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NPT Capitol: A double shot of Haggerty

Former El Paso state Rep Pat Haggerty has been making the news lately. He features in Gardner Selby’s excavation of Joe Straus’ political philosophy and Christy Hoppe’s piece on legislators that become lobbyists.

Despite losing his seat in the Texas House, Haggerty is still a force at the Capitol. The El Paso man is busy lobbying on behalf of several interests, is seen as close to Speaker Straus and even told NPT a couple of weeks ago that he would “never say never” to running for office again.

From the Austin American Statesmen: “The candidate was Haggerty. “Twenty-six years later, this guy is a colleague of mine in the Texas House and party leaders try to knock him out and did,” Straus said. “That’s just not the (right) way. I was part of the effort to build the party, not the one to rip it apart.” [link]

From the Dallas Morning News: “Two days after Pat Haggerty relinquished the El Paso legislative seat he’d held for 20 years, he was back to work at the Capitol, this time for the tobacco firm Reynolds American. [link]

–Ben Wright

From the Austin American Statesmen: “And through legislative elections after the 2005 and 2007 sessions, (House Speaker) Straus watched as pro-Craddick interests tried to defeat certain Republicans. He was especially unhappy last year when El Paso Rep. Pat Haggerty lost his primary — even more so in November when a Democrat (Joe Moody) captured the seat long held by a Republican.

The night a Democrat snared Haggerty’s seat, Straus flashed back a quarter-century to the time he advanced then-Vice President Bush’s trip to El Paso on behalf of a Republican who almost won a U.S. House race there. The candidate was Haggerty. “Twenty-six years later, this guy is a colleague of mine in the Texas House and party leaders try to knock him out and did,” Straus said. “That’s just not the (right) way. I was part of the effort to build the party, not the one to rip it apart.”

From the Dallas Morning News: “Two days after Pat Haggerty relinquished the El Paso legislative seat he’d held for 20 years, he was back to work at the Capitol, this time for the tobacco firm Reynolds American. Of the 23 state lawmakers who retired or lost their elections in 2008, six have registered as lobbyists and are working their former colleagues on the behalf of paying clients.

“The fact is that I didn’t have much of a choice,” said Haggerty, a real estate broker who lost his GOP primary last March. Known for his blunt talk, Haggerty called his two decades of legislative knowledge a valuable commodity. At the same time, he cited others who have traded in their public roles to represent the companies they regulated. “Now that’s gaming the system,” he said. Haggerty, who concentrated on incarceration issues as a lawmaker, said that he is not representing prison contractors.

Would he? “Sure, if they wanted to buy my expertise. But nobody has,” said Haggerty, whose clients so far are paying him as much as $300,000 to represent their interests.

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Written by newspapertreeelpaso

February 23, 2009 at 10:48 am

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