January 27, 2006
Strayhorn to audit the Cassidy Group contract

Though I may be annoyed at how much Carole Keeton Strayhorn has bamboozled certain segments of the Democratic Party lately, I will not deny that she does have her uses.

Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn, responding to a report in the Houston Chronicle, said Thursday that she will audit payments made by the state's Washington office to a private lobbyist to see if the money was misused for political purposes.


Strayhorn, whose office issues all state checks based on warrants from state agencies, said she will audit the payments to Cassidy & Associates for any signs of political misuse of state funds. "If during my audit I find that Cassidy & Associates inappropriately used tax dollars, I will immediately suspend all future payments and take the necessary steps to make sure these dollars are returned to the state," Strayhorn said.

I rather doubt she'll find anything - it would be awfully amateurish for Cassidy to leave a clear trail from the state's payments for services rendered to their own political donations - but at least this keeps the story in the news for another day or two, which might inspire some more digging. And who knows, maybe there is a smoking gun to be found.

One more thing:

Perry, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and Speaker Tom Craddick oversee State-Federal Relations. Dewhurst and Craddick have said the decision to hire an outside lobbyist for the first time was Perry's.

The governor's staff has distanced him from the hiring of Boulanger and the state's other contract lobbyist, Drew Maloney of the Federalist Group, saying the choice was made by OSFR Executive Director Ed Perez. Maloney is a former top congressional aide to DeLay.

As noted before, Perez is a Perry appointee; in fact, the entire OSFR is under the Governor's authority. Perhaps if Perry is dissatisfied with the choices his people are making, instead of merely hoping not to be blamed for them, he might consider doing something about them. I'm just saying.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on January 27, 2006 to Scandalized! | TrackBack