The nonpartisan Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) has declared Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker the “Worst Governor in America.”
Even though he had fierce competition from fellow Republicans Tom Corbett and Susana Martinez, this is a choice CREW had no trouble making:
In the past he’s employed illegal tactics and abused his power to round up votes, but Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) didn’t have to break a sweat to win this contest. For racking up a record that has veered from unethical conduct to staggering incompetence, CREW’s voters awarded Gov. Walker the title of Worst Governor in America.
Gov. Walker had made his name in 2011 by ramming through unprecedented restrictions on the collective bargaining of public workers, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg:
Currently, Scott Walker is under fire on multiple fronts. In June, Wisconsin was ranked 49th out of 50 in job creation by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. Over the past few weeks, dozens have been arrested in the Wisconsin state capitol for the simple act of singing, under new protest restrictions Walker’s administration put in place. Just yesterday, Walker shocked many of his former political allies by suggesting expanding his union-busting Act 10 to include police officers and firefighters as well.Gov. Walker also presided over illegal activity and wasteful spending at a public-private partnership that he and the state legislature created to promote economic development. Additionally, a long-running investigation into Gov. Walker’s tenure as Milwaukee County executive and his 2010 gubernatorial campaign resulted in criminal charges against several of his aides. CREW cited these scandals and others in naming Gov. Walker to the second edition of its Worst Governors in America report.“Scandal and embarrassment seem to follow Gov. Walker wherever he goes,” said CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan. “Given his inability to competently handle the most basic responsibilities of his office and willingness to overstep his authority to help his donors, it’s no wonder CREW’s voters recognized him as a singularly terrible American governor.”
All this, and Scott Walker is not-so-secretly laying the groundwork for a presidential run.
CREW’s second report on the nation’s worst governors includes 18 — six of whom are the worst
of the lot, six others whose conduct raises serious questions about their leadership, and six others
who engaged in some action suspect enough to suggest their decisions merit close scrutiny.
Some governors on the list essentially turned their authority and regulatory agendas over to
special interests. Others abused their office in return for gifts and campaign contributions.
Many appointed donors to key positions and gutted transparency measures. All failed to live up
to the public trust.
Until publishing its first report on the nation’s worst governors in 2010, CREW primarily
focused on the ethics of federal government officials. CREW chose to look at governors because
their actions have a major impact on public welfare, but state ethics issues often escape attention.
Now, with Washington mired in partisan gridlock, much of the legislative action takes place at
the state level. As a result, it is critical that governors’ conduct be beyond reproach.
CREW assessed the governors based on the following criteria:
. Corruption: Has there been outright corruption? Did a governor violate state ethics laws
or campaign finance laws, or did the governor use his or her position to influence the
awarding of state contracts?
. Transparency: Did a governor block access to records that state law deems
discoverable? Similarly, did the governor oppose legislation to make public records
more accessible or promote measures to make government less transparent? Finally, did
the governor take steps to foil transparency, such as, for instance, using private e-mail
accounts for public business?
. Partisan politics: Did a governor appear to put partisan politics above the interests of the
citizens of his or her state?
. Pressuring public officials: Has a governor attempted to pressure or intimidate other
state officials in an inappropriate manner?
. Cronyism: Did a governor abuse his or her position to reward family, friends, or major
donors with state employment or other benefits?
. Self-enrichment: Did a governor use his or her position for personal financial
. Scandal: Was a governor involved in a personal scandal that clearly distracted from his
or her ability to govern effectively?
. Mismanagement: Did a governor fail to discharge his or her duties responsibly and in
the public interest?
CREW attempted to confine research to the governors’ actions while in office or running for
office. In a few cases, however, investigations into a governor’s actions before taking office
raised substantial questions or have had an impact on the governors’ ability to govern, forcing
While conducting the research for this report, we noticed some disturbing trends. For example,
governors around the country have pushed to create economic development agencies or funds
that rely on public money but are exempt from public audit or transparency requirements. These
situations make it harder for the public to ensure accountability, and create conditions ideal for
corruption and abuse. This practice has already led to problems in, for instance, Arizona, Texas,
In addition, poorly crafted state ethics laws and a lack of vigorous enforcement allow governors
to abuse their offices with few or no consequences. Ethics laws, open records laws, transparency
rules, disclosure requirements, and campaign finance laws vary greatly from state to state.
Significant loopholes frequently provide governors with cover for questionable conduct. Gov.
Robert McDonnell (R-VA), for example, is under state and federal investigation over whether he
improperly helped the chief executive of a Virginia dietary supplement company in exchange for
thousands of dollars’ worth of gifts to the governor and his family. Virginia law requires the
governor to disclose only those gifts made to him, not those made to his family members, which
means the public had no way to know the businessman was plying the McDonnells with money,
shopping sprees, and expensive luxury items.
Many of the governors included here promised to uphold the highest ethical standards while in
office, and to promote open and accountable government, yet have failed to live up to that
To create this report, CREW initially conducted research into all sitting state governors.
CREW’s researchers searched the Internet and the Nexis database for any credible allegations of
misconduct against each governor. Researchers reviewed a wide variety of sources including
news reports, personal financial disclosures, lobbying records, campaign finance reports, records
maintained by state ethics bodies, state government websites, and state-based government
watchdog groups. CREW consulted information compiled by the Center for Public Integrity,
among other sources, for information about state ethics and transparency laws in each state.
CREW also relied on campaign finance data compiled by the National Institute on Money in
State Politics at www.followthemoney.org.
