The Texas K Street Project

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Here’s one arm of the supposedly wrecked DeLay machine that seems to be humming along quite well.

Three years ago, Gov. Perry gutted the state’s lobbying office, the Office of State-Federal Relations, and replaced it with private Republican lobbyists. Drew Maloney, a former DeLay aide, and Jim Hyland, a former aide to Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), got the contract. When Hyland was dropped in 2004, Todd Boulanger, formerly of Team Abramoff, got the call. The contracts will run to $1.2 million in total by August of next year.

At least $75,000 of that was effectively cycled back to Republican congressional committees by Drew Maloney, who was suddenly infected by the urge to donate after receiving the contract.

As the Houston Chronicle reports today, Perry is still standing by his contract. Democrats there have been understandably skeptical, pointing out that Texas had the Presidency, the Majority Leader, a sizeable delegation in the House, in addition to their Senators to plead for Texas’ needs.

Skeptical with good reason, it turns out.As I reported in January, Perry snuck the contract by the state legislature. The lieutenant governor and the Republican speaker of the Texas House both say they had nothing to do with it. This has been, from day one, Perry’s deal.

The Chronicle got ahold of the lobbyists’ billing records, which show, well, not much at all, despite the fact that they’ve taken credit for $1.1 billion in federal money that’s gone to Texas:

But records show that much of their work mirrored that of the states’ 32 members of the U.S. House and the state’s two U.S. senators. Activity reports filed by the lobbyists show they mostly meet with Republican members of Congress from Texas and work to promote those lawmakers’ legislative agenda….

Maloney’s reports also list frequent references to working with his old boss, DeLay.

The reports showed Maloney worked on two of DeLay’s personal projects: a desalination project for Freeport and the Texas Energy Center.

Surely they met with some Democrats occasionally? Just for show?

Maloney’s reports are the only ones that mention contact with any of Texas’ congressional Democrats. Several reports state that he worked on irrigation projects for U.S. Reps. Chet Edwards, D-Waco, and Ruben Hinojosa, D-Mercedes.

Aides to Edwards and Hinojosa said they have never heard of Maloney and know of no work he did on irrigation projects in their districts.

“It’s not ringing any bells with us,” said Ciaran Clayton, spokeswoman for Hinojosa.

Edwards aide Josh Taylor said, “I didn’t find him (Maloney) anywhere.”

$1.2 million.

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