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Re: [prezveepsenator] Whittington is influential in Texas politics

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  • THOMAS JOHNSON
    I thought his name sounded familiar.. it sounds like he has a long history of fighting for the least fortunate among us... that s not cool in the Bush/Cheney
    Message 1 of 2 , Feb 13, 2006
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      I thought his name sounded familiar.. it sounds like
      he has a long history of fighting for the least
      fortunate among us... that's not cool in the
      Bush/Cheney world and it's no wonder that Cheney
      decided to put a cap in his ass.

      --- Greg Cannon <gregcannon1@...> wrote:

      >
      http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/3654596.html
      >
      > Feb. 12, 2006, 10:28PM
      > Whittington is influential in Texas politics
      >
      > By JANET ELLIOTT
      > Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle Austin Bureau
      >
      > AUSTIN - Prison reformer, property rights advocate
      > and
      > troubleshooter for several Texas governors, Harry
      > Whittington runs in powerful circles.
      >
      > Whittington, 78, a Republican, is chairman of the
      > Texas Funeral Services Commission and has served on
      > the state prison board and Texas Public Finance
      > Authority. He is a familiar figure in downtown
      > Austin,
      > where he keeps a law office and owns millions of
      > dollars worth of property. One of his buildings is
      > frequently leased by Republican candidates,
      > including
      > the 2006 campaign of Gov. Rick Perry.
      >
      > "Harry is a very respected attorney here in Austin,"
      > said Republican political consultant Reggie Bashur.
      > "He has served on a number of boards for a number of
      > governors over the years. He is a man of absolute
      > integrity."
      >
      > Whittington recently has been involved in a
      > high-profile legal dispute about a downtown block
      > condemned by the city of Austin to build a parking
      > garage for its convention center.
      >
      > He has said he wants to develop the lot himself, and
      > has been battling the city for more than six years.
      > The most recent ruling, from the Texas Supreme
      > Court,
      > was in his favor, but the city is considering its
      > options.
      >
      > In 1979, Gov. Bill Clements named Whittington, who
      > received his law degree from the University of
      > Texas,
      > to the Texas Department of Corrections Board. He
      > helped negotiate reforms that led to the state's
      > settlement of the lawsuit filed by inmate David Ruiz
      > because of conditions in state prisons.
      >
      > Whittington later accused prison officials of lying
      > during a trial of the case. Among the lies,
      > Whittington said, were prison officials' denial that
      > inmates were being used as guards.
      >
      > "In terms of human suffering and the waste of tax
      > dollars, this has been one of the worst crimes in
      > Texas history, and no one is being prosecuted," he
      > told a prison reform group in 1985, the year he left
      > the board.
      >
      > While on the board and afterward, Whittington was
      > critical of the state's treatment of mentally
      > retarded
      > inmates. One of his daughters is mentally retarded.
      >
      > In 2001, he wrote Perry asking him to sign a bill
      > that
      > the Legislature had passed banning the execution of
      > mentally retarded offenders. Perry vetoed the bill,
      > but in 2002 the U.S. Supreme Court outlawed such
      > executions.
      >
      > As a member of the finance authority board from
      > 1987-1994, Whittington angered Clements when he
      > temporarily blocked the state's purchase of a
      > downtown
      > Austin office building.
      >
      > He said the bond money had been issued to construct
      > a
      > building, not buy one.
      >
      > In 1999, Gov. George W. Bush named Whittington
      > chairman of the funeral services commission.
      >
      > At the time, the commission was reeling from
      > consumer
      > complaints and heavy with industry representatives.
      >
      > The commission also was under scrutiny because of a
      > former executive director who alleged in a lawsuit
      > she
      > was fired for complaining about the governor's
      > interference in a proposed fine against a funeral
      > home
      > chain led by a Bush friend.
      >
      > Bush denied trying to intervene, and the funeral
      > regulator later settled her whisleblower case for
      > $210,000. Details of the settlement were not
      > disclosed.
      >
      > Whittington has been credited with improving
      > regulation and handling of consumer complaints. His
      > term as chairman of the commission expires next
      > year.
      >
      > Whittington gave the Bush-Cheney campaign the
      > maximum
      > $2,000 contribution in 2004. He also gave $1,000 in
      > 1999.
      >
      > janet.elliott@...
      >
      >
      >
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      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
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