Gov. Paul LePage (R-ME) was elected in 2010. He is running for re-election in 2014. His
inclusion stems from: (1) the pervasiveness and influence of lobbyists in his administration; (2)
personnel problems and retaliation against state employees; (3) improperly bullying state
Department of Labor employees; (4) nepotism; (5) reducing government transparency; (6)
repeatedly making rude, inappropriate, and offensive comments; and (7) advocating for new
voter identification restrictions.
Allowing Lobbyists to Set Regulatory Agenda
Gov. LePage has hired or appointed lobbyists advocating for repeal of state environmental
regulations and appears to have used his office to support their agenda.
In 2008, the state legislature passed the Kid-Safe Products Act, which set up a process for
phasing hazardous chemicals out of children’s products.1 In December 2010, after a lengthy
review and before Gov. LePage took office, Maine’s Board of Environmental Protection voted to
ban some products containing bisphenol-A (BPA), beginning in 2012.2 BPA would have been
the first chemical regulated under the law.3 The decision was subject to legislative approval.4
During his first month in office, Gov. LePage released a regulatory agenda that included
changing the Kid-Safe Products Act and opposition to the BPA ban.5 Gov. LePage said he did
not believe scientific evidence supports restricting BPA, quipping, “So the worst case is some
women may have little beards.”6 His comments provoked public backlash and were widely
criticized by advocates and researchers.7 Susan Shaw, a toxicologist at the Maine Environmental
Research Institute, said, “BPA is one of the most well-studied chemicals, and it is just ludicrous
to ignore the science.”8 The LePage administration said the push came out of a series of
workshops with Maine businesspeople on streamlining the regulatory process and was at the
request of the Maine Grocers Association and the Maine Beverage Association.9 After a reporter
questioned the source, a spokesman for the governor acknowledged Ann Robinson, a co-chair of
Gov. LePage’s gubernatorial transition team, was primarily responsible for drafting the list of
proposed regulatory reforms, including the BPA repeal initiative.10
1 Steve Mistler, Groups Protest LePage’s Regulation Roll-Back Plan, Sun Journal (Lewiston, ME), January 28,
2 Kevin Miller, Augusta Panel Endorses BPA Ban, Bangor Daily News, March 26, 2011.
3 Rebekah Metzler, Panel Backs State Ban on Products with BPA, MaineToday, March 26, 2011.
4 Miller, Bangor Daily News, Mar. 26, 2011.
5 Kevin Miller, LePage Plan to Roll Back BPA Law Criticized, Bangor Daily News, February 5, 2011.
6 Kevin Miller, LePage Dismisses BPA Dangers, Bangor Daily News, February 22, 2011.
9 Colin Woodard, LePage’s Secret Puppeteers, The Phoenix, February 10, 2011; Steve Mistler, LePage Motives on
BPA Policy, Mills Firing Questioned, Sun Journal (Lewiston, ME), February 25, 2011.
10 Id.; Woodard, The Phoenix, Feb. 10, 2011.
Ms. Robinson is a partner and registered lobbyist at Preti Flaherty.11 Gov. LePage appointed Ms.
Robinson to his judicial selection committee, the Maine Public Broadcasting Corp. board of
trustees, and to represent Maine as a member of a multistate association that works to promote
consistent legislation across state lines.12 In 2011, Ms. Robinson was named the American
Legislative Exchange Council’s (ALEC) co-chairwoman for Maine.13 ALEC, a conservative
lobbying group, creates and distributes model legislation for states.14 State lobbying records
show Ms. Robinson represented clients who opposed environmental regulations, including state
efforts to ban BPA, a chemical commonly used in some plastics.15 Her clients have included the
Toy Industry Association of America, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of
America, and Merck.16 Gov. LePage appointed a former Preti Flaherty lobbyist, Carlisle
McLean, as his general counsel and senior natural resources policy adviser.17 Finally, he
appointed Patricia Aho, a former lobbyist who also represented clients opposed to the BPA ban,
to be the commissioner of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).18
Despite Gov. LePage’s opposition, the measure passed with wide support from Maine
lawmakers.19 Gov. LePage’s spokesperson said the governor continued to personally oppose it,
but his administration eventually dropped its formal resistance in what was seen as a defeat for
his agenda.20 After the ban passed, the governor allowed it to become law without his
signature.21 In July 2011, however, a prominent Maine environmental health group accused the
LePage administration of failing to comply with deadlines to implement the law.22 The
Environmental Health Strategy Center asked Maine Attorney General William Schneider to take
enforcement action against Gov. LePage and the DEP, citing Gov. LePage’s “pattern of
hostility” against the Kid-Safe Products Act.23 State officials said they were working to
implement the law, but needed more time.24 The DEP eventually took steps to move forward
with the ban.25 In July 2013, Gov. LePage vetoed a bill that would have placed new
requirements on some companies using BPA in food packaging.26
11 Mistler, Sun Journal (Lewiston, ME), Feb. 25, 2011; http://www.maine.gov/ethics/pdf/lobbyist_by_lobbyist_5-23-
12 Rebekah Metzler, Committee Endorses LePage Pick to Run DEP, Portland Press Herald, September 27, 2011;
Press Release, Ann R. Robinson Appointed to Uniform Laws Commission, PRWeb, December 10, 2012.
13 Eric Russell, Are Our Laws Prepackaged or Homegrown? Does it Matter?, Bangor Daily News, September 13,
15 Mistler, Sun Journal (Lewiston, ME), Feb. 25, 2011.
17 Matthew Stone, LePage Promotes Pair for Legal Positions, Bangor Daily News, October 16, 2012.
18 Metzler, Portland Press Herald, Sept. 27, 2011; http://www.maine.gov/dep/commissionersoffice/
commissioner.html; Woodard, The Phoenix, February 10, 2011.
