State Lobbying Contracts

Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn today applauded Rep. Jim Dunnam's request for State Auditor John Keel to investigate four lobbying contracts, valued at more than $1 million and paid for with taxpayer money.

"I applaud Rep. Dunnam's call for an investigation into the obvious misuse and abuse of more than $1 million of taxpayer money," Strayhorn said. "For six years this governor has been rewarding his friends and supporters with taxpayer dollars in backroom deals.

"As the state's chief fiscal officer I am committed to making sure taxpayer dollars are spent wisely and in absolute accordance with the law. 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."

In January, 2006, Comptroller Strayhorn initiated an expenditure audit of the lobbying contracts between the Office of State-Federal Relations and two Washington, D.C. lobbying firms, Cassidy & Associates and the Federalist Group, after questions were raised concerning the firms' lobbying practices. In March 2006, Strayhorn suspended payments to Cassidy & Associates and the Federalist Group, that employ Drew Maloney, former chief of staff for Tom Delay and subject of Rep. Dunnam's call for a State Auditor's investigation.