|For Immediate Distribution:
June 10, 2010
|Texans for Rick Perry: (512) 478-3276|
Mark Miner: firstname.lastname@example.org
Catherine Frazier: email@example.com
Liberal trial lawyer Bill White is hiding the truth about his financial relationship with BTEC owner Wedge Group, just like he has hidden his tax returns for his years in public service for 95 days and counting.
“After years of lies, the release of some tax returns proves that Bill White never severed his relationship with his former employer while he was mayor of Houston,” said Texans for Rick Perry spokesman Mark Miner. “There was an obvious quid pro quo between Bill White and Wedge Group, the majority owner of BTEC. Bill White received more than $460,000 in payments from Wedge Group while mayor, and BTEC received a $2 million contract in the aftermath of Hurricane Rita. What other sweetheart deals did Bill White provide to Wedge Group while mayor of Houston?”
The partial release of some of White’s tax returns (2004-2008) exposes two separate lies from White:
1. White says he did not perform services for Wedge Group while mayor. 
2. White says he did not receive income from Wedge Group after being elected mayor. 
Following Hurricane Rita’s landfall in 2005, White steered business to BTEC, a company whose majority owner is Wedge Group. 
White received a total of $461,669.87 in payments from Wedge Group while mayor: $81,854.65 (2005), $83.626.09 (2006), $109,014.58 (2007), $103,497.67 (2008), $83,676.88 (2009). 
 When Bill White released his 2004-2008 income tax returns on June 8, 2010, his campaign said, “Bill performed no services for his former employer after he began his service as mayor in 2004.”
“Comparison of Bill White's and Rick Perry's Available Financial Information,” Bill White campaign, 6/8/10, page 5, note 2g, available online at http://www.billwhitefortexas.com/finances/tax_summary.pdf
 “Parker slams Locke's business ties,” Houston Chronicle, 11/17/09
A public accounting of how Locke would separate himself from past business ties would not be unprecedented. Former Mayor Bob Lanier put his assets into a blind trust after he was elected in 1991, and Mayor Bill White took a leave of absence from his position as CEO of Houston-based holding company Wedge Group. When he won the election in 2003, he resigned and took in no additional income from the privately held company.
Houston Chronicle, November 17, 2009
Parker slams Locke's business ties
By Bradley Olson
City Controller Annise Parker took direct aim at mayoral opponent Gene Locke's insider status Monday, calling on him to more fully disclose how he would divest himself from the numerous lucrative contracts his law firm has received from the governmental entities he could control or influence if elected.
Locke's firm, Andrews Kurth, has reaped more than $17 million in the past six years from business at the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, the Port of Houston Authority and the Harris County-Houston Sports Authority, according to figures the Parker campaign highlighted that originally were published online by Texas Watchdog. During that time, Locke worked for each agency as general counsel.
With City Council approval, the Houston mayor appoints five of nine Metro board members, six of 12 sports authority board members and two of seven board members at the port. The mayor also jointly appoints, with Harris County, the chairs of the port and the sports authority.
"How is he going to separate himself from this firm that's made so many millions of dollars from all these public entities in the years since he left the city attorney's office?" Parker asked. "He has been unwilling to say anything beyond ‘Trust me, I'll do the right thing.' He needs to tell us how it's going to happen, to put it in writing."
Locke's campaign said that was not true, as he resigned from Metro, the port and the sports authority before announcing his candidacy for mayor in April.
"I find it incredibly disingenuous that Annise Parker would question my integrity when she knows, and she has known, that I plan to resign from Andrews Kurth upon becoming mayor," Locke said in a statement. "This is not only much ado about nothing, but this is the kind of negative campaign rhetoric Houstonians don't deserve."
Ashley Ronald Nelly, a spokeswoman for Andrews Kurth, said the former city attorney would have "no continuing financial ties of any kind to Andrews Kurth and derive no financial benefit related to the revenues of the firm."
"Andrews Kurth and its predecessors have represented governmental entities for over 30 years, long before Gene Locke joined the firm in 1998," she said in a statement. "Gene has spent most of his recent career advising governmental entities about the conflict of interest laws that bind them, and we believe that, as mayor, Gene will ensure that all persons and firms who work with or do business with the city fully follow those laws."
Andrews Kurth is a law firm that, along with several others, is a major player in local municipal activity, including representing governments for bond issues. Senior attorneys and the firm's political action committee are among the most generous campaign donors to city politicians, including Locke and Parker.
A public accounting of how Locke would separate himself from past business ties would not be unprecedented. Former Mayor Bob Lanier put his assets into a blind trust after he was elected in 1991, and Mayor Bill White took a leave of absence from his position as CEO of Houston-based holding company Wedge Group . When he won the election in 2003, he resigned and took in no additional income from the privately held company. Although he still retained stock from investment returns at Wedge, none stemmed from any of Wedge's real estate portfolio, which includes Houston buildings.
 “White profited from company hired during Rita,” Associated Press, 6/8/10, http://www.statesman.com/news/texas/white-profited-from-company-hired-du...
 Bill White tax returns (2004-2009), available online at http://www.billwhitefortexas.com/finances