|Tom DeLay- Corporate Whore|
AUSTIN--Mike Toomey, now chief of staff to Texas Governor Rick Perry was the mastermind behind the Texas Association of Business' $1.9 million advertising campaign during the final weeks of the 2002 elections.
According to published reports, Toomey, a TAB director, gathered corporate execs for meetings to finance and execute the massive direct-mailing advertising campaign that is now the center of an investigation by the Travis County District Attorney's Office, according to the Austin American Statesman.
A grand jury is presently meeting to determine whether or not the undisclosed corporate spending violated Texas campaign finance laws.
According to the Statesman, AT&T and insurance companies Aetna and Cigna were three of the companies that helped pay for the direct mailing effort.
Toomey's meetings reportedly included business association lobbyists, PR professionals, representatives from Texans for Lawsuit Reform, and John Colyandro of Texans for a Republican Majority, the political committee that is the brainchild of U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Sugar Land).
TRL and TRMPAC contributed more than $3 million to various campaigns during the 2002 election cycle.
Until the revalations by the Statesman, it was assumed Toomey's role had been limited to a brief "walk-on" appearance in two or three meetings with PR specailsts to help design advertising.
The Statesman, however, reports that a source claims Toomey supervised meetings and worked on fund-raising mailers.
The full scope of the business group's effort was uncovered shortly after the Republicans swept the November 2002 election, when the organization's president, Bill Hammond, boasted that the $1.9 million effort "blew the doors off" the election.
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