Texas governor's race influenced by out-of-state donors

A fundraiser is being held in New York City for Democratic candidate for Texas Governor Beto O'Rourke

The fundraiser is being hosted by celebrities Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick. Attendees can either buy a sponsored ticket for $5,000 or co-host the event with a $10,000 purchase. 

Meanwhile, according to a report from the Houston Chronicle, Governor Abbott is pulling in millions of out of state money as well from large donors in California. 

Katie Naranjo, chair of the Travis County Democratic Party, and Ashley Brasher, political consultant, join FOX 7 Austin's Mike Warren to discuss.

Mike Warren: Katie, starting with you. Let's talk about the optics here. Do celebrity endorsements help or hurt candidates, you think?

Katie Naranjo: It's about the issues that the candidates are fighting for and how the celebrities decide to endorse or businesses and where they give their money. Right. I mean, that's that's their right and how they can participate. But. But what are the issues that the candidates are fighting for? And in Texas, we have been the leading litigant and many of the abortion cases throughout the last couple of decades. We are also the leading litigant on immigration issues. So that's that's what we're seeing is donors based on issues.

Mike Warren: Okay, Ashley, you know, again, same question. Do these celebrity endorsements help or hurt a candidate?

Ashley Brasher: I think these days in the grand scheme of things, I think Katie's right as far as these are voters, and they have a right. And what goes to say what's going on in our country and Texas is a leader in that. But really, I think most of us at this point these days don't really care what a celebrity thinks about anything. We're well-informed, and we are going to make our own decisions

Mike Warren: Well, Katie, putting the celebrities aside, what about money from out of state? Should it be legal for campaign contributions to come from donors outside of Texas for a Texas race?

Katie Naranjo: Texas has an outsize influence in the lower 48 or the largest state, but we also have a large influence. When you think about how our books are designed and created, we set the curriculum for the states around us because we're the largest purchaser of books. So the content that goes into it and the history that we decide to teach our kids is an outsized influence. So it does make sense that folks from out of state do donate because that they have interests at hand, and we have an outsized impact outside of Texas.

Mike Warren: Okay, Ashley, same question. Are you okay with out-of-state dollars coming into Texas campaigns?

Ashley Brasher: I think the discussion on the limits is definitely valid. I think as long as it's within the country. Texas is one of the largest states and one of the largest economies in the world. I absolutely think everyone needs to have a say in this. And dollars mean they have a voice.

Mike Warren: Okay. Well, I'm surprised I'm getting agreement from both of you from two questions.

Katie Naranjo: I think what you probably want, you know, where there may be some disagreement per se, if I may, but it's a transparency. If when you start putting caps, and you start making changes, like what we saw with the Supreme Court decision back in terms of 501c $3, where I think any voter would want is to know who is funding the candidate and what is that motivation and that interest and that we have disclosure laws that show the intent behind whom these people are going to represent, because where your dollars go is also where policy goes, and they are tied.

Mike Warren: Ashley, are you nodding your head with that one?

Ashley Brasher: Absolutely. I think there's a lot of evangelical Christians that are Republican conservative voters that when we see names like the nephew of Walt Disney and none of us are really supporting what Disney is supporting. We are going to go against where their dollars are going. So it helps both sides. When we see a celebrity speaking out on an issue or a topic that we agree or against. We are going to see where their money's going and realize maybe that's not where we want to go with our vote. 

Mike Warren: All right. Thank you both.