19 Metzler, Portland Press Herald, Mar. 26, 2011; Meg Haskell, BPA Ban to Become Law Without LePage’s
Signature, Bangor Daily News, April 22, 2011.
20 Miller, Bangor Daily News, Mar. 26, 2011.
21 Haskell, Sun Journal (Lewiston, ME), Apr. 22, 2011.
22 Meg Haskell, Environmental Group Accuses LePage of Stalling BPA Ban, Bangor Daily News, July 11, 2011.
25 Rebekah Metzler, DEP Reminds Makers of Coming BPA Ban, Kennebec Journal (Augusta, ME), August 4, 2011.
26 Paul LePage Vetoes Anti-BPA Bill, Associated Press, July 9, 2013.
PRESSURING PUBLIC OFFICIALS
Personnel Problems and Retaliating Against State Employees
The LePage administration has had an unusual number of personnel problems. Several senior
managers have been abruptly fired, and some said they were forced out.27 In at least some cases,
the governor appears to have taken steps to retaliate against state workers who disagree with his
positions. In January 2011, Anthony Marple, the director of MaineCare, Maine’s Medicaid
program, was fired a day after he appeared before a legislative committee and gave a
presentation showing Maine’s spending on Medicaid had been stable or declining since 2006,
even though enrollment had increased.28 Democratic state legislators raised concerns, saying
they believed Mr. Marple, who headed the program for four years, was fired for contradicting a
Republican narrative about rising state spending on Medicaid.29 A spokesman for Gov. LePage
said the then-new governor was entitled to hire new managers if he wished, but declined to more
specifically address the reasons Mr. Marple was fired.30 Mr. Marple declined to comment.31
In 2010, Dr. Dora Anne Mills, then-head of Maine’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention
(CDC), testified that BPA should be a priority under the Kid-Safe Products Act of 2008.32 In
December 2010, shortly before Gov. LePage took office, Dr. Mills was hired as the medical
director of MaineCare.33 In February 2011, Gov. LePage fired Dr. Mills.34 Several officials and
watchdogs asked whether Dr. Mills’ firing was connected with her outspoken opposition to
BPA.35 A LePage spokesman denied that, but otherwise would not comment on her
termination.36 Dr. Mills declined to comment.37 The LePage administration went on to fire
several other senior appointees in the state Department of Health and Human Services.38
27 Eric Russell, Another High-Ranking DHHS Official Resigns, Bangor Daily News, November 28, 2011; Bill
Trotter, Citing Rift with LePage, Cabinet Member Quits, Bangor Daily News, July 20, 2011. In addition, in October
2011, Andrea Lani, a DEP worker whose job had been to oversee a program educating the public on toxic
substances and their impacts on children, sued the state, saying she had been demoted for testifying before the
legislature in opposition to an effort to rewrite the Kid-Safe Products Act. In April 2012, Ms. Lani and the state
settled the lawsuit. The state didn’t admit to wrongdoing, but agreed to pay Ms. Lani $65,000 and provide training
to DEP supervisors about the state law prohibiting retaliation against state employees who provide testimony to the
legislature. See Stephen Betts, Maine to Pay $65K to Worker Demoted After Testifying About BPA, Bangor Daily
News, May 1, 2012; Colin Woodard, The Lobbyist in the Henhouse, Sunday Telegram, June 16, 2013.
28 Tom Bell, Dems Rankled by Firing of State’s Medicaid Director, Kennebec Journal (Augusta, ME), January 29,
32 Mistler, Sun Journal (Lewiston, ME), Feb. 25, 2011.
33 John Richardson, Health Chief to Take on Medicaid, Portland Press Herald, December 21, 2010; John
Richardson, Leadership Within State Government Targets MaineCare, Kennebec Journal (Augusta, ME), February
34 Bonnie Washuk, Governor Fires MaineCare Director Mills, Sun Journal (Lewiston, ME), February 24, 2011.
35 Mistler, Sun Journal (Lewiston, ME), Feb. 25, 2011.
36 Rebekah Metzler, LePage Team Jettisons Mills From New Job, MaineToday, February 24, 2011.
37 Lindsay Tice, Workers: ‘Reign of Terror’ at Maine CDC, Sun Journal (Lewiston, ME), April 21, 2013.
38 Eric Russell, Maine’s Director of Family Independence Says She Was Pushed Out by DHHS Head, Bangor Daily
News, October 18, 2011.
Following Dr. Mills’ departure from the Maine CDC, several employees said the work
environment disintegrated due to ineffectual leadership. 39 After an employee filed a complaint
with the Maine Human Rights Commission in April 2013, the state legislature and the Office of
Program Evaluation and Government Accountability opened investigations.40
Improper Bullying of Employees
Gov. LePage allegedly pressured state Department of Labor (DOL) employees to decide more
unemployment-benefit cases in favor of business owners.41 On March 21, 2013, Gov. LePage
held a meeting with DOL employees and scolded them, saying too many cases on appeal from
the Bureau of Unemployment were being decided in favor of employees.42 The hearing officers
at the meeting were apparently told to be more pro-business, and reported to the Sun Journal
newspaper they felt “abused, harassed and bullied.”43 Gov. LePage denied pressuring the
hearing examiners, instead describing the meeting as “friendly” and “cordial.”44 The U.S.
