August 26, 2004
Toomey reportedly leaving Guv's office

Mike Toomey, Rick Perry's chief of staff, is set to leave soon, according to Dave McNeely.

Rumors continue to fly around the Capitol that are not about whether Mike Toomey will be leaving as Gov. Rick Perry’s chief of staff, but when. And who his replacement might be.

Toomey, an old buddy and ideological gyroscope for Perry during their days in the Texas House of Representatives, had been thought ready to leave in August. But then that got pushed back to September.

The latest version is that Toomey, who is credited with having huge influence over Perry, particularly on budget matters, will hang around until at least November to see if a special session might be in the offing.

When Toomey leaves, there is talk that his deputy, Deirdre Delisi, who ran Perry’s 2002 campaign, will move up. But it’s also thought that someone like former senator and representative Dan Shelley could come on board to handle dealings with the Legislature. Shelley is currently a lobbyist.

Toomey became Perry’s chief of staff after the 2002 election. The governor’s office is mum on whether or when Toomey might leave.

The presumption is that if and when he does, in the revolving-door Texas tradition between government and the private sector, Toomey will go back to his lucrative lobbying practice, perhaps picking back up some of the clients like the anti-plaintiff’s lawyer group Texans for Lawsuit Reform and others.

Toomey is to Perry as Rove is to Bush, at least according to a subscriber-only-online article in Texas Monthly a year or so ago. Toomey is credited with the push from the last legislative session to consolidate more power in the Governor's office, and he's supposedly quite the whip when it comes to enforcing party discipline.

Sarah speculates that Toomey's departure could be related to one of the ongoing grand jury investigations, which include a peek at Toomey's role in the 2002 elections when he was involved with TRM. That's a logical connection to make, and I'm a bit surprised McNeely didn't at least address it.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on August 26, 2004 to Show Business for Ugly People | TrackBack