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  • Writer's pictureSave SBISD

Spring Branch Families PAC no longer funded by families in Spring Branch

Spring Branch Families Political Action Committee was founded in April, 2022 by Tom Stokes, Mary Chamberlain, and Kristin Anderson “to represent the community of Spring Branch”, according to written documentation recently shared with Save SBISD.

The document names Mr. Stokes, Ms. Chamberlain, and Ms. Anderson as the Board of Directors of Spring Branch Families Political Action Committee. Stephanie Pancioli is the Treasurer of the political action committee (“PAC”).

PACs serve as vessels to collect money, and then use that money to support candidates for elected office.

A PAC operating in Texas is required to make periodic financial filings that report their income from contributions and expenditures on political candidates with the Texas Ethics Commission (“TEC”). They also must officially name the particular candidates they are supporting in which elections.

Save SBISD has just completed a review of Spring Branch Families PAC’s (“SBF PAC”) financial filings with TEC. Those filings show:

  1. A staggering decrease in local contributions to SBF PAC to support local candidates over the last two years, and

  2. A staggering increase in contributions from far outside our district to support candidates NOT running for local office.

In 2022, the year SBF PAC was formed, it raised $60,386 between April and December. These contributions ranged from as small as $10 to as much as $10,000. There were 134 total contributions to SBF PAC, each from an individual. The average contribution size was $444.

Most importantly, in our eyes, all this money was local. There were a few contributions from Bellaire and Baytown, but otherwise the money came from within SBISD, including (by Zip Code):

77024: $19,134 from 57 people

77055: $18,770 from 35 people

77079: $18,611 from 37 people

Ninety-four percent (94%) of money raised in 2022 by Spring Branch Families PAC came from within SBISD. That year, SBF PAC officially supported Lisa Alpe, Caroline Bennett, and John Perez in their campaign for school board. Each won their election, with the PAC averaging approximately $20,000 expended per candidate.

Fundraising softened for SBF PAC in 2023. That year, SBF PAC raised $19,597. There were 109 total contributions to SBF PAC in 2023, averaging $180 apiece. The money was still overwhelmingly local, its just that there was less of it:

77024: $10,148 from 38 people

77079: $4,840 from 42 people

77055: $2,755 from 23 people

In 2023, Spring Branch Families PAC officially supported Shannon Mahan and Courtney Anderson in their campaigns for SBISD Board of Trustees, averaging just under $10,000 expended per candidate. Both candidates won their SBISD election.

Throughout 2022 and 2023, Spring Branch Families PAC was by all accounts a broadly supported and successful political action committee, albeit with some reduced cash inflows as time went on.

Spring Branch Families PAC changed its behavior after these 2023 SBISD elections.

In 2024, SBF PAC stepped away from its prior mission of supporting local candidates in non-partisan elections (school board) to supporting statewide candidates in partisan elections.

In 2024, SBF PAC has received precisely two contributions as of its most recent filings:

$2,000 from an individual in SBISD

$60,000 from Texans United for a Conservative Majority PAC

(From Spring Branch Families PAC campaign finance report dated February 26, 2024 filed by Stephanie Pancioli)

These contributions were in support of John Perez’s Republican Primary campaign. Texans United’s contribution to SBF PAC was contemporaneous with contributions by Texans United directly to John Perez’s campaign, according to reports signed by Matthew Cone, who served as the Treasurer of Mr. Perez’s primary run.

Texans United for a Conservative Majority PAC has been broadly covered in the media. Google it and choose your “news” source carefully. Regardless of what you conclude about this PAC generally, one thing is clear.

It is very, very safe to say that Texans United is NOT FRIENDLY to public school districts like SBISD.

It is not clear how much of this contribution from Texans United remains in SBF PAC, and they do not have another filing due until April 6th. But, $60,000 is a considerable amount of resources to be able to pour into a candidate for the SBISD Board of Trustees.

SBF PAC has endorsed Matt Cone for the upcoming SBISD election. SBF PAC held a fundraiser to support Mr. Cone on Wednesday:

John Perez, who has enthusiastically endorsed Matt Cone and campaigned with him, was once again in attendance:

It is plainly obvious that Spring Branch Families PAC, John Perez, and his treasurer / candidate Matt Cone now have a markedly different mission, agenda, and ambition than they did in years past. The company they keep with Texans United is deeply troubling.

Save SBISD will continue to monitor this election and update our readers with what we learn. If you would like to receive our updates, you can follow us on Twitter or subscribe to our email list.

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