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Texas politician gets $700,000 donation (to renovate his apartment)

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Rose Siding Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-12-06 11:22 AM
Original message
Texas politician gets $700,000 donation (to renovate his apartment)

An interior view of a living room in the apartment of House Speaker Tom Craddick, is shown March 19, 2003, in Austin, Texas. Craddick and his wife are in the process of raising private money to renovate the apartment located inside the Capitol. But watchdog groups are aghast at the fundraising effort, saying people and businesses that could benefit from future legislation shouldn't be allowed to spruce up the taxpayer-provided home of the man who controls the destiny of many bills.

AUSTIN, Texas --Businessmen, a lobbyist and a major corporate foundation have donated almost $700,000 in the past eight days to pay for the renovation of Texas House Speaker Tom Craddick's apartment inside the Capitol, according to documents obtained Friday by The Associated Press....

"Special interests shouldn't be lined up to give the Craddicks a personal gift of a new apartment," said Craig McDonald, director of Texans for Public Justice. "If it's in need of repair or if it's in need of renovation, then it should be paid for by the people of Texas."

Craddick spokeswoman Alexis DeLee said the speaker and his wife don't think it would be appropriate to use public money for the renovation project, which is expected to include redoing the apartment's kitchen and two bathrooms and tearing down a loft over the living room.

The donations so far include $250,000 from the AT&T Foundation and $250,000 from billionaire investor Harold Simmons and his companies, according to records the AP obtained from the State Preservation Board under the Texas Public Information Act. Another $25,000 came from Tom Loeffler, a former congressman who founded and chairs the lobbying firm The Loeffler Group.

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2006/06/09/t...
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BR_Parkway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-12-06 11:31 AM
Response to Original message
1. Extreme Home Makeover - Polically corrupt edition! Maybe HGTV
would do a show about this!
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wordpix2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-12-06 11:35 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. LOL, that's right, great idea for new show. PC=politically corrupt now
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saigon68 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-12-06 12:13 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. $250,000 from the AT&T Foundation
Pure sleeze


Where are the DINOs ? oh yes

They are Irrelevant




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Tight_rope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-12-06 04:42 PM
Response to Reply #1
13. That's the first thing that came to my mind too!
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-12-06 11:34 AM
Response to Original message
2. You Could Buy the Building for that much money!
Or some really nice 3000+ sq ft condo with 2 car garage in downtown Ann Arbor, not even 5 years old.
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peacetalksforall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-12-06 11:38 AM
Response to Original message
4. AT & T Foundation - is that the same as AT & T? What blatant
partisanship. What a trite reason for a donation.

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Sadie5 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-12-06 11:45 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. Wow!
wonder if some of these guys would be willing to decorate the cheap little house of Joe sixpac, the taxpayer? I doubt it, Joe can't do anything for them.
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peacetalksforall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-12-06 12:08 PM
Response to Original message
6. We should ask the people at www.costofwar.com to calculate how
many people could get an emergency month of rent payment to help out transition a hardship using 700,000. Or how many shelter people could get a down payment for their own rooms somewhere.
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aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-12-06 12:24 PM
Response to Original message
8. Why can't the Craddicks decorate their own home?
Like the rest of us? You know, within our incomes?
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merci_me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-12-06 01:05 PM
Response to Original message
9. I hope he's consulting with Senfronia
on the paint chips and fabric swatches, cause come next legislative session, he's outta there. So he better be giving Senfronia some R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

BTW, for those not at the convention Saturday, Senfronia took the stage, dancing with the audience to Arethea. It was a M-O-M-E-N-T!
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Gman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-12-06 01:35 PM
Response to Original message
10. More info on Harold Simmons:
Corporate Raider Targets Lege:
Simmons Would Make Billions, Sticking Texas
With Nuke Liability

No. 3 Perry donor clamors for corporate welfare check


With the legislatures atomic clock ticking on a bill to let profiteers dump the nations nuclear waste in West Texas, its time for a background check on the man who would be king of Texas nuclear dumping.

Billionaire corporate raider Harold Simmons controls Contran and Valhi, holding companies that run an empire of sugar, manufacturing, metal, chemical, oil, real estate, insurance and other interests.

