Harlan Crow’s Political Contributions Take Many Paths

One of the surprises of the first super PAC presidential election has been how few wealthy donors have given money through their companies.

So far, most big donations have been made personally.

One exception is Texas real estate developer Harlan Crow, who has mixed his methods. Crow supports Republican causes both in his name and in the name of the family investment company, Crow Holdings.

Although Mitt Romney has not revealed his bundler list, Crow clearly is on it. Fundraisers and donors who had cut checks for at least $50,000 were treated to dinner with the candidate at Crow’s home in Highland Park, TX.

It’s also likely that Crow contributes anonymously to groups that don’t have to reveal their donors.

When Politico reported last year that Crow had chipped in $500,000 to help Virginia Thomas launch a consulting shop, he refused to comment. Thomas is married to Crow’s good friend, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

“I disclose what I’m required by law to disclose and I don’t disclose what I’m not required to disclose,” Crow told the New York Times.

Crow is the son of the late real estate magnate Trammell Crow, who was, in his day, the country’s largest landlord. In a $2.2 billion deal, the Trammell Crow Company was acquired in 2006 by CB Richard Ellis Group. Harlan Crow heads the holding company that manages the family fortune.

Through Crow Holdings, he has given $1.5 million to Karl Rove’s group, American Crossroads, and an additional $650,000 to Restore Our Future, the super PAC working for Mitt Romney’s election. He personally gave $150,000 to Restore Our Future.

Crow has solid conservative credentials. He is a trustee of the American Enterprise Institute and was one of the backers of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, the group that effectively assailed John Kerry’s war record in 2008.

The map below shows family, business and political connections. (An interactive version can be found on the Muckety web site.)

Related story: Developer of The Villages One of Romney’s Biggest Boosters

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Article source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/lauriebennett/2012/08/31/harlan-crows-political-contributions-take-many-paths/