I knew it. If Rick Perry is for something, and there’s a lot of money involved, it’s a cinch that one (or more) of Perry’s pals is involved up to his neck. The Houston Chronicle reported yesterday that the idea for selling the lottery originated with Phil Gramm of UBS. Nothing generates more money for less effort than the percentage big financial institutions make from handling transactions of this type. Guess who else’s name pops up in the article: You guessed it. Mike Toomey’s.
Here are the relevant paragraphs from the Chronicle article, in case you missed it, as I did, since I spent most of the day watching the Appropriations subcommittee on education torture various university presidents and never got to the clips.
Former U.S. Sen. Phil Gramm, a friend of Perry’s, is handling discussions for the proposed lottery sale, a spokesman for Gramm’s company acknowledged.
Gramm is vice chairman of UBS Investment Bank, which has been advising the governor on the proposed privatization of the state lottery. Gramm was a federally registered lobbyist for UBS last year.
Ray Sullivan, a lobbyist registered with the investment firm in Texas, worked as a spokesman for Perry several years ago. Sullivan is now in business with Michael Toomey, Perry’s former chief of staff.
Toomey said he does not represent clients with lottery-related interests, and he added that Sullivan does not work on lottery-related issues for UBS.
You have to give Perry credit. Nothing embarrasses him.