Department of Labor and the U.S. Solicitor General are reportedly investigating.45 The Maine
Attorney General’s Office was reviewing the matter to determine whether to launch a separate
Two of the governor’s family members have been hired for state jobs. In 2011, Gov. LePage
hired his daughter, Lauren LePage, as his special assistant at a salary of $40,455.47 The state
planning office hired Gov. LePage’s brother-in-law, Jody Ledoux, in 2012 at a salary of $68,577
39 Tice, Sun Journal (Lewiston, ME), April 21, 2013.
40 Scott Thistle, Watchdog Group to Immediately Launch Investigation of Maine CDC, Sun Journal (Lewiston, ME),
May 10, 2013.
41 Christopher Williams, State Employees Say LePage Pressured Them to Deny Jobless Benefits, Sun Journal
(Lewiston, ME), April 11, 2013.
44 Chris Williams, LePage Denies He Attempted to Pressure Unemployment Hearing Officers, Sun Journal
(Lewiston, ME), April 24, 2013.
45 AJ Higgins, Federal Labor Officials Investigate LePage Administration, Maine Public Broadcasting Network,
April 17, 2013; Scott Thiste, Watchdog Group to Immediately Launch Investigation of Maine CDC, Sun Journal
(Lewiston, ME), May 10, 2013. A spokesman for Gov. LePage said the governor had contacted Acting U.S. Labor
Secretary Seth Harris and was told the federal government was conducting an audit of the Maine Department of
Labor’s handling of unemployment claims due to complaints about inconsistencies, not the governor’s comments.
See Christopher Cousins, LePage Spoke to Federal Labor Official About Unemployment Claim Audit, Bangor Daily
News, April 18, 2013.
46 Christopher Williams, Employment Lawyers’ Group Seeks Federal Investigation of LePage, Sun Journal
(Lewiston, ME), April 17, 2013.
47 MCT, Gov. LePage Has Second Relative on State Payroll, Seacoast Online, March 17, 2012.
Lack of Transparency
In 2011, Gov. LePage proposed legislation that would have allowed him to deny the public
access to large amounts of information, including working papers, memoranda, and legislative
proposals.49 He would have been able to withhold such documents until he chose to distribute
them or until the adjournment of the legislative session during which the documents had been
prepared.50 Gov. LePage said he believed people were abusing the right to request documents
under Maine’s Freedom of Access Act for political purposes.51 Watchdog groups such as the
American Civil Liberties Union of Maine, Common Cause, and the Maine Press Association
opposed the bill, and the legislature overwhelmingly refused to pass it.52
Gov. LePage also issued an executive order creating a business advisory council and exempting
it from state laws guaranteeing the public the right to attend meetings and request documents.53
Past Maine governors created similar groups without exempting them from the state’s public
access laws.54 Gov. LePage said he wanted to encourage frank discussion and shield members of
the council from controversy.55 The proposal sparked a public backlash, and a spokesman for
Gov. LePage said he would put the plan to form the council on hold.56
In June 2013, Gov. LePage vetoed a bill that would have required more disclosure of information
about donors contributing to gubernatorial transition funds.57 The governor said the law
questioned the integrity of newly elected governors.58
Inappropriate and Offensive Comments
Every politician has their share of gaffes, but Gov. LePage is so frequently vulgar and offensive
he has repeatedly been forced to apologize or explain himself.59 Most recently, he said state Sen.
Troy Jackson (D) “claims to be for the people but he’s the first one to give it to the people
without Vaseline.”60 Gov. LePage’s crude comments came after Sen. Jackson issued the
49 Eric Russell, LePage’s ‘Working Papers’ Exemption Approved by Legislative Committee, Bangor Daily News,
March 13, 2012.
52 Maine Senate Kills Bill to Keep Governor LePage’s Papers Secret, Associated Press, April 11, 2012.
53 Rebekah Metzler, Governor’s Advisory Group Exempted from Access Law, Portland Press Herald, March 9,
55 Id.; Christopher Cousins, LePage Stalls Initiative to Create Confidential Advisory Council, Bangor Daily News,
March 23, 2011.
57 Edward D. Murphy, LePage Vetoes Transparency Bill, Nine Others, Portland Press Herald, June 22, 2013.
59 Updated: Gov. LePage’s Most Controversial Quotes, 2010-Present, Bangor Daily News, March 30, 2013; Sean
Sullivan, Paul LePage’s Eight Greatest Hits, Washington Post, June 21, 2013.
Democratic response to the governor’s budget veto.61 His outrageous choice of words drew
notice during his campaign, when then-candidate LePage informed voters that “as your governor,
you’re gonna be seeing a lot of me on the front page saying, ‘Gov. LePage tells Obama to go to
After taking office, Gov. LePage was criticized by the NAACP and other groups for skipping
ceremonies on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The governor responded: “Tell them to kiss my
butt.”63 In March 2012, asked to respond to remarks by state Sen. Justin Alfond (D), Gov.
LePage described the senator as “a little spoiled brat from Portland.”64 In April 2012, speaking
about state workers, he said, “The problem is the middle management of the state is about as
corrupt as you can be. Believe me, we’re trying every day to get them to go to work, but it’s
Perhaps the greatest dustup came in July 2012, when, discussing the Supreme Court’s decision to
uphold the president’s health care reform plan during his weekly radio address, Gov. LePage
said, “You must buy health insurance or pay the new Gestapo — the IRS.”66 His comments set
off an uproar and Gov. LePage publicly apologized for what he described as his insensitivity,
acknowledging millions of innocent people had been murdered during the Holocaust.67 He also
apologized privately to the executive director of the Jewish Community Alliance of Southern
Maine.68 While explaining his comments to a reporter a few days later, however, he again
compared the IRS to the Gestapo, saying, “The Holocaust was a horrific crime against humanity
and, frankly, I would never want to see that repeated. Maybe the IRS is not quite as bad —
In May 2013, Gov. LePage installed a television in the Hall of Flags, a space in the State House
that is typically under the control of the legislature and cannot be used for political purposes.70
The governor used the television to show seemingly political messages, including a ticker of the
number of days that had passed since he proposed a budget and, at one point, images of the
governor at Memorial Day events.71 Democrats in the legislature ordered Gov. LePage to
remove the television, setting off an increasingly contentious showdown during which the
governor used incendiary language regarding what he described as a pattern of censorship.72
