Texans for Public Justice

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Katharine Armstrong

Occupation: Owner
Employer: Katharine Armstrong, Inc.
Home: Dallas, TX
Warren Idsal and Katharine Armstrong both worked for major investment firms at the time of their 1982 wedding, with the Paine Webber (see Joseph Grano) groom marrying a Smith Barney bride. During the 2000 campaign the then-married couple still romantically shared a common Bush Pioneer tracking number. Katherine is the daughter of Pioneer Tobin Armstrong, an heir to the fabled Armstrong and King Ranch fortunes. Her mother, Anne Armstrong, who is Kay Bailey Hutchison’s best friend, helped launch the senator’s career as Republican National Committee co-chair in 1971. As Texas Treasurer in the early 1990s, Kay Bailey Hutchison returned the favor by hiring Armstrong’s son-in-law, Warren Idsal, as a top aide. But Hutchison fired him after a short tenure. Warren Idsal also was an executive at health and life insurer United Insurance Companies (UICI) for several years in the late 1990s. Then-Governor George W. Bush appointed Katharine Idsal to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission in 1999. The Idsals divorced and Katherine reclaimed her maiden name after Bush’s gubernatorial successor appointed Katherine chair of the commission. This heir apparent to the Armstrong Ranch resigned her state post in mid-2003, citing her need to make a living for her three children. In 2004 she reported three Texas lobby contracts, led by construction company Parsons Technology and Dannenbaum Engineering, a major contractor for Texas water projects. That year she teamed up with Pioneer Karen Johnson to lobby the Bush administration. Armstrong and Johnson lobbied then-Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman to adopt mad-cow tests made by Swiss client Prionics. They also lobbied the administration on undisclosed issued on behalf of Baker Botts (see James Baker, Robert Jordan and William Barnett). President Bush invited Katherine Armstrong and her parents to a White House sleepover.
2000 cycle; Minor League Pioneer
2000 cycle; Major League Pioneer
2004 cycle; Major League Pioneer
2004 cycle; Ranger

Of Special Interest
Bush Appointee
Corporate or Campaign Scandal
Corporate Welfare Recipient/Dispenser
White House Sleepover Guest

  Profile last updated Mar 22, 2005