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Big donors spend nearly $5M on Texas governor’s inauguration

February 22, 2019

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s inauguration celebration for a second term was paid for with nearly $5 million donated by his biggest political contributors and major corporations.

Records released late Friday by the inauguration committee show AT&T and grocery chain HEB among the companies that donated $100,000 or more toward the January festivities, which included a concert by country legend George Strait.

Corporations are prohibited from directly giving to Texas political candidates but can help pay for the inauguration.

Other donors include longtime political contributors to Abbott, who’s among the most prolific fundraisers of any governor in the country. Critics have suggested the money buys appointments and influence, a charge that Abbott’s office has rejected over the years.

Abbott’s supporters gave a similar amount to his first inauguration in 2015.

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