61 Bangor Daily News, March 30, 2013.
65 Bangor Daily News, Mar. 30, 2013.
66 Chris Gentilviso, Paul LePage, Maine Governor, Blasts Obamacare, Calls IRS ‘The New Gestapo’, Huffington
Post, July 8, 2012; Matthew Stone, LePage Apologizes for Gestapo Remarks, Bangor Daily News, July 13, 2012.
70 Christopher Cousins, LePage Moves Controversial TV Inside His Office, But Still Facing Visitors, Bangor Daily
News, May 28, 2013.
72 Christopher Cousins, LePage Says Medicaid Expansion Pressure, Democrats’ ‘Censorship’ Starts in Washington,
Bangor Daily News, May 29, 2013.
“The minute we start stifling our speech, we might as well go home, roll up our sleeves and get
our guns out,” he said.73
In 2011, Gov. LePage supported and signed a bill that would eliminate Election Day registration,
a longstanding tradition in Maine.74 The new law was rejected in a voter referendum.75 Gov.
LePage also pushed for a voter identification bill that would have required voters to show photo
identification.76 The bill ultimately did not pass.77
74 Steve Mistler, Coalition: LePage, Lawmakers Who Repealed Same-Day Voter Law Have Used It Themselves,
Sun Journal (Lewiston, ME), September 27, 2011.
75 Glen Adams, After Maine Vote, Focus Shifts to Voter ID Bill, Associated Press, November 13, 2011.
77 Eric Russell, Lawmakers Reject Voter ID Bill But Authorize Study of Election System, Bangor Daily News,
February 3, 2012.
Gov. Robert McDonnell (R-VA) was elected in 2009. Under the state’s term limits law, he
cannot run for re-election in 2013. His inclusion stems from: (1) investigations into whether he
improperly accepted gifts in exchange for official action; (2) using his position to enrich himself
and his family members; (3) awarding state money to a professional sports team after receiving
gifts and campaign contributions; (4) failing to report his wife’s paid position as a consultant on
his statement of economic interests; and (5) signing a controversial voter ID bill.
Improperly Accepting Gifts in Exchange for Official Action
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Virginia State Police are investigating whether Gov.
McDonnell improperly helped the chief executive of a Virginia dietary supplement company in
exchange for thousands of dollars’ worth of gifts to the governor and his family.1 A federal
grand jury is hearing evidence in the case.2 In addition, State Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli
has asked the Richmond Commonwealth Attorney’s office to investigate whether Gov.
McDonnell violated financial disclosure laws.3
Jonnie Williams, Sr. is the chief executive officer of Star Scientific, Inc., which is based in Glen
Allen, VA.4 Star Scientific, Inc. has donated at least $108,000 to Gov. McDonnell’s campaign
and political action committee (PAC), and Gov. McDonnell’s spokesman said Mr. Williams and
his wife, Celeste, are “family friends” of the McDonnells.5 The McDonnells made frequent use
of Star Scientific’s corporate jet on the campaign trail before the 2009 gubernatorial election.6
Gov. McDonnell’s campaign reported $28,584 in in-kind donations from Star Scientific, Inc. for
air travel in 2009 alone.7 Gov. McDonnell’s PAC, Opportunity Virginia, also reported receiving
$79,866 in flights from Star Scientific after Gov. McDonnell won the election.8
1 Rosalind S. Helderman, More Ties Between Va’s McDonnells and Star Scientific are Revealed, Washington Post,
May 10, 2013.
2 Rosalind S. Helderman, Virginia Delegate Will Be Witness Before Grand Jury in Probe Related to McDonnell,
Washington Post, June 9, 2013. Virginia Del. David Ramadan (R-Loudoun) confirmed he had been called to testify
before the grand jury. Del. Ramadan, a jeweler, would not comment further on his testimony or publicly discuss the
details of the subpoena he received. Investigators have also reportedly subpoenaed Patricia Kluge, former owner of
the Kluge Winery, to testify. See Jim Nolan, Star Scientific CEO Financed Shopping Trip for First Lady, Richmond
Times-Dispatch, June 29, 2013.
3 Jim Nolan, City Prosecutor Investigating McDonnell’s Disclosures, Richmond Times-Dispatch, May 23, 2013.
4 Rosalind S. Helderman and Laura Vozzella, Va. Gov. McDonnell on Two-Way Street with Chief Executive of
Struggling Company, Washington Post, March 30, 2013.
5 Id.; Virginia Public Access Project, List Donors: All Receipts Reported by Bob McDonnell Committees, 2009-
6 Helderman and Vozzella, Washington Post, Mar. 30, 2013.
7 Id.; Follow the Money, Contributions Lookup, Bob McDonnell, 2008-Present.
8 Helderman and Vozzella, Washington Post, Mar. 30, 2013; Virginia Public Access Project, All Receipts Reported
by Bob McDonnell Committees from Star Scientific Inc., 2008-2013.
