HOUSTON - Local 2 Investigates discovered some big names making big donations to help get Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and other Republicans elected this fall.
Romney has yet to visit some 16 states, but he's been to Houston twice in the last two months. And it could be the money bringing him back.
So far in the 2012 election cycle, Houstonians have kicked in $23.6 million to Republican causes. That makes Houston third in the nation ahead of places like Dallas, Los Angeles and Chicago.
"Houston is powerful ... powerful, when it comes to campaign donations," Texas Watchdog Editor Trent Siebert said. "The way the federal system works, you can launder all sorts of money, legally."
What Siebert means by that is heavy-hitter donors can give as much as they want and still adhere to federal law.
Houston home building billionaire Bob Perry could only legally give $2,500 directly to Mitt Romney's campaign.
But according to www.OpenSecrets.org which tracks money in politics, he's managed to donate another $14.3 million to Republican and conservative causes this election cycle.
In June, nobody gave more money to Republican political action committees than Perry.
"It is laughable to think that a big campaign contribution doesn't mean access to the White House and it doesn't mean access to the candidate," said Siebert.
A who's who list of Houston names has given the maximum allowed by law directly to Romney's campaign. They include Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey, former President George H.W. Bush, and Jim McIngvale, otherwise known to Houstonians as "Mattress Mac." They've all donated $2,500 to elect Romney.
To see the states Mitt Romney hasn't visited during the 2012 campaign, visit http://www.Aei-ideas.Org/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/8.17.12-mitts-travels.jpg.
To look up political donors to any party or cause, visit http://www.OpenSecrets.org/.
To see a list of the top political donors in the 2012 campaign, visit http://www.Opensecrets.Org/overview/topindivs_overall.php.
If you have a news tip or question for KPRC Local 2 Investigates, drop them an e-mail or call their tipline at (713) 223-TIPS (8477). Copyright 2012 by Click2Houston.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.