearly $30,000.
Under LaRosiliere’s leadership, the city rejected a lawful petition drive brought about by citizens in 2015. Accepting the petition would have forced a public vote on the city’s current development plan, which effectively calls for tens of thousands of new apartment units. Even worse, the mayor has stated he plans to take the case all the way to the Texas Supreme Court, wasting hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars in the process.
Plano taxpayers deserve public servants who represent their interests, not politicians who abuse them to benefit special interests. Texans for Fiscal Responsibility has endorsed Lily Bao (Mayor), Anthony Ricciardelli (Place 2), Ed Acklin (Place 4), and Rick Smith (Place 8) in their bids for local office.