Simmons built part of this empire through hostile takeovers like the one he is now pursuing against third-generation managers of West Bend, a Wisconsin manufacturing firm.1 Simmons companies have been charged with raiding their workers pension funds to finance such takeover deals.2

With 2000 sales exceeding $1 billion, Simmons empire depends on friendly government policies. Taxpayers subsidize Simmons sugar prices, bankroll military purchases of his aerospace metals and ultimately pay for the limits that government officials place on his tax and pollution liabilities.3 Then-President Clinton used the line-item veto to narrowly avert a 1997 loophole for Simmons to dodge $80 million in taxes.4

Simmons NL Industries faces a slew of toxic lawsuits for the lead that it added to paint and spewed on a Dallas neighborhood.5 Regulators have named NL as a potentially responsible party for many toxic Superfund sites, including Dallas, Waller and Hardin Counties sites.6

http://www.tpj.org/Lobby_Watch/simmons.html
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Doremus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-12-06 02:18 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. So basically the guy lives on the dole. Designed all of his
business plans to capitalize on free government money, then channels a small percentage of the profit back to the slimes that divert business his way.

F'ing pukes. Dirty filthy pigs. :mad: :mad: :mad:
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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-12-06 03:19 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. bingo. call him the welfare queen.
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Gman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-12-06 10:05 PM
Response to Reply #11
21. You got it!
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RCinBrooklyn Donating Member (421 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-12-06 05:27 PM
Response to Original message
14. Gee, I see no impropriety. Do you? No crimes in GOP land.
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LiberalFighter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-12-06 05:46 PM
Response to Original message
15. Why is there an apartment inside the Texas Capitol?
Why do the taxpayers of Texas pay for their House Speaker's apartment?

Shouldn't that be office space specifically for doing legislative business? It is totally inappropriate for any elected official below the position of Governor in a state to be provided housing at taxpayer expense.

The nearly 2,000-square-foot apartment is the only residence inside a state capitol anywhere in the country. Speakers and their families have access to the two-bedroom home while presiding over the Texas House.
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TexasLawyer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-12-06 06:06 PM
Response to Original message
16. AT&T Foundation-- What a crock!
Here's what their website says they do. I guess they don't mention who's quality of life they're enriching!


The AT&T Foundation provides grants to organizations and programs that enrich quality of life, with an emphasis on improving education, advancing community development, addressing vital community needs and enhancing unique cultural assets.

The AT&T Foundation funds programs designed to:

* Enhance education by integrating new technologies and increasing learning opportunities.
* Improve economic development through technology and local initiatives.
* Provide vital assistance to key community-based organizations.
* Support cultural institutions that make a community unique.
* Advance the goals and meet the needs of diverse populations.

http://www.sbc.com/gen/corporate-citizenship?pid=7736
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nolabels Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-12-06 06:14 PM
Response to Original message
17. $700,000 to spruce up an apartment?
Dang, for $700,000 you could buy a pretty good spread of house in most parts of the country :shrug:

What the heck they do, use greenback for wallpaper or something?
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Roland99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-12-06 07:31 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. For an extra $25k, he could have this 7500 sq. ft. home here in Louisville
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noshenanigans Donating Member (778 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-12-06 09:37 PM
Response to Original message
19. How...
How is this possible? I mean, theoretically I guess I could hit up donors to re-do my sad little overpriced Studio City apartment, but I would have no takers. Mainly because I don't offer much to anyone who would have money to give. But to be in a government position and getting donations for home improvements? That hardly "seems appropriate" to me.

I really don't know much about this area of law.. are donations and the like controlled (pssh, however loosely they may be) on a federal level only, or do individual states have ethics guidelines of their own? I guess I just can't wrap my head around how this kind of thing is possible without it being glaringly, obviously wrong.
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Lorien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-12-06 10:04 PM
Response to Original message
20. Notice that the AP avoids using the "R" word. If Craddick were a
Edited on Mon Jun-12-06 10:07 PM by Lorien
Democrat the headline would likely read "Texas Democrat gets $700,000 donation". But no mention that he's a repug.

http://www.house.state.tx.us/speaker/bio.htm
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