30 April 2007 at 2:00:10 PM
that, gosh-a-mighty, benefits HER company. Now how did THAT happen? Heh, the article says that the "Original version" slipped through.. yuh-huh. Just amazing how someone that isn't an elected official anymore can shmooze her way in, where average people can't seem to get legislator's attention.
A former state lawmaker turned lobbyist persuaded the Texas House's chief budget writer to insert a provision in the spending plan that would all but guarantee a state contract for one of her clients.
Former Republican Rep. Arlene Wohlgemuth brought House Appropriations Committee Chairman Warren Chisum the proposal, which he added to the budget during a lengthy late-night debate in March.
Wohlgemuth acknowledged that the amendment's wording would probably steer a technology contract to GHT Development, owned by former Deputy Health and Human Services Commissioner Gregg Phillips.
Chisum and Wohlgemuth said they agreed to remove the vendor preferences from the amendment, but the original version accidentally slipped through. Chisum, R-Pampa, said he would fix the mistake during budget negotiations with the Senate.
Another reason I'm glad Wohlemuth was defeated by Chet Edwards.
Wohlgemuth wielded vast influence on social services policy in the 2003 Legislature, when she worked with Phillips to promote an overhaul of health and human services agencies that handed off many duties to private companies. That deal has been scaled back and the main contractor has been dropped amid complaints that the program has hurt the poor.
Like gutting CHIPS.
She left the Legislature to run for Congress, losing to Democratic U.S. Rep. Chet Edwards in 2004. She is now a health care lobbyist.
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