Category:Texas Power

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Texas Power

Texas mafia Expression used for the Texas business establishment who were godfathers to George W. Bush who provided many of his pioneers, a culture that “blended politics, business and social relationships so thoroughly that the distinctions sometimes lose their meaning,” early 1990s.

Bush dynasty’s throne At no point since 1952 has there not been a Bush in a governor’s mansion (in Texas or Florida), on Capitol Hill or in the White House, and usually more than one of those at a time. “Everything they learned when they started out in west Texas, they applied to the governor's mansion, the nation and the world... Power in America is not so much about George W Bush, it is about the people from Texas who put him there.”

Vending-machine politics "You puts your money in and you gets your product out," coined by Republican LaNell Anderson.

Texas wealth gap Texas ranks 7th-worst of the US states in the income gap between rich and poor. Between 1980-2000, income of the top 5% of families grew 35%, the richest 20% of Texas families enjoyed 23% gain in income, while middle incomes lost ground moderately, and the families in the bottom 20% dropped by 9%.

(alphabetical listing)

Josephine Abercrombie Powerful Texan.

May Kay Ash Powerful Texan.

Roy Howard Baskin III Real estate attorney Roy “Howard” Baskin left his firm Baskin & Novakov in 1994 to join the corporate law firm Jackson & Walker. Baskin chairs the real estate section of the Dallas Bar Association. His firm has represented the Texas Rangers baseball team that made George W. Bush a millionaire 15 times over.

Bass clan Oil-rich Bass family in Fort Worth were generous Republican donors as well as being old friends of the Bushes, enjoying a particularly close connection to George W. through Richard Rainwater, the billionaire financier behind the Texas Rangers deal, and through Harken Energy, which brought in the Basses to save its deal in Bahrain.

  1. Bass Brothers Enterprise Bass clan business.

Electra Waggoner Biggs Powerful Texan.

H.R. “Bum” Bright Powerful Texan.

John Connally Democrat governor of Texas, wounded in JFK assassination. He switched to the Republican Party during the Nixon administration.

Herring Davis Powerful Texan.

Davis Brothers Fort Worth oilman Kenneth W. Davis, one of three brothers (including famously acquitted murder defendant T. Cullen Davis) on the 1982 Forbes 400 list at a combined $600 million. The family business was bankrupt in 1985.

  1. T. Cullen Davis Thomas Cullen Davis (born 1933) billionaire oil man, the head of the Kendavis oil company, went to trial for murdering his daughter and wife's boy friend on 2 August 1976, shooting a witness, and assaulting his wife. In the trial, Davis's defense was that he was in fact trying to catch corrupt FBI agents. It is said that with the help of spreading money and gifts and parties around to everyone including the District Attorney, Davis was able to win the case. The company, Kendavis, went bankrupt in the US oil bust in the 1980s. Davis said that he found Jesus and became an evangelist. In 2001, Davis admitted that during the first murder trial, he had bribed someone in the prosecutor's office to feed him information about the prosecution strategy.

Cadillac Jack” Grimm Powerful Texan.

Sybil Harrington Powerful Texan.

Bob Holland Robert B. Holland III. Texas businessman and Pioneer, an attorney at the Dallas law firm Jackson Walker (see Roy Baskin and Albon Head) from 1977 to 1994. He was George W. Bush’s fishing buddy.

  1. Jackson Walker LLP Law firm specializing in media representation in Texas for over 90 years.
  2. Jack Kemp connection Bob Holland was the Texas state chair of Jack Kemp’s presidential campaign, 1988.
  3. Triton Energy Bob Holland served as general counsel of Triton Energy until 1998, when Hicks Muse Tate & Furst acquired a 38% stake in this international oil company. Hicks Muse temporarily installed Pioneer Tom Hicks as chair of Triton before replacing him with fellow Pioneer Sheldon Erikson. During this period, Holland briefly served as Triton CEO and COO before oil giant Amerada Hess bought out Triton for $3.2 billion in 2001.
  4. Janacek affair Hicks Muse had bought Triton at a volatile time marked by battered stock prices and shareholder lawsuits. Triton made headlines in 1992, when a jury awarded its former controller a stunning $124 million verdict in a wrongful-firing lawsuit. Controller Jimmy Janacek argued that he was fired for refusing to burnish financial reports to make Aviation Properties look like a more attractive acquisition target for Triton. Then-Triton Chair William Lee held stock in Aviation, which he wanted Triton to buyout.
  5. Indonesian bribery Securities and Exchange Commission reached a 1997 accord with several Triton executives and other employees to settle allegations that they conspired to pay $450,000 in bribes to Indonesian officials to reduce government fees and taxes on an Indonesian energy field. Bob Holland left Triton in 1999 to become managing partner of business consulting firm Texas Limited.
  6. Texas Limited Holland was managing partner of the private consulting and investment partnership, 1999-2002.
  7. World Bank nomination President Bush nominated Holland to be a World Bank alternate executive director in 2001. Resigned 2006.
  8. Affiliated Computer Services, Inc. (ACS) Premier provider of business process outsourcing and information technology solutions, elected Robert B. Holland, III, to its Board of Directors, 24 January 2006

