February 29, 2008

The Candidate. Brought to you by Valero

(Lotsa posts today... I have more than $4 million wired out that I have to bird dog. SO, while I'm stuck in the office ALL DAY, I'll going to take occasional breaks and give you something fun to read. I'm large like that)

Only in Texas would a candidate for the Railroad Commission ask for ethics guidance from one of the companies said candidate will be regulating if elected. This year the candidate is Art Hall.

Former San Antonio City Councilman Art Hall has accepted more than $5,000 in contributions from Valero Energy's political action committee and several of its employees, according to records from the Texas Ethics Commission.

On February 8, Hall received a $5,000 contribution from the Valero Political Action Committee, a PAC notorious for giving thousands of dollars to Texas' most conservative Republicans-- and Railroad Commissioner Michael L. Williams, the man Hall and Dale Henry (D-Lampasas) seek to replace in the November general election.

In addition to the $5,000 from Valero's PAC, Hall also took more than $2,000 from Valero employees and attorneys in late January and February. According to Hall's most recent filing with the Texas Ethics Commission, he received the following contributions from Valero employees and attorneys:

Robert Bower, Valero Attorney, $500 2/23
Theodore Guidry, Valero employee, $500, 1/26
Diane Hirsch, Valero Attorney, $300, 2/23
Martin Loeber, Valero Attorney, $500, 2/23
Rich Walsh, Valero Attorney, $1,500, 2/23
Parker Wilson, Valero Attorney, $500, 2/23

"The money that Art Hall has accepted from Valero's PAC and its employees is especially troubling given the fact that he is very connected to Valero through the fact that his wife is an attorney for Valero," said Vince Leibowitz, campaign director for Dale Henry, Hall's principal opponent.

According to Hall's Personal Financial Statement on file with the Texas Ethics Commission, Hall's wife owns between 5,000 and 9,999 shares of stock in Valero which, if sold, would represent a net gain of $10,000 to $24,999.

"All of this is especially disturbing given the fact that Art Hall is actually getting advice from Valero on what constitutes a conflict of interest for his campaign," said Leibowitz.

Do yourself a favor, vote for Dale Henry. He'll have an easier time beating Michael Williams. Not to mention that with Henry on the RRC, Texans will finally have someone looking out for them.

Posted by mcblogger at February 29, 2008 09:47 AM

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