The headline pretty much says it all: Lobbyists organize Patrick fundraiser.
State Senate nominee Dan Patrick, who blasted an opponent in the recent Republican primary for taking contributions from lobbyists, is having a fundraising reception in Austin next week, hosted by lobbyists for a range of special interests, including casinos.
Lobbyist Steve Bresnen, whose clients include the Texas Trial Lawyers Association, the Texas State Association of Fire Fighters and the Bingo Interest Group, said he organized the Thursday event at the private Austin Club.
It is not unusual for newly elected legislators or legislative candidates to have Austin fundraisers, but Patrick, campaigning before the primary as a political outsider, all but condemned the lobby.
In a campaign television spot, he urged voters to help him "take our state back from the special interests and the lobbyists."
"It's time for change," he said.
In an interview Thursday, Patrick said his principles haven't changed. He said he still isn't soliciting special interest money but would take some donations if they were offered with the understanding that no strings were attached.
"I have a lot of debt (more than $300,000) to retire," he said.
If a donor later suggests that he has bought his influence, Patrick added, "I will escort him to the door."
The nominee said he will refuse money from abortion rights groups, trial lawyers and people trying to expand gambling. He said that ban didn't apply to lobbyists, such as Bresnen, who represents trial lawyers and bingo interests but has other clients as well.
"You know how the system works. One person (lobbyist) represents a lot of interests," he said. "They (lobbyists) want to meet me. People in Austin don't know me."
Normally, this is the part of the post where I'd tell you about the Democratic alternative. Unfortunately, based on things I've heard from more than one person lately, I can't recommend Michael Kubosh. From what I've been told, Kubosh has said he's really a Republican but filed as a Democrat so he could be in the general election. He's also apparently got views on immigration that are at least as out there as Patrick. No wonder he didn't mind letting ol' Danno back on the air. Far as I'm concerned, feel free to vote for the Libertarian or sit this race out.Posted by Charles Kuffner on March 25, 2006 to Election 2006 | TrackBack