Democratic Donors, Unions Campaign to Turn Texas Blue

Texas Capitol building in Austin / AP

Texas Capitol building in Austin / AP

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High-profile Democratic donors from Texas and California have teamed up with labor unions to launch a new project aimed at turning the state blue.

The Texas Future Project is inspired and supported by the national, progressive group Democracy Alliance, the Houston Chronicle reported. The project acquires money from donors and funnels it to progressive groups across the state, such as Planned Parenthood and Battleground Texas.

According to the Chronicle:

The project has commitments for close to $1 million, said Houston lawyer Steve Mostyn. He and his wife, Amber, are top Democratic donors and part of a small core group of members of the project, which also includes a key California-based supporter of President Obama.

“The main thing … when we talk to people from out of state, or folks in this state about keeping your money here, is the fact that it’s possible – and that if the work is done, and the money is spent, that it’s probable, it’s actually probable – that you now become a battleground state in 2016 for the presidential race,” Steve Mostyn said. “And the long-term effect – once you get a voter to vote once, then twice, then they are pretty much to be there.”

Mostyn said the group would “like to raise as much as we can. If it’s not doing a few million a year, then it’s not really doing what it was designed to do.”

The effort is aimed at building the infrastructure to turn out underrepresented voters in Texas – particularly Latinos, African-Americans, single women and young voters – as state demographic changes give hope to Democrats long shut out of statewide office.

The project is also getting help from national labor unions such as the AFL-CIO, SEIU, AFSCME, and the United Food and Commercial Workers that want to see changes in Texas’ labor standards and wages.