Perry's Tie To AbramoffThe most astonishing thing about this story is that they don't see anything wrong with what the did:
Texas Democrats called Wednesday for Gov. Rick Perry to cancel a $180,000-a-year state lobbying contract that they contend was used to funnel taxpayer money into Republican campaigns.Pointing out corruption is a partisan attack. Well maybe if a republican would point this out Democrats wouldn't have to. Non-partisan? How many Democrats in congress were ever lobbied by these people?
Mr. Perry's office called the allegations a "baseless, partisan move" and defended the contracts as nonpartisan.
Drew Maloney, a former chief of staff to U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay, was one of two lobbyists hired by the Texas Office of State-Federal Relations in 2003 to represent Texas interests in the nation's capital.
After he was awarded the contract, Mr. Maloney made more than $75,000 in contributions to Republican campaigns, both nationally and in Texas.
"It's unbelievable to find, in effect, laundering taxpayer money to put in the coffers of Republican politicians in the state of Texas," said state Rep. Jim Dunnam of Waco, the House Democratic leader.
The Chronicle has more, Abramoff's tangled lobby extends to top levels of state government:
Not long ago, politicians who knew Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff considered themselves the luckiest people. After he pleaded guilty to fraud and become a federal witness, past associations with the former K Street king became political poison that is contaminating places as far from the D.C. beltway as Austin.
Together, the two deals will hand the pair of lobbyists more than $1 million in taxpayer funds by the end of next year, needlessly embroiling the state in the Washington lobbying scandal.
Texas House Democratic Caucus Chairman Jim Dunnam called the deals "cronyism at its worst." It's hard to disagree. The target of the lobbyists' efforts was the Texas congressional delegation, a group that should be capable of representing Lone Star interests without expensive prompting by professional influence peddlers.