Gov. Perry/Cintra Billion Dollar Inside Man

Gov. Rick Perry's Transportation Advisor and lobbyist rehired by Cintra.

Now that the new deal for SH 130 (TTC Primer) was just signed, its important for people to know this "Perry Inside Man" story. This Dallas News article from 2006, tells the story about how the revolving door spurs profits for the special interests and undermines the voice of the public. I' think it's time for the press to give us an updated article on the Perry/Shelly/Cintra Connection. According to state filings, Shelley expects to receive up to $150,000 from Cintra for his lobbying efforts this year.

Trans-Texas firm hires ex-Perry aide
He worked before for company that won bid for transit corridor

August 18, 2006
The Dallas Morning News

Once again, Gov. Rick Perry's former liaison to the Legislature is working for the Spanish company that won the rights to develop the $7 billion Trans-Texas Corridor.

Lobbyist Dan Shelley worked for the firm as a consultant just before he went to the governor's office, a connection first revealed in 2004. State officials denied any connection between that circumstance and the decision, three months later, to award Cintra the huge highway contract. Now, Mr. Shelley has left the governor's office, and he and his daughter have large contracts to lobby for the road builder.

This week, Mr. Shelley had planned to take four state lawmakers – including two Dallas-area senators – on a four-day, all-expense-paid trip to Canada. But the trip was abruptly postponed after The Dallas Morning News asked questions about it.

A call to Mr. Shelley seeking comment was returned by an Austin spokeswoman for Madrid-based Cintra, who said that Mr. Shelley's contract with the company prohibits him from discussing his work with reporters.

Spokeswoman Rossanna Salazar confirmed that Mr. Shelley was helping to arrange the fact-finding trip to visit a Cintra toll road near Toronto.

"Dan Shelley was going to cover those costs" for the lawmakers' expenses, Ms. Salazar said. "He would have had to publicly report those costs to the Texas Ethics Commission."

Though the payment of trip expenses by Cintra would have been legal, companies stand to gain by having lawmakers' undivided attention for several days, said Tom "Smitty" Smith, director of Public Citizen of Texas, a watchdog group. Lawmakers should use their campaign funds for such expenses, Mr. Smith said.

"That's preferable from taking money from corporations that stand to make billions in the continuation of this Trans-Texas Corridor project," he said.

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 Trans-Texas Corridor is Mr. Perry's vision for a statewide network of toll roads, rail lines and utility lines to improve transportation for the next 50 years. Cintra won the development rights in 2004 to the first corridor section that will parallel Interstate 35E.

Read the rest of the article HERE.

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