McBlogger's post about whether Craddick committed perjury caught my eye earlier, and of course I'm always interested in anything that involves Craddick and checks, mostly because of Sid Miller's involvement in taking lobby checks and wondering if there was any goodie bills passed for favors. I had gotten the Texas Observer but hadn't gotten around to reading it yet, so I dug it out tonight. (If you don't subscribe to the Texas Observer, run right out and do so-it's the best Texas political mag out there!)
The gist of the article in the Decmeber 15, 2006 issue concerns just who profited from handing over a check to Craddick for $100,000. It wasn't just any check, but corporate money from Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care. And we all know it's illegal in Texas to take corporate money to spend on campaigns. The check was made out to TRMPAC. At the time the meeting was reported, Craddick did a Sgt Shultz imitation, ie, "I know NOTHING, why somebody just up and gave that check to me, I didn't even LOOK at it" (well, I paraphrase).
The article shows, though, that this was more than a dinner meeting, that Craddick made phone calls to the lobbyists who arranged the meeting where the check was given out (The Texas Observer came up with some of Craddick's calendar pages; and no doubt this is part of why we all want to see both of Craddick's calendars!)
Anywy, to skip to the relevant part for OUR district, House District 17, we now go to the parts that deal with how insurance companies, private hospitals and other health care providers contributed to TRMPAC and thus to the campaign to make Craddick speaker.
... a handful of insurance and healthcare companies also accounted for most of the $1.9 million that the Texas Association of Business (TAB) used to finance its campaign mailers in 2002. The TAB was indicted in 2005 for its corporate-funded mailer campaign on behalf of 22 GOP candidates [one of whom was Sid Miller] that it launched in conjunction with TRMPAC's campaign efforts. ... An internal TAB document, from July 2002, obtained by the Observer, shows that the business group asked prospective GOP candidates whom they would support as speaker prior to launching the mailers on their behalf.
So that means that Sid Miller was asked, before he got TAB illegally picking up the tab for his mailers, if he was going, basically, to support and swear allegiance to Craddick as speaker.(Remember TRMPAC paid over $53,000 to Miller.)
Imagine that, for example, the Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care gives $100,000 in a check made out to TRMPAC, to Craddick, and then, later $53,00 comes to Miller from TRMPAC (which, of course, would include other funds than merely Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care). Then, TAB, in conjunction with TRMPAC's efforts does the mailers for Miller's campaign.
And to bring us up to date on that, a grand jury has re-indicted TAB for what it did with those mailers.