Investigators said they believed that Texans for a Republican Majority and TAB coordinated their efforts during the election, sharing staff, for instance, meeting to plot strategy and supporting virtually the same slate of Republican candidates. It is unclear whether that combined effort violated any campaign law, investigators said. Hammond said the two groups did not coordinate their efforts.
TAB raised nearly $2 million during the election in an effort to sway 22 House races, according to its newsletter. The money was spent on advertisements, most of them mailers.
Many of the ads attacked Democratic candidates. Some supported Republicans, noting their opposition to taxes and the GOP's links with President Bush, a former Texas governor.
Hammond said the ads, which he calls "voter education," were legal because they did not use what some courts have termed "magic words" -- words that directly encourage people to vote for or against a candidate.