Bob Perry, Big Backer of “Swift Boat” Ads, Dies at 80.
From 2000 to 2010 Mr. Perry, a Houston homebuilder, contributed at least $66 million to candidates and causes, most of them Republican, according to The Texas Tribune. Early on he spent most of his money in Texas, but his federal contributions increased as regulations eased. …
Mr. Perry attracted wide attention as a national donor during Mr. Bush’s re-election campaign in 2004, when he gave $4.4 million to a group known as the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth for its attack ads accusing Mr. Kerry of overstating his military accomplishments in Vietnam and discrediting his former comrades in arms.
Mr. Kerry, who was then a United States senator from Massachusetts and is now the secretary of state, had been awarded the Silver Star, the Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts for his combat duty. The Swift Boat group’s effort, widely criticized as misleading, significantly damaged Mr. Kerry’s presidential campaign.