Chart: How Texans Win Friends and Influence Elections

From charities to GOP dark-ops groups, these Texas megadonors share the same rarified circles.

For Dallas billionaire gas-driller Trevor Rees-Jones and his wife, Janice, philanthropy helped provide entry into an orbit of fabulously wealthy and politically connected Texans, where alliances are forged among givers to the same cherished causes. While riding in a golf cart with ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, who serves as president of the Boy Scouts of America, Rees-Jones agreed to donate $25 million to the Scouts’ Dallas chapter. He also gave $25 million to the Perot Museum of Nature and Science and another $25 million to Parkland Memorial Hospital, a favorite of old-line GOP money men like Harold Simmons—a major backer of Gov. Rick Perry, Rove’s American Crossroads, and the John Kerry-vanquishing Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. These details come from Josh Harkinson’s “Black Gold for the GOP,” which explains how Rees-Jones has emerged recently as one of the Republicans’ top money men. The chart below details the ties between Rees-Jones and other conservative Texas socialites, charities, pols, and political-attack PACs. Also be sure and check out our roundup of “The Biggest Little GOP Donors in Texas.”