Sometimes, connections aren't everything:
The estranged brother of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Sugar Land, is negotiating a $1.2 million lobbying contract with Nueces County officials who want to protect the area's military installations from a new round of base closings to be announced next year.
If he gets the contract, Randolph DeLay will not be knocking on the doors of his brother, the second-highest Republican in the House. A 10-year-old dispute between the brothers over Randolph DeLay's lobbying led to a House Ethics Committee probe and strained relations between the siblings. For now, the lobbyist is barred from contacting DeLay or his staff.
That has not made a difference in Randolph DeLay's effectiveness, said Rep. Solomon Ortiz, D-Corpus Christi, who favors the county hiring a lobbyist to protect the four military bases in its area.
He "has been very successful because he does not depend on Tom to do his job," said Ortiz, who has known Randolph DeLay for about 30 years and also considers Tom DeLay a good friend.