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October 14, 2005

Who is Harriet Miers?

Jerome Corsi has an interesting series of pieces on Harriet Miers. I'll give you samples of each of them...

Ronnie Earle linked to Miers-run lottery

In 1997, when Harriet Miers was chairwoman of the Texas Lottery Commission, controversy swirled in Texas regarding allegations that former Lt. Gov. Ben Barnes had made an illegal campaign contribution to Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle. At the time, Ben Barnes was a political lobbyist under contract to GTECH, the Rhode Island firm running the Texas Lottery....

In June 1996, Barnes and his wife, Melanie, each gave $1,000 to Ronnie Earle's re-election campaign. The issue of the contributions surfaced at the Texas Lottery Commission, where Harriet Miers, George Bush's personal lawyer, had been appointed by him to be chairwoman of the panel. The issue was that GTECH's contract with the state barred GTECH and its agents from making any gift, loan or contribution to "any Texas state officer" or legislator. A violation could mean the termination of GTECH's contract and a fine of as much as $25,000....

In January 1998, the Texas Lottery Commission, including Harriet Miers, voted to keep the GTECH contract, even though lower competitive bids were on the table at that time.   »»»

Did payment to Miers' firm violate law?

In 1997, while she was chairwoman of the Texas Lottery Commission, Harriet Miers was mired in a conflict-of-interest controversy with charges that she had arranged a lucrative Texas Lottery Commission contract for a prominent Austin advertising firm that was also a client of the law firm Miers was co-managing at the time, Locke Purnell (later to be merged into Locke Liddell).

According to the charges, the arrangement violated Texas law that prohibited lottery commissioners from being compensated by lottery contractors.

In January 1997, Texas newspapers published reports alleging that Miers' law firm had charged the Austin advertising firm GSD&M $38,000 in legal fees over the previous two years, while GSD&M was the main advertising contractor for the Texas Lottery Commission. In the period in question, GSD&M collected more than $191 million in fees from the Texas Lottery, including $36 million in the fiscal year that ended August 31, 1997. The lottery's 1998 budget scheduled an additional $40.2 million for GSD&M....

As seems typical of the lottery scandals while Harriet Miers was a commissioner, the response of the Texas Lottery Commission was to keep the status quo.   »»»

Miers protected money launderer?

Here's how Barnes set up the scheme. Under his lobbying contract, GTECH paid Entrecorp, the firm set up by Barnes and his partner, Austin lobbyist Ricky Knox, 4 percent of GTECH's gross revenue in Texas, a sum amounting to about $3 million a year. Barnes put a third of the income from GTECH into a bank account under his name, which in turn sent over $500,000 in checks to International Marketing Co., a Kentucky company owned by Smith's wife, Karen. The pre-sentencing report presented to the court by federal prosecutors also included checks totaling $7,039 from Barnes' bank account to a plumber, a carpenter and a lumber man who did work on Smith's Kentucky farm.

The federal prosecutors left no doubt of their conclusions: "The Texas monies are kickbacks and should be considered relevant conduct for the purpose of calculating Smith's sentence."

What did Harriet Miers do when presented evidence of the scam? The record shows she did virtually nothing.  »»»

What I wonder is how all of this escaped the notice of the DNC and the Kerry campaign? Could it be that they had hidden motives to not question these links?

Posted by Danny Carlton at October 14, 2005 05:55 AM

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