Friday, March 24, 2006

OTG Caves, Stops Payment To Federalist Group Too

With pressure from BOR, Strayhorn Received Money from Maloney's Lobby Group:
Strayhorn Ignored Lobby Group That Donates Generously to Republicans -including Strayhorn Campaign

At least one of Maloney’s Federalist Group partners, Wayne Berman, contributed $5,000 to the Strayhorn campaign on October 19, 2002. (Source: Texas Ethics Commission)

The Lone Star Project disclosed in a report issued on November 18, 2005 that former Tom DeLay senior staff member Drew Maloney, who leads the Federalist Group’s Texas lobby effort from Washington, has contributed over $6,500 directly to DeLay and $22,750 to Texas Republican Congressmen since the contract was signed. Other associates at the Federalist Group have added thousands of dollars to Texas Republican’s campaign accounts. (Source: Houston Chronicle 1/19/2006 and Federal Election Commission)

Drew Maloney gave no money to Texas Democrats (Source: Federal Election Commission)

Maloney joined other Federalist Group members in sponsoring a Washington, DC fundraising event for DeLay on November 17, 2005. (Source: Roll Call, 11/17/2005)
And more pressure from Chris Bell, Bell slams payments to state's outside lobbyists:
Bell on Thursday said Strayhorn also should have cut off payments to Texas' other outside lobbyists, the Federalist Group. The Washington-based group's lead lobbyist for Texas is Drew Maloney, a former top aide to DeLay who had raised money to help Republicans take control of the Texas House in the 2002 elections.

"If she were really serious about shutting down the cash-and-carry system that (Gov.) Rick Perry has set up, she wouldn't show favoritism to Tom DeLay's good friends at the Federalist Group," Bell said.
With that showing the blatant hypocrisy of her actions or incaction, OTG has now stopped the payments to the second firm in our Republican controlled state governments crony-lobbyist payment scheme. She tried to cover it up but Kathy Walt is there to help out:
Matt Angle, with the Democratic Lone Star Project, noted that Strayhorn in 2002 took a $5,000 contribution from one of Maloney's lobby partners, Wayne Berman.

But Strayhorn spokesman Will Holford said the comptroller did not have to freeze the Federalist payments because the state-federal relations office has not put in a request for payment for the firm since October.

Holford said the company has a contract to lobby for the state through August 2007 for a total amount not to exceed $220,000. The Federalist Group had been paid at a rate of $15,000 a month.

Holford said Strayhorn's auditors will be looking at payments to both Cassidy and Federalists. If any improper spending is discovered, he said, she will seek a refund from the companies.

Perry spokeswoman Kathy Walt said Strayhorn's office was wrong and the Federalist Group has received at least two state checks since October 2005.

Walt issued a detailed rebuttal to Strayhorn's reasons for blocking the payments to Cassidy, describing the comptroller's work as sloppy.

Walt noted that Strayhorn claimed Cassidy was paid $302,363 by the governor's office in 2004, but the payments actually were to a related company for tourism promotion.

She said Strayhorn also claimed she had "auditors on the ground" when she decided to freeze the Cassidy payments, but Walt said the auditors didn't arrive at the offices of state-federal relations until a day later.

Walt has defended the decision to hire outside lobbyists as good for the state in terms of bringing in extra federal dollars.
It's always good to see Republicans fighting over who is more corrupt. It also shows what a farcical campaign trick this whole event has been.

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