NEWS FLASH - AUGUST 18, 2006
CINTRA'S INSIDE MAN - DAN SHELLEY
Cintra consultant turned Governor Perry's legislative aide, turned Cintra lobbyist. It's hard to keep up with who is working for who. Or is it?
Shelley worked for Cintra making introductions to TxDOT just in time to see them get a winning proposal submitted for the Trans Texas Corridor. Then he worked for Governor Perry just in time to lobby the Legislature to protect and strengthen laws benefiting Cintra. Now he's back working for Cintra again planning all expense paid trips to Canada for TxDOT and Texas law makers.
The Dallas Morning News reports this morning, "Mr. Shelley resigned his state job in September and struck a lobbying deal with Cintra worth between $50,000 and $100,000 to work from March through the end of this year. In addition, his daughter and lobbying partner, Jennifer Shelley-Rodriguez, will earn between $25,000 and $50,000 from the company over the same period, state records show."
The four-day, three-night, trip to Canada would have put key Texas legislators and senior TxDOT officials together with Cintra well out of the view of Texans. CorridorWatch.org has learned that rooms were ready booked for the group at the luxurious Le Royal Meridian King Edward Hotel in Toronto.
The Dallas Morning News reported that the lawmakers invited by Cintra included Rep. Mike Krusee, Chairman of the House Transportation Committee and three members of the Senate committee that writes the state budget: Royce West of Dallas, John Whitmire of Houston, and Kim Brimer of Fort Worth. CorridorWatch.org has learned that an invitation was also extended to Sen. John Carona, new Chairman of the Senate Transportation and Homeland Security Committee.
TxDOT had their bags packed too. Here's the list obtained by CorridorWatch.org: Mary Ann Griss (Aide to Chairman Ric Williamson); Steve Simmons (Deputy Director); James Bass (Director of Finance); Amadeo Saenz (Asst Executive Director for Engineering Operations); Jefferson Grimes (Manager State Legislative Affairs); John Munoz (Deputy Director of Finance); and, Jeremiah Kuntz (former policy analyst for Sen. Staplesí Senate Infrastructure Development and Security Committee, and now a TxDOT employee).
And don't forget the TxDOT TTC Citizen's Advisory Committee. While most members of the committee (including Linda Stall of CorridorWatch.org) were apparently unaware about the all-expense-paid trip to Canada, select members were indeed invited. Committee Chairwoman Judy Hawley and previous Chairman Tim Brown were among the four members invited by Cintra according to Tim Brown when asked by Linda Stall at their Committee meeting last Wednesday. Mr. Brown is a Bell County Commissioner and also President of the North America's Super Corridor Coalition (NASCO).
"If there were a smell test, we would all need some serious gas masks," says David Stall, co-founder of CorridorWatch.org.