Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Who Likes Mike?

How should a Texas Congressman feel when his delegation supports a guy from Washington state? Isn't that the home of tie dye and grunge rock? It happened to Rep. Mike Conaway as he sought a seat on the powerful House Ways & Means Committee. Politico reported:

Conaway’s Texas colleagues really hobbled him during a delegation meeting in the Rayburn House Office Building in November.

Conaway could have had an edge with GOP leaders for a Ways and Means seat after contributing or raising a combined $2.4 million for the NRCC and Republican candidates. But Kenny Marchant, a well-liked former leader in the state Legislature, always had the inside track with his fellow Texans. “It really wasn’t close,” an aide to one Texas lawmaker said.

According to multiple aides whose bosses attended the meeting, Sessions made the push for Marchant, and Conaway was visibly upset about the result. One story that circulated after the meeting had Conaway threatening to withhold campaign funds from the NRCC. “Conaway was not a good loser,” one source said.

Temper tantrum? Hmmm, that sounds like his good friend George W. Bush. Birds of a feather, flock together. However, I found the story's introduction humorous.

Texas Rep. Mike Conaway is a prolific fundraiser who helped root out an embezzlement scheme at the National Republican Congressional Committee last year, making him a top contender for a coveted seat on the Ways and Means panel.

The embezzlement story changed numerous times. First, it was Mike Conaway, CPA to the rescue. When the timeline of his appointment as audit chair revealed Mike slow on the uptake, Congressman Conaway cited Jeff Burton, his assistant as the real hero.

The NRCC employed a Bernie Madoff like Chief Financial Officer. Their Board, an Executive Committee of Congressmen, acted like the SEC for five years. This group of national elected leaders failed to meet the standards of a local nonprofit board.

Rep. Mike Conaway's prolific fundraising came from George W. Bush visits to Midland, Texas. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to theorize these funds will decline after January 20th.

I have to wonder if the real reason the crew passed on Mike involved the Albertine brothers. The Seattle Times found a suspicious Conaway earmark and timely trail of Albertine donations. Did Mike's opponent or a staffer offer the tip to the Washington newspaper for their October story? Fess up, Kenny!

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