Today Tony Pompa, a Republican candidate for Senate District 10 in Tarrant County, posted on his facebook account pictures from a “campaign Meet & Greet” he held last week. There’s a couple of problems though. The “campaign” event was held at the Intercontinental Stephen F. Austin Hotel in Austin and all of the attendees (other than his political consultant, Chris Turner) were lobbyists.
From left to right, with Pompa, are lobbyist Robert Flores, Political Consultant Chris Turner, Flores again, lobbyist Michelle Whittenburg, lobbyist Kathy Grant, and another lobbyist whose name we can’t identify.
We have written extensively about Chris Turner and his questionable campaign tactics before. Robert Flores is a lobbyist for, amongst other entities, the GI Forum of Texas, an Hispanic advocacy organization which has sued the state in the past to prevent Republican-enacted redistricting plans from going into effect. Michelle Whittenburg is a lobbyist for beer distributors, some utility interests, and Texans for Lawsuit Reform. Kathy Grant is a lobbyist for several entities including the Society of Architects, AT&T, and the Municipal Utility District Collectors Association of Texas.
If we are judged by the company we keep, then these photos are a bad sign for Mr. Pompa.
UPDATE: Thanks to a tip, our mystery lobbyist on the right has been identified as Jackson Walker lobbyist Kathy Hutto. Ms. Hutto boasts an impressively long list of lobby clients, including big-time gambling player MGM Resorts International. Like the others, Ms. Hutto has a record of donating overwhelmingly to Democrats and liberal Republicans, including the HDCC Incumbent Protection Fund, a fund devoted to keeping Democrats in office when challenged by Republicans.