Joanne Johnson King Powerful Texan.

Henry Kravis Founding partner of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, the implacably acquisitive corporate raider who has consistently been among the largest Republican contributors in the country during the 1990s. Kravis was a financial co-chairman of Bush-Quayle 1992, and he boasted to reporters that he was a personal friend and confidant of President Bush. Both he and his wife, Marie-Josee, are reliable donors of soft money, giving $125,000 to the Republican National Committee, spring 1996.

  1. KKR 1996 Fund Buyout partnership set up by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts into which Utimco made an investment of $50 million 1996.

James Leininger Big fund raiser of the Texas right wing. Leininger also created the Texas Public Policy Foundation, which is dedicating to shaping public policy in the state. Leininger is particularly keen on school vouchers and abstinence education. He not only gives generously to members of the Texas legislative and executive branches, but also to candidates for the Texas Supreme Court.

  1. Texas Public Policy Foundation Wendy Gramm is the chair of Leininger's Policy Foundation.

Jarrell McCracken Powerful Texan.

Stanley Marsh III Powerful Texan.

J. Howard Marshall II Unknown Houstonian who had a 16% stake in the privately owned Koch Industries. Revealed after making the Forbes 400 rich list in 1989, he later became even more famous as the 90-year-old husband of flamboyant model Anna Nicole Smith.

Walter Mischer One of Texas’s most powerful business leaders born in a small South Texas town called Gillett to a prosperous ranching family, but at age 11 when his father was shot to death over a business deal, Over the next several decades, Mischer acquired friends in the highest of places. As he became a hugely successful banker and real estate investor, he also became one of the state’s most influential political fund-raisers, supporting both Democratic and Republican candidates. He reportedly raised more money for Ronald Reagan in 1980 than anyone else in the US.

  1. The Kingmaker” Sobriquet given to Mischer who was called “the strongest man in Texas as far as raising money.”

George Mitchell Powerful Texan.

H. Ross Perot Powerful Texan.

Bob J. Perry (1935-), Christian zealot, a Texas homebuilder with an aversion to the limelight who has long donated vast amounts of money to conservative causes, including the tort reform effort in Texas. He was an original director of CNP foundation in 1981. Perry worked with White House political director Karl Rove during Rove's Texas years, contributing to Texas Governor Rick Perry's (no relation) rise in politics and giving $20,000 to Bush's two campaigns for governor in the 1990s. In the 2002 election cycle, Perry was the state’s largest individual contributor to the Texas Republican Party ($905,000) and to the campaigns of Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst ($115,000) and Attorney General Greg Abbott, who got $387,500 from Perry and $150,000 from Perry’s wife. In the 2003-04 cycle, Perry gave over $8 million to conservative 527 groups, including $4.5 million to Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and $3 million to the Progress for America Voter Fund, which spent over $35 million running pro-Bush and anti-Kerry ads during the campaign and later backing Bush's Social Security privatization, and $10,000 to the Club for Growth. Founded Economic Freedom Fund.

  1. Perry Homes Private Houston-based company is now one of the largest builders of homes and townhouses in Texas, established 1968.
  2. Perry pay-off In 1997, Perry asked Bush to oppose a title insurance bill, which passed the state Senate but never made it out of the House. In 1999, Perry urged then-Lt. Gov. Rick Perry to block a bill he contended would discourage judges from dismissing or ruling on civil cases before trial. Rick Perry wrote back a month later that Bush had vetoed the bill.

