Monday, August 10, 2009

Kay and husband Ray... power couple, or symbiotic conflict of interest?

R.G. Ratcliffe did a little investigation and found that the conflict of interest story Jay Root uncovered goes a little bit deeper (link). Excerpt follows...

Dallas area voters in August 2000, approved $2.9 billion in bonds for the expansion of DART light rail lines.

The first of those bonds -- $400 million -- were issued in July 2001 under the direction of Ray Hutchison and his team of bond lawyers at Vinson & Elkins. The bonds were for the construction of the North Central Expressway light rail line, known as the Red Line.

That same month, Sen. Hutchison won Senate Appropriations Committee approval of $70 million to help DART with the construction of the same rail line. "Not a bad day's work, senator," said the congratulatory Dallas Morning News editorial.

Critics would cite such a connection as a conflict of interest for Ray Hutchison's law firm to be making money off of government agencies that his senatorial wife is obtaining federal money on behalf of. And if that is a conflict, there are many, including some in Houston.

Hutchison's aides counter by saying there was nothing illegal in the Hutchisons' action, nor was it a violation of Senate rules. As evidence, they provided a letter exchange Ray Hutchison had with the Senate Ethics Committee in 1995:

Has Kay had to answer for any of this personally, or just her campaign? This all sounds very technical and hard to understand to a layman or even a Texas based political and news junkie, but it also looks very bad if there is some sort of system where Kay secures earmarks for projects her husband Ray makes money on. At the very least, it highlights Kay's status as a pork delivery champ.

I don't know a whole lot about Ray and his ethical compass, but these things look really bad for him as well as for Kay, from an outsider appearance standpoint. Erin Brockovich might pop her head out any moment and say "BOO!"

1 comment:

  1. KBH is an corrupt as the day is long. It is the middle of summer, so the days are pretty long.


Hey now, campaign characters. Be nice. I know a lot of you on both sides, so I don't want any overly foul language, personal attacks on anyone other than the candidates themselves, or other party fouls. I will moderate the heck out of you if you start breaking the bounds of civility.