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Fred & Lisa Blue Baron

The late Fred Baron is credited with inventing the mass tort asbestos lawsuit.  Baron established theTexas Democratic Trust in 2005 and announced his goal to revitalize the Democratic Party and take the state back from conservatives and tort reform advocates.  Baron’s target was to regain a number of statewide offices and seats on the Texas Supreme Court and capture a majority in the Texas Legislature before the 2010 redistricting process.

Baron spent an estimated $20 million on the Texas Democratic Trust, which has been the primary funder for the Texas Democratic Party for the past five years.  The Democratic Trust also funded the Texas Progress Council, which does opposition research, and the Texas Values in Action Coalition, which pushes trial lawyer backed candidates in North Texas.  The Democratic Trust had provided most of the funding for the House Democratic Campaign Committee until this year, when Mostyn provided about sixty percent of the funding for that group.

Baron died in 2008. His widow, Lisa Blue, who is also a personal injury trial lawyer and was a partner in her late husband’s firm, contributed $1,556,586 this cycle, mostly to the Democratic Trust, making her the second largest Democratic contributor in Texas.  Following the election, Baron’s Washington-based political operative, Matt Angle, announced that the Democratic Trust would shut down after the 2010 election, as Baron had planned. Despite spending millions, the Texas Democratic Trust did not achieve their goal.  They failed to elect even one statewide officeholder or Supreme Court justice and now hold 12 fewer seats in the State Legislature than when they started.