Virginia law does not limit the value of gifts holders of public office may accept, and does not
prohibit accepting gifts from those seeking something of value from the state.9 In addition,
politicians are required to disclose only limited information about gifts, and do not have to report
gifts to their family members.10 The law does prohibit accepting gifts in exchange for official
action.11 The full extent of the personal gifts Mr. Williams and Star Scientific have provided to
the governor and his family is still unclear, but the value of the gifts publicly disclosed so far is
In 2011, for instance, Gov. McDonnell reported a gift valued at $2,268 from Mr. Williams for
“lodging and entertainment.”12 Two years later, Gov. McDonnell acknowledged the sum
represented the value of a 2011 vacation at the Williams’ lake house in Smith Mountain Lake,
VA.13 In addition, the McDonnells borrowed the Williams’ Range Rover to travel to the lake
house and used their hosts’ Ferrari, valued at $190,000, for the trip back to Richmond.14
According to the Washington Post, at one point, Maureen McDonnell, the governor’s wife,
apparently told Mr. Williams she wanted his help obtaining a dress by designer Oscar de la
Renta for her husband’s inauguration.15 Mr. Williams was willing to buy it, but a staff member
said such a gift would be against the rules.16 In April 2011, however, Mr. Williams took Ms.
McDonnell shopping at the upscale Bergdorf Goodman department store in New York City,
buying her an Oscar de la Renta jacket worth at least $10,000, a Louis Vuitton handbag, a
designer dress, and two pairs of designer shoes.17
In May 2011, Mr. Williams wrote a $50,000 check to Ms. McDonnell.18 On the same day, Mr.
Williams spent $15,000 on catering for the June 2011 wedding of Gov. McDonnell’s daughter,
Cailin.19 The wedding was held at the governor’s mansion, and the lavish menu included fresh
poached jumbo shrimp and stuffed free-range chicken breast.20 Gov. McDonnell confirmed the
gift only after it was reported by the Washington Post.21 He said he did not disclose the gift on
his personal disclosure forms because it was a wedding gift to Cailin McDonnell and her
husband, not to him.22 The Washington Post, citing sources familiar with the transactions
between Mr. Williams and the McDonnells, said the governor believed the money Mr. Williams
9 Rosalind S. Helderman and Laura Vozzella, McDonnell’s Disclosures Highlight Virginia’s Loose Rules for
Personal Gifts to Politicians, Washington Post, May 17, 2013.
12 Virginia Public Access Project, Personal Finances Summary for Bob McDonnell: Statement of Economic
Interests: Gifts and Payments for Meetings/Publications from Jonnie Williams, Sr., 2011.
13 Id.; Rosalind S. Helderman, Donor Gave McDonnell and Family a Lake-House Vacation, Washington Post, April
15 Nolan, Richmond Times-Dispatch, June 25, 2013.
18 Rosalind S. Helderman, McDonnell’s Corporation, Wife Allegedly Benefited from $120,000 More from Donor,
Washington Post, July 9, 2013.
19 Id.; Helderman and Vozzella, Washington Post, Mar. 30, 2013.
21 Helderman, Washington Post, Apr. 18, 2013.
22 Helderman and Vozzella, Washington Post, Mar. 30, 2013.
gave to his wife in May 2011 was a loan.23 On his statement of economic interests for 2011 and
2012, the governor reported an immediate family member owed between $10,001 and $50,000 to
a creditor, one year describing the creditor as in “medical services” and the next year as in
Documents later showed, however, that Gov. McDonnell personally signed the catering contract
and paid nearly $8,000 in deposits, indicating he was responsible for the costs.25 In addition, the
caterer later issued a refund check of more than $3,500 to the governor’s wife, rather than to
Cailin McDonnell or Mr. Williams.26
In August 2011, apparently at the request of the first lady, Mr. Williams gave Gov. McDonnell a
$6,500 Rolex watch.27 The governor did not report the watch as a gift on his statement of
economic interest.28 The request for the gift came just minutes before a meeting arranged by Ms.
McDonnell between a high-level state health official and Mr. Williams.29
The McDonnells vigorously promoted Star Scientific’s flagship product Anatabloc, an antiinflammatory
supplement designed to help patients with Alzheimer’s and multiple sclerosis.30
Three days before Cailin McDonnell’s wedding, Ms. McDonnell appeared at a Florida medical
research conference to praise anatabine, the active chemical in Anatabloc.31
Three months after the wedding, the McDonnells held the official launch party for Anatabloc at
the governor’s mansion.32 Ms. McDonnell pushed the governor to attend the luncheon for Star
Scientific, even though a number of his aides questioned the legality of hosting such an event.33
The party was paid for by the governor’s PAC.34 The company also used a photo of Gov.
McDonnell holding a package of Anatabloc for promotional purposes on the product’s Facebook
page. The governor’s spokesman said he hadn’t authorized use of his photo, and it was
Other transactions and ties flesh out the picture of a close relationship between the McDonnells,
Williams, and Star Scientific. In October 2011, a Star Scientific investor group advertised the
first lady as a “featured guest” at an Anatabloc event in Virginia.36 Two similar events were held
23 Helderman, Washington Post, July 9, 2013.
25 Rosalind S. Helderman, New Documents Raise More Questions About Financing of McDonnell's Daughter's
Wedding, Washington Post, April 9, 2013.
27 Carol D. Leonnig and Rosalind S. Helderman, Donor Bought Rolex Watch for Virginia Gov. McDonnell, People
Familiar With Gift Say, Washington Post, June 25, 2013.
