Is EVERYBODY in bed with TXU? Now We Have to Question Texas LT Gov David Dewhurst Somervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas


 

Is EVERYBODY in bed with TXU? Now We Have to Question Texas LT Gov David Dewhurst
 


22 March 2007 at 1:18:05 PM
salon

I thought, naively, that government ought to have *no revolving door* policies, where someone leaves office working in government and then goes to work as a lobbyist for corporations who spread money around like manure in order to win favors. I mean, are these people who work in government USELESS for any other type of job EXCEPT a friggin lobbyist?

And I also question the money and power TXU has-how much really ARE people paying for their services, when TXU makes record profits, or is it just that they lie about their value when it comes time to sell off their assets?

Anyway, here's the newest person to look askance about. Bruce Gibson was Lt Gov David Dewhurst's right hand man. Now that he's gone off to look for work, can you guess WHICH large, unethical company he's working for? And it isn't only Bruce Gibson, it's also Dennis Thomas. Who's he?

Dennis Thomas, a former Public Utility Commission chairman, was once a consultant to Dewhurst’s Falcon Seaboard company and also teamed up with Dewhurst during the 1990s on the sale of cogeneration facilities in Florida and New York.

Thomas is listed as one of TXU’s highest-paid independent lobbyists. He was in Dewhurst’s office last week lobbying on behalf of Texas Pacific Group and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, the investment firms proposing to acquire TXU in a $45 billion buyout.

Public advocacy groups are crying foul over the coziness of the relations between the lieutenant governor and top company representatives. They note that TXU has major business before the Texas Legislature, much of it dealing with the controversial buyout......“Mr. Thomas and Mr. Gibson are being paid by TXU, at least in part, for their insider knowledge and personal ties with government officials,” said Andrew Wheat, a policy analyst for Texans for Public Justice, a political watchdog group. “This undermines the public’s confidence in their government. The public starts to wonder whose interests are being served.”

Dewhurst, a Republican, said that he has not been lobbied by Gibson. He said that Gibson recently came by his office on personal business, and that Gibson declined his request to discuss utility matters.

Dewhurst does acknowledge speaking with Thomas about utility legislation. But he insists that he has maintained his independence.

Yeah. Sure. They're all just good friends....

[Texans for Public Justice] said that after Gov. Rick Perry, Dewhurst received the most campaign cash from the company, $62,250, during the most recent election cycle.

“I have a well-deserved reputation for doing what I think is best,” he said. “I’m friends with all the senators, and I treat everybody with respect. At the end of the day, I do what I think and the majority of the senators think is in the best interest of all Texas.”

And while I'm thinking of it, remember how yesterday I said that it's possible that Comanche Peak Nuclear Power plant workers will go out on strike? Because they're not paid enough by TXU? Well, maybe they should all get jobs as lobbyists, and then they can all drive BMWs and live in the rich house on the hill.

According to Texans for Public Justice, Thomas is one of highest-paid independent lobbyists contracted by TXU, with a contract worth between $100,000 and $150,000. Thomas also has a lobby contract with the partnership formed to purchase the utility.

TXU’s other top independent lobby contract is with former Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk, who also reports payment of between $100,000 and $150,000 from TXU, according to the watchdog group.

A recent report by Texans for Public Justice said TXU spends more on lobby contracts than any company except AT&T. The group reports that TXU has spent up to $24 million on 674 state lobby contracts since 1993. It also said that the company spent up to $3.3 million on 60 lobbyists by late February 2007, which already exceeded what it spent in any previous year.


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