Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s former chief of staff Daniel Hodge is now a lobbyist for one of the biggest liberal organizations in the country.
After a long history with Abbott since serving on his campaign for attorney general in 2001, Hodge was promoted to chief of staff when Abbott first took office in 2015. The key position gave him an incredible amount of power as both an informal advisor to his boss and a liaison between the governor’s office and the state Legislature.
In 2017, it was announced that he was parting from the role. Shortly after, he became a registered lobbyist.
Since then, Hodge has quickly become one of the highest-paid lobbyists in the state of Texas, with lobby reports revealing he could be making up to $8,269,999 on his contracts.
One of his high-paying clients, however, raises questions about where the former Abbott staffer’s loyalties lie.
Reports reveal Hodge is receiving $200,000-$300,000 from the left-wing Tides Center, the sister organization that helps manage donations from the Tides Foundation.
First established in 1976 in San Francisco, the Tides Foundation says it is dedicated to “working to advance progressive causes and policy initiatives in areas such as the environment, health care, labor issues, immigrant rights, LGBTQ+ rights, women’s rights and human rights.”
According to an analysis from Influence Watch, “Tides’ fiscally sponsored groups have been prominent in the anti-war movement, anti-free trade campaigns, gun control, abolition of the death penalty, abortion rights, and gay rights.”
While working for Abbott, Hodge would often be sent to influence legislators. In 2017, Texas Scorecard reported on one of Hodge’s messages to the Texas Legislature:
Hodge instructed budget conferees in the waning hours of the regular session to add $100 million to the Texas Enterprise Fund and the Film and Music Marketing Program—two corporate handout funds in the Office of the Governor—threatening Abbott would veto the entire budget if lawmakers did not comply.
Daniel Hodge’s full lobby client list can be found at Transparency USA.