May 01, 2007
The circle of life in Lobbyist Land

Behold how the world works.

The House's second most powerful member inserted a provision in the budget last month that would all but guarantee a state contract for a company run by a former state official.

The lawmaker, House Appropriations Committee Chairman Warren Chisum, acted at the request of a former House colleague who is now a lobbyist for the company.

Former Rep. Arlene Wohlgemuth brought him the proposal, and she acknowledged that it would probably steer a technology contract to GHT Development, owned by former Deputy Health and Human Services Commissioner Gregg Phillips.

"I was trying to advantage my client," said Ms. Wohlgemuth, a Burleson Republican who wielded vast influence on social services policy in the 2003 Legislature and is now a health-care lobbyist.

Yes, that's Arlene "Queen of CHIP Cuts" Wohlgemuth, and that Gregg Phillips. Who wouldn't trust those two, right? As always, the real scandal is that everything here is perfectly legal. Read it and weep.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on May 01, 2007 to Budget ballyhoo