T. Boone Pickens Thomas Boone Pickens, Jr. (1928-), businessman, Chairman of the private equity firm BP Capital Management, and well-known takeover artist during the 1980s. Pickens is a financial supporter of President George W. Bush, having contributed heavily to both his Texas and national political campaigns, including a $3 million contribution for the controversial Swift Boat Veterans for Truth attacking Bush's rival, John Kerry. Pickens made a $250,000 contribution for Bush's second inaugural celebration. Another $2.5 million went to the Progress for America advocacy group in the 2004 election cycle alone. Since 1980, Pickens has contributed over $6 million in political donations.

Lonnie Pilgrim (Bo Pilgrim) Chairman and principal owner of Pilgrims Pride Corp. of Pittsburgh, Texas, America's second-largest poultry producer. Pilgrim published a pamphlet, which he handed out everywhere he went, inviting readers to receive Jesus as their Savior. “Inside the back cover is a crisp $20 bill, which he says encourages people to hold on to it.”

  1. Lonnie Pilgrim bribery Lonnie Pilgrim handed out $10,000 checks on the Texas Senate floor during a debate on a bill he supported to gut state workers' compensation laws, 1989. Bo left the “payee” line of the checks blank for lawmakers to fill in themselves, presumably to avoid any appearance of, like, bribery or anything like that. The episode prompted the next legislative session to pass ethics reforms.

“Lonnie Pilgrim stands for something profoundly grand. Bo...is a gentleman of impeccable character, a generous spirit, and a crusader for Christ.... Along the path of taking a small farm supply store to a $2.5 billion company, Bo...kept honesty and integrity at the forefront.... [H]e takes an interest in [employees'] needs--ensuring that troubled employees receive counseling and an opportunity to know Jesus.... 'He is respected by all who know him because of his high ethical standards'.... But Bo's greatest joy comes from witnessing and introducing the plan of salvation to as many people as he possibly can.” Philanthropy World profile, 2003

Sid Richardson (1891-) Texas oil mogul. In 1933 Richardson established the Keystone oil-field in Winkler County. This was a profitable venture and he rapidly expanded his oil business. Richardson also invested in three large cattle ranches. In 1936 Richardson purchased St. Joseph's Island off the Texas coast. When Dwight Eisenhower won the presidency, Richardson suggested he employed his friend, Robert Anderson, president of the Texas Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association, to become Secretary of the Navy. Eisenhower agreed to this suggestion. Later, Anderson became Secretary of the Treasury (1957-61). In this post he introduced legislation beneficial to the oil industry.

  1. Bachelor billionaire Title given to Richardson, one of the richest men in the United States with an estimated worth of $800 million.

Clayton W. Williams, Jr. Multimillionaire founder of Clayton Williams Energy, Inc., an independent exploration and production company, operates primarily in Texas, Louisiana, New Mexico, and Mississippi.

Wynne dynasty Powerful Texas family.

Other Texas Figures

Roy Bailey Dallas insurance mogul and former finance chair of the Texas Republican Party.

Thomas Hicks

Thomas Hicks (Tom Hicks) One of the wealthiest men in Texas, chief executive of Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst, an investment partnership he founded 1990 that became among the largest in the US. Its acquisitions of radio and television stations, food and beverage companies, and a wide variety of other media and industrial properties had made Hicks not only a multimillionaire but an important player in the leveraged-buyout game. Hicks purchased the Texas Rangers from the Bush partnership, became a major Republican donor and a member of the University of Texas Board of Regents, whose chairman was Don Evans, treasurer of the Bush campaign and Bush confident. As chairman of Utimco enjoyed dominion over c. $13 billion of the University of Texas investment portfolio, putting c. $1.7 billion in private investments. Conflict of interests abounded but Vinson & Elkins, which advised the Board of Regents and Utimco on financial and ethical issues, never found that Hicks misused his position. Hicks left Utimco at the end of his term February 1999.

  1. Hicks's upset Calpers, the state of California employee pension fund, invested $100 million with Hicks, Muse after a positive recommendation from an outside consultant, Christopher J. Bower, 1997. A furor arose after it was revealed that Hicks had also purchased a yacht for $300,000 from Bower without ever actually seeing the vessel, some $45,000 more than Bower had originally paid for the used 47-foot boat.

