Briefly though, Davis had a bit of a bright spot this week when she announced that she had outraised Abbott in the most recent fundraising period. Then, the Texas Tribune revealed her campaign had “juked the numbers.” The $11.2 million that Davis had reported raising included $500,000 in in-kind donations, where a donor offers services instead of money, including $250,000 that was the cash value of a concert that country music legend Willie Nelson performed at a campaign fundraiser.
For example, the pro-choice advocacy group Planned Parenthood gave just over $100,000 in in-kind polling and web development to the Davis campaign this period. However, a concert is a far more unusual gift that is rarely considered a donation. While it is perfectly legal for Davis to count Nelson’s concert as an in-kind contribution, it is a bit out of the ordinary. After all, when music artists like Katy Perry or Stevie Wonder have campaigned on behalf of Barack Obama, their performances are not tallied as an in-kind donation.