30 Helderman and Vozzella, Washington Post, Mar. 30, 2013.
31 Id.; http://www.rfdn.org/about.html.
32 Helderman and Vozzella, Washington Post, Mar. 30, 2013.
33 Rosalind S. Helderman, McDonnell Aides Expressed Concern About His Role in Event for Star Scientific,
Washington Post, June 4, 2013.
34 Helderman and Vozzella, Washington Post, Mar. 30, 2013.
36 Rosalind S. Helderman, More Ties Between Va.’s McDonnells and Star Scientific Are Revealed, Washington
Post, May 10, 2013.
that month in Michigan and California.37 It is unclear whether Ms. McDonnell attended the
other events, but travel records for state police who protect the first couple suggest she traveled
to Michigan on the day of the event.38
In March 2012, Mr. Williams gave $50,000 to MoBo Real Estate Partners, a realty corporation
owned by the governor and his sister.39 Mr. Williams’ trust gave the company an additional
$20,000 sometime in the spring of 2012.40
The Washington Post, citing a source, reported MoBo’s corporate records showed the money
from Mr. Williams was treated as a low-interest loan.41 The terms did not require any payments
for three years, but called for MoBo to pay back the money by 2015.42 The loans did not appear
on Gov. McDonnell’s statement of economic interests.43 Virginia law requires elected officials
to disclose any loans made to them and their family, but they are not required to disclose loans to
In July 2012, Ms. McDonnell included packets of Anatabloc in a gift bag for the spouses of
governors who were in Virginia for a meeting of the National Governors Association.45 Ms.
McDonnell also frequently invited Mr. Williams to fundraising and charity events, and Mr.
Williams suggested attendees for an event at the executive mansion.46 In addition, Star Scientific
provided air travel, lodging and “event expenses” totaling $7,382 for Gov. McDonnell to travel
to Massachusetts in 2012.47 The purpose of the trip is unclear.
In December 2012, Mr. Williams gave $10,000 to Jeanine McDonnell, another of the governor’s
daughters.48 The money was meant to cover some of the costs of her upcoming wedding.49
Enriching Himself and His Family
In 2011, Gov. McDonnell announced Barboursville Vineyards, a Virginia-based winery, had
struck a deal to export wines to China.50 Gov. McDonnell had taken a trip to Asia earlier that
39 Helderman, Washington Post, July 9, 2013.
42 Helderman, Washington Post, July 9, 2013.
45 Rosalind S. Helderman, More Ties Between Va.’s McDonnells and Star Scientific Are Revealed, Washington
Post, May 10, 2013.
47 Virginia Public Access Project, Personal Finances Summary for Bob McDonnell: Statement of Economic
Interests: Gifts and Payments for Meetings/Publications from Star Scientific Inc., 2012.
48 Helderman, Washington Post, July 9, 2013.
50 Press Release, Gov. Bob McDonnell, Governor McDonnell Announces Wine Export Agreement Between
Barboursville Vineyards and Tianjin Tewoo Group, August 2, 2011.
year, and touted the state’s growing wine industry.51 Ms. McDonnell was also on hand at the
signing of the Barboursville deal.52
Hours after the signing, Barboursville Vineyards’ owners held an anniversary party for the
McDonnells at the company’s winery.53 The McDonnells did not pay for the party, which
included nearly 100 close friends and relatives of the first family.54 On his 2011 statement of
economic interest, Gov. McDonnell reported a $3,000 gift from Barboursville Vineyards for
“lodging and entertainment.”55 It isn’t clear how he estimated the value of the party.
A Barboursville spokesman said the party was a joint celebration of the McDonnells’ 35 year
marriage and the company’s 35 years in business, though guests said it seemed largely a
celebration for the McDonnells.56
In 2010, 2011, and 2012, Delta Star, a Lynchburg-based power substation and transformer
manufacturer, paid for the McDonnells’ family vacation at Smith Mountain Lake.57 The
company shared the cost of the 2011 trip with Mr. Williams.58
Gov. McDonnell has reported receiving more than $14,000 in gifts and $64,000 in campaign and
PAC contributions from Delta Star since 2009.59
In January 2011, Delta Star was promised $800,000 in state incentives to create jobs in Virginia
and expand its corporate headquarters.60 The package included $100,000 from the Governor’s
Opportunity Fund, a discretionary fund controlled by the governor and meant to secure business
development projects for the state.61
Wedding Gown and Limousine Service
Cailin McDonnell appears to have used her father’s position to obtain a free wedding dress.
Maya Holihan, the owner of Maya Couture Bridal Salon in Hampton Roads, VA, said she gave
Cailin McDonnell a strapless satin Maggie Sottero gown valued at $1,000 “because it’s the
governor’s daughter” and “we really just wanted to do business with them.”62
53 Helderman and Vozzella, Washington Post, May 17, 2013.
55 Virginia Public Access Project, Personal Finances Summary for Bob McDonnell: Statement of Economic
Interests: Gifts and Payments for Meetings/Publications from Barboursville Vineyards, 2011.
56 Helderman and Vozzella, Washington Post, May 17, 2013.
57 Id.; http://www.deltastar.com/AboutUs.aspx.
58 Helderman and Vozzella, Washington Post, May 17, 2013.
59 Id.; Virginia Public Access Project, All Receipts Reported by Bob McDonnell Committees from Delta Star Inc,
60 Helderman and Vozzella, Washington Post, May 17, 2013.
61 Id.; http://www.yesvirginia.org/whyvirginia/financial_advantages/business_incentives.aspx.
62 Roxanne Roberts and Amy Argetsinger, How Much Did the McDonnell Wedding Cost, After All?, Washington
Post, May 1, 2013; Helderman, Washington Post, Apr. 9, 2013.