University of Texas Investment Management Company In 1994 under then-Governor George W. Bush, Hicks joined the University of Texas Board of Regents, one of the plushest appointments in the state, and was put in charge of investing the university's multibillion-dollar endowment. Hicks formed a private entity using UT money, called the University of Texas Investment Management Company, which invested millions with Bush family supporters and Hicks allies like The Carlyle Group, Bass Brothers of Fort Worth--who bailed out Bush's previous company, Harken Energy--and Dallas's Wyly family, all major patrons of the Bushes. News reports detailing the close family connections led to a major public controversy. Hicks stepped down at the end of his term, but the ties to Bush didn't end there.

Texas Rangers purchase In 1998 Hicks bought the Texas Rangers for $250 million, three times what Bush and his partners paid for the team in 1989, and granted Bush six times his original share, making the failed businessman an overnight multimillionaire.

Texas Rangers Baseball Team

Clear Channel connection Hicks, who became vice chairman of the radio behemoth Clear Channel in 2000, helped Bush in whatever way he could. According to Salon, "Hicks announced on a conference call among Clear Channel's senior radio executives that the company was supporting Bush's presidential run, that everyone was encouraged to make donations, and that the legal department would be in contact with donors in order to maintain a proper roster." After 9/11 Clear Channel banned "potentially offensive" songs from its stations, and in the run-up to the war in Iraq, bankrolled supposedly grassroots pro-war "Rallies for America" across the country. The company gave nearly $470,000 to Republican candidates in 2006, roughly the same as in '04. Ironically, Hicks's investment fund sold its stake in Clear Channel in 2006 to the private equity firm Bain Capital Partners--the longtime employer of Mitt Romney.

Hicks/Giuliani "I'm more closely aligned to Rudy than I am to Bush." As state chair for Giuliani, Hicks was given the task last January, according to the leaked strategy memo, of raising $30 million for the campaign in Texas, a figure that has thus far proven wildly optimistic.

Jim Lee Houstonian, a close ally of Governor Rick Perry and a Pioneer for Bush/Cheney in 2004. After Lee raised $200,000 for Perry's re-election campaign, the governor appointed him last year to the board overseeing Texas's $96 billion public school employee pension fund. Lee is Giuliani’s campaign's finance chief, 2007.

  1. Momentum Securities Day-trading company Lee co-founded was censured and fined $75,000 by the National Association of Security Dealers in 2001 for producing misleading advertising material, downplaying financial risks to investors and overstating its capital.

Bob McNair Texans owner who in 2004 had given more than $500,000 to the Swift Boat Veterans and another right-wing 527, Progress for America.

T. Boone Pickens

T. Boone Pickens Thomas Boone Pickens, Jr. (1928-), businessman and well-known corporate raider from West Texas during the 1980s. He who terrorized Wall Street by threatening to take over oil companies and grew filthy rich in the process. Since launching a hedge fund specializing in energy investments in 1996, Pickens has become even richer, making more than $1.5 billion in 2005. That same year he gave $165 million to Cowboy Golf, a small charity connected to his alma mater, Oklahoma State, and on whose board Pickens sits. Within an hour, the tax-deductible donation was invested back into the Pickens hedge fund, BP Capital. Critics who objected to the transaction, and Pickens's influence at OSU, began calling the school “Boone State.”

Boone Pickens Bush connection T. Boone Pickens is a financial supporter of President George W. Bush, having contributed heavily to both his Texas and national political campaigns, including a $3 million contribution for the controversial Swift Boat Veterans for Truth attacking Bush's rival, John Kerry. Pickens made a $250,000 contribution for Bush's second inaugural celebration. Another $2.5 million went to the Progress for America advocacy group in the 2004 election cycle alone. Since 1980, Pickens has contributed over $6 million in political donations.

BP Capital Management Private equity firm, chairman T. Boone Pickens.

Mesa Water T. Boone Pickens has been prospecting in Texas's new oil: water. His company, Mesa Water, owns groundwater rights to 200,000 acres of land north of Amarillo (in Texas, unlike other Western states, groundwater is considered private by virtue of a "right to capture" law), which he's said he plans to sell to cities like El Paso, San Antonio and Dallas, potentially netting him $1 billion over the next thirty years. Pickens claims to be the "number-one steward of the land," but locals are wary of what Fortune magazine dubbed a Chinatown-esque scheme to divert water from the Panhandle, earning Pickens the status of "regional reprobate," as Salon put it.

Pickens personal life Four wives, semi-estranged from his children, reviled in his hometown.

