Making Conservatives Cringe Since 1977

I'm not Liberal, I'm paying attention.

03 October 2005

 

Bush, Loyal to a Fault.

By now everyone knows Harriet Miers has been nominated to the Supreme Court. By now everyone knows that hardly anyone knows anything about her. Nothing could have brought a grin to my face quicker this morning though, than seeing the self-destruct sequence being launched over at Confirm Them because of this nomination. As per usual MSM saturation of a watered down version of Miers’s White House bio has been circulated en mass:
Ms. Miers currently serves as Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief of Staff. Most recently, she served as Assistant to the President and Staff Secretary. Prior to joining the White House staff, Ms. Miers was Co-Managing Partner at Locke Liddell & Sapp, LLP, where she helped manage an over 400-lawyer firm. Previously, she was President of Locke, Purnell, Rain & Harrell, where she worked for 26 years. In 1992, Ms. Miers became the first woman elected Texas State Bar President following her selection in 1985 as the first woman to become President of the Dallas Bar Association. She also served as a Member-At-Large on the Dallas City Council. Ms. Miers received her bachelor's degree and J.D. from Southern Methodist University.
A short paragraph like this can be found at any MSM website. As you can see it doesn’t stray far from the official bio: http://usinfo.state.gov/special/transition/transition_nominees/miers.html In the rumors and innuendo [blog] department much has been made of concerning this little tid-bit; $1000 given to Gore? http://www.newsmeat.com/washington_political_donations/Harriet_Miers.php The real interesting part of Miers’s past is buried in a story that always seems to pop up this time of year. It seems that former Lt. Gov Ben Barnes was the focus of an investigation as to whether he’d helped Bush get into the National Guard ahead of thousands of others in 1968. At the time of the investigation Barnes was a lobbyist employed by GTech, which operated lotteries in Texas as well as 37 other states. In an article by the Associated Press entitled, “Bush’s military service testimony sought in Lottery suit on military record,” Miers involvement was briefly mentioned:
An unsigned letter to a U.S. attorney in 1996 that Littwin's lawyers obtained in their case prompted questions about the Guard, The News said. The letter was sent after the three-member Lottery Commission voted unanimously to extend the GTECH contract for five years rather than seek new bids. It alleged that GTECH was allowed to keep its contract in return for Barnes not revealing his help in getting Bush into the Guard, the newspaper said. A former top Bush aide who now lobbies for GTECH brokered the deal between the governor and Barnes, the letter said. Both the former aide and LotteryCommission Chairwoman Harriet Miers denied the accusations.
Miers’s tumultuous time as a chairwoman of the Texas Lottery Commission was highlighted in a 2004 piece by Elisabeth Bumiller of the New York Times: A Woman of Low Profile In a Job High-Powered Nov. 20, 2004 Mr. Bush, then in his first months as governor of Texas, appointed Ms. Miers to a six-year term as chairwoman of the Texas Lottery Commission. Ms. Miers unexpectedly resigned after five years that were marked by controversy and the dismissal of two executive directors of the commission. The first executive director, Nora Linares, was fired in 1997 when it became public that her boyfriend had worked for the company that held the contract to operate the lottery. Ms. Linares's successor was dismissed after only five months when he began reviewing campaign contributions of state legislators without the commission's knowledge. Despite the problems, as well as the lottery's declining sales, The Dallas Morning News praised Ms. Miers when she resigned in 2000 for ''preserving the operations' integrity.'' Barnes gets a $23 million severance package from GTECH . Miers fired two lottery directors, both of whom afterward sued and settled. The second lottery director fired by Miers claimed he was taking the fall for GTech, which, he alleged, kept its contract and bought out Barnes because he had the story on Bush. Sounds like just the kind of person you’d expect to preserve an operations integrity if you look at things from a Bush administrations point of view (see Michael Brown). Miers has Bush crony written all over her.
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