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Matt Singer on May 12, 2006 - 9:02am
The Dallas Morning News reports this morning on the strength of Texas' tobacco lobby, which is running strong in its efforts to defeat a $1 per pack increase in tobacco taxes. Regardless of the policy, what caught my eye was this paragraph talking about their lobbying team:
Among those working for tobacco giants Philip Morris and RJ Reynolds are the intense and driven Mike Toomey, a former state representative and former chief of staff for Gov. Rick Perry; the imposing and raucous Stan Schlueter, former chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee; Gwyn Shea, former secretary of state under Mr. Perry; former Republican Sen. David Sibley; and former Rep. Bill Messer, a friend and adviser to House Speaker Tom Craddick.Talk about a revolving door -- it almost sounds like legislators are required by law to work for Big Tobacco upon departure from public office. One of the topics at today's "Cleaning Up Our Statehouses" Conference will be lobbying reform -- including slowing the revolving door.