Pickens/Giuliani T. Boone Pickens has raised more than $500,000 for Giuliani, including $50,000 from employees of his hedge fund.

Hunt Family

Hunt family Texas oil family of extreme right-wing billionaires which supplied much of the original money for the Council on National Policy.

H. L. Hunt Haroldson Lafayette Hunt, Jr. (1889-1974), oil tycoon. He was educated at home, and as a teenager travelled to various places before settling in Arkansas, where he was running a cotton plantation by 1912. He ended up making his fortune in the oil business. In 1957 Fortune Magazine estimated that he had a fortune of between $400 million and $700 million, and was one of the eight richest people in the US.

Note' Although Hunt served as an inspiration for the Dallas (TV series), the show's producers had to tone down many of the more extravagant aspects of the family interactions in the interest of believability.

Hunt Children with Lyda Bunker Hunt

Hunt brothers Extreme right-wing billionaires, of the Hunt oil family.

  1. Nelson Bunker Hunt (1926-) Financier and executive officer of the Religious Roundtable, founder and main funder of the Wycliffe Bible Associates. A trustee of ILC, a board member and leading financier of the John Birch Society, a major supporter of the Campus Crusade for Christ. Leading benefactor/second president of the CNP (1982-93) was among several of the John Birch Society/Western Goals Foundation principals and associates who also served on the newly-formed Council for National Policy (CNP) Board of Governors (executive committee 1984-85, 1988). Like many founding CNP members, he is a Knight of the Order of Malta. Member of a racial eugenics organization, the International Association for the Advancement of Eugenics and Ethnology, that was headquartered in Edinburgh, Scotland. IAAEE was established in the US by Lord Malcolm Douglas, a member of the British Cliveden Set which supported Hitler during WW II. Nelson Bunker Hunt attempted to corner the world silver market in 1979, and was convicted of conspiring to manipulate the market, 1988. Bankrupt September 1988.
  2. William Herbert Hunt (1929-) Multimillionaire and brother to Nelson Bunker Hunt. In 1981, William Herbert and Nelson Bunker Hunt provided the start-up money for the Council for National Policy. CNP Board of Governors (1982).

Helen Lee Cartledge Hunt (deceased)

Haroldina Franch Hunt (deceased)

Howard Lee Hunt (deceased)

Lyda Hunt Died in infancy.

Hugh Hunt (1932-2002) Lived in Potomac Maryland, founder of Constructivist Foundation.

H. L. Hunt III (Hassie) (1918-2005) Diagnosed with schizophrenia in the early 1940s; co-owner of Hunt Petroleum

Margaret Hunt Hill (1916-) Philanthropist and co-owner of Hunt Petroleum

Caroline Rose Hunt Caroline Hunt Schoellkopf (1923-) Owner of a chain of hotels

Lamar Hunt (1932-2006) Co-founder of the American Football League and the North American Soccer League; owner of the Kansas City Chiefs of the NFL; impetus behind 1966 AFL-NFL merger, coined the name Super Bowl.

Hunt Children with Caroline L. Hunt

Ray L. Hunt Ray Lee Hunt (1943-) Chairman of Hunt Oil, US Secretary of Commerce.

June Hunt (born c. 1944) - host of a daily religious radio show, Hope for the Heart

Helen LaKelly Hunt (born c. 1949) - a pastoral counselor in Dallas; co-manager of the Hunt Alternatives Fund, one of the family's charitable arms

Swanee Hunt (born May 1, 1950) US ambassador to Austria; then head of the Women and Public Policy Program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and co-manager of the Hunt Alternatives Fund.

Carolyn Hunt One of the Business Records Corp. (BRC) owners which became ES&S.

American Council of Christian Churches (ACCC) In 1941, J. Edgar Hoover had his good friend and agent, Carl McIntire, organize the espionage and intelligence unit under the cover name “American Council of Christian Churches” with the headquarters in New York City. This group was able to take in many innocent religious groups who did not know they were connected with a spy and propaganda agency. However, Hoover and McIntire through this guise were able to place agents posing as ministers and missionaries throughout the US and most Latin American countries. ACCC was headed by H. L. Hunt of Dallas, Texas.

  1. E. E. Bradley Edgar Eugene Bradley ACCC's West Coast representative was indicted by the New Orleans Grand Jury for complicity in the Kennedy assassination. ACCC launched a campaign in 1964, at J. Edgar Hoover's request, to elect him President of the US.
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