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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Time for a Lobby “Training Day”

It seems that some of the lobby hasn't gotten the message about the recent “House Cleaning” that took place in January. Somebody should do these folks a favor and advise them that the chamber has broken with the strong-arm tactics and overt threats that seemed commonplace for the last six years.
Let me recap a few instances:
  • One of my colleagues from South Texas had an exchange with a lobbyist that resulted in a veiled threat in response to her legislative proposal. The lobbyist sternly warned my colleague that her pursuit of the legislation could result in an organized grassroots rally (from her district) to oppose and expose her.
  • Then another buffoon went so far as to tell my colleague from San Antonio that if he pursued certain legislation, the lobbyist would see that he had a well funded opponent in the off-season.
  • And then you have this statement in response to energy legislation by two colleagues that I read on the Quorum Report:
    "A statement issued by the Dallas-based generating company Luminant was more combative. 'This anti-Texan proposal is an attack on the free-enterprise system and a strong-armed attempt to take private property while harming the long-term economic development of the state and disrupting a thriving competitive market,' the company’s news release said."

Who would be so bold as to launch that scud missile? If money talks, the highest paid lobbyist for Luminant according to the Texas Ethics Commission is none other than…

Wilson, Phil (00061858) (aka Former Texas Secretary of State)
Luminant Holding Company LLC 500 North Akard Street Dallas, TX 75201
Type of Compensation: Prospective
$100,000 - $149,999.99
Client - Start: 01/12/2009 Term Date: 12/31/2009

Note to Phil:
Hey guy, I am sure you already know this…you’re not the Secretary of State anymore (Loosely translated: We don’t have to be nice/courteous to you).
I am hearing that some of my colleagues are going to give you a “training day.” You should note that it might be bi-partisan which probably means you’re going to get rolled.

You see the membership may fight with each other all day and all night when it comes to the issues and our constituents- - but that’s our job. We really don’t appreciate and take exception to any Lobbyist who threatens, intimidates or seeks to personalize controversy just because they disagree with the Member.

When this happens you will find that the Membership will come together to make an example out of you so as to deter history from repeating.

I think you drew the short straw so buckle your chin strap and get ready.