New Texas ‘Revolvers”
April 11, 2003
10 Lawmakers From 2001
Now Stalk the Lobby
Ten men who made Texas laws last session are registered to lobby their former colleagues this session. These new revolving-door lobbyists already reported 111 contracts this year worth between $1.8 million and $3.8 million (contract values are reported in ranges).
Former Austin Rep. Glen Maxey, who, along with former Rep. Bill Carter and former Senator David Cain, has joined a lobby shop called Good Company Associates, ostensibly is the biggest shot among these new revolvers. Maxey, whose disclosure report listed all the contracts with Good Company’s stable of lobbyists, reported 23 contracts worth up to $970,000. Maxey says that while he’s giving advice to other Good Company lobbyists, his priority work is for Hoffman LaRoche, the City of Austin and the American Lung Association.
Thanks to some concealed weapons, however, David Sibley is expected to outgun Maxey’s firm after the smoke clears, even though the former Waco senator reported that the maximum value of his 27 contracts is a comparatively modest $270,000. While all the other new revolvers reported the “prospective” money that they expect their contracts to yield this year, Sibley just reported the money that he already has been paid. In fact, Sibley reported zero income from 13 of his 27 clients, including no income from such moneyed interests as Texans for Lawsuit Reform, the Texas Medical Association and Lorillard Tobacco. Sibley’s largest reported payment to date (up to $50,000) came from Universal Insurance Exchange. Last year, Sibley failed to report at least one lobby client altogether (Cap Rock Energy).
The top client of Glen Maxey’s new firm is Fuel Cells Texas; interested corporations formed this group to promote fuel cell energy (which President Bush plugged in his State of the Union address). The firm’s other leading clients are British wind farm developer Renewable Energy Systems, California-based Sempra Energy and Swiss drug giant Hoffman LaRoche (which paid a record $500 million fine in 1999 to settle vitamin price-fixing charges).
The top client of No. 2 new revolver, ex-Rep. Ron Lewis, is the Tigua Indian Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo (up to $150,000), which has fought a losing battle against the state to reopen its casino. Lewis’ next-largest client is Southwestern Bell (up to $100,000), long the 800-pound gorilla of the Texas lobby.
A comprehensive study of “revolving door” lobbyists published by TPJ in Feburary 1999 found that 110 registered lobbyists were former public officials. These revolvers included 91 ex-legislators (including three former House Speakers and three legislators who also served as state agency heads), 13 ex-agency heads (who did not serve in the Legislature) and six former legislative officers.