In addition, Paul C. Davis, who contributed $500 to the governor’s campaign in 2009, gave the
couple the use of his 19-passenger Hummer limousine for the wedding.63 Mr. Davis, who
describes the governor as an old friend, took members of the wedding party from the church to
the reception at the governor’s mansion.64 Mr. Davis could not recall whether the bride and
groom rode in the limo, but was fairly certain Gov. McDonnell and the first lady had not.65 Mr.
Davis said he typically charges $100 per hour for use of the limo and requires a seven-hour
minimum commitment, and the limo was in use for about two hours after the McDonnell
Improper Use of State Resources
Todd Schneider, Virginia’s executive chef, left his job last year amid a state police
investigation.67 In March 2013, Mr. Schneider was indicted on charges of felony
embezzlement.68 Mr. Schneider’s attorney claims his client is a whistleblower who brought
evidence of wrongdoing by Gov. McDonnell and his wife to authorities.69 In court documents,
Mr. Schneider’s lawyers have said Mr. Schneider was required to cater personal and political
events at the mansion but was denied compensation or instructed to take food or supplies from
the mansion as payment.70 A court filing said the events were for the governor’s political action
committee, the Republican Party of Virginia, and the governor’s former law firm.71 Mr.
Schneider’s lawyers have also filed a motion seeking information on instances when the
McDonnell family consumed or took “state goods and resources” from the mansion.72
According to Mr. Schneider, the McDonnell family regularly took items for their own personal
benefit.73 Among other things, he alleged Gov. McDonnell’s twin sons took “energy drinks and
supplements” from the mansion to college.74 In addition, he said the governor’s daughter Rachel
took “flats of eggs” and liquor from the house and Ms. McDonnell gave pots and pans to her
three daughters.75 Mr. Schneider also said one of the governor’s daughters, Jeanine McDonnell,
lived at the gubernatorial cottage at Camp Pendleton in Virginia Beach for several months in
63 Julian Walker, Free Limousine Service is Latest Issue for McDonnell, The Virginian Pilot (Hampton Roads), July
67 Laura Vozzella, Ex-Chef at Va. Governor’s Mansion Charged, Washington Post, March 28, 2013.
69 Steve Szkotak, Once Celebrated Chef at Va. Governor’s Mansion Now Central Figure in Growing Political
Drama, Washington Post, May 11, 2013; Trip Gabriel, Scandal Involving Gifts and Theft Charges Complicates
Politics in Virginia, New York Times, May 18, 2013; Laura Vozzella, Trial Date Set for McDonnell’s Former Chef,
Washington Post, May 14, 2013.
70Jim Nolan and Olympia Meola, Ex-Chef Seeks McDonnell Family Expense Details, Richmond Times-Dispatch,
April 24, 2013; Rosalind S. Helderman, Ex-Chef: Governor McDonnell Used Virginia Assets for Personal, Political
Purposes, Washington Post, July 1, 2013.
74 Helderman, Washington Post, July 1, 2013.
75 Nolan and Meola, Richmond Times-Dispatch, Apr. 24, 2013.
2012.76 In June 2013, the Washington Post reported the McDonnells had billed the state for
household items such as vitamins, sunscreen, body wash, deodorant, sleep aids, a dietary
“cleanse” system, and even dog vitamins.77 The McDonnells continued to bill the state for some
items even after mansion officials said the expenses should not be covered by the state.78 In July
2013, the governor repaid the state nearly $2,400 for items bought with the mansion credit
The McDonnells also improperly used mansion staff to run personal errands for their children,
billing the costs to the mansion.80 For example, in July 2011, the family sent a state employee to
pick up a pair of altered pants for Rachel McDonnell.81 In November 2011, a mansion employee
picked up a box for Cailin McDonnell’s wedding dress.82 The cost of both transactions were put
on the mansion credit card.83
Pay to Play with Washington Redskins
In June 2012, the Washington Redskins reached a deal with Gov. McDonnell to keep its NFL
training camp in Virginia.84 Gov. McDonnell approved a package of incentives totaling $6.5
million, including $4 million from funds solely controlled by the governor.85 Gov. McDonnell
apparently finalized the deal without consulting the state legislature, which he knew would
oppose it.86 After the deal was reported publicly, House Appropriations Committee Chairman
Lacey Putney (I) said Gov. McDonnell failed to make a case for using taxpayer money for the
park.87 In addition, he and other members said it wasn’t clear the state was really at risk of
losing the Redskins, the justification for the deal.88
Gov. McDonnell has received tens of thousands of dollars in gifts and campaign contributions
from the team. During his 2009 gubernatorial campaign, Gov. McDonnell reported receiving
$50,000 in contributions from the Washington Redskins.89 On his 2010 statement of economic
interest, Gov. McDonnell reported a $200 gift from Redskins owner Daniel M. Snyder for “food,
77 Laura Vozzella, Mansion Spending Records Indicate Improper Billing by Virginia Governor and His Family,
Washington Post, June 16, 2013.
79 Laura Vozzella and Rosalind S. Helderman, McDonnell Lawyer Says Children Took Minimal Food from
Mansion, Washington Post, July 8, 2013.
80 Vozzella, Washington Post, June 16, 2013.
84 Jim Iovino, McDonnell Administration Grilled over Redskins Deal, NBC Washington, June 12, 2012; Timothy P.
Carney, Bob McDonnell Gives Your Money to Dan Snyder, Washington Examiner, June 7, 2012; Washington
Redskins' Move: McDonnell's Staff Questioned, Associated Press, June 18, 2012.
88 Associated Press, June 18, 2012.
89 Virginia Public Access Project, All