You are here
Strayhorn Has Not Stopped Payments to All Washington DC Lobbyists
Assessing DeLay's Damage to Texas Congressional Clout
Congressional Redistricting and DeLay's Ethics Problems Cost Texas Clout
While the media and politicians typically focus on the partisan battles that take place in Congress, many important decisions, particularly the appropriation of funds, are settled on a regional basis where seniority and key committee leadership play an important role. While Tom DeLay delivered a valuable political gift to national Republicans with Texas redistricting, he placed a burden on Texas citizens fighting for their fair share of federal resources. In the process, he lost his own leadership position, put his political career at risk, and squandered his ability to assist his home state. DeLay’s most repeated quote, “I’m the Majority Leader, and I want more seats” (Source: Washington Post, 1/19/2003) now has an ironic twist. Republicans do indeed have more seats, but DeLay is no longer the Leader and Texas voters no longer benefit from a powerful House delegation in Congress.
Texas Comptroller Carol Strayhorn’s decision to suspend payments to the Washington lobby firm of Cassidy and Associates may, on first blush, seem like a timely and responsible act. However, upon closer examination, Strayhorn’s actions appear to have stopped far short of halting improper payments to lobbyists and raise questions about her own close relationship with Washington lobbyists who have political ties to Tom DeLay.
Strayhorn Statement Inconsistent With Her Actions
In her statement announcing the payment suspension, Strayhorn said, “Texas state law clearly prohibits tax dollars being spent to lobby the state legislature and prohibits spending for influencing or supporting candidates at the state or federal level. By any measure, using tax dollars to pay a private firm to lobby the federal government or members of Congress is a wholly inappropriate and unwise use of public money.” (Strayhorn Press Release, 3/22/06) However, Strayhorn is still allowing large lobby payments to the DC based Federalist Group to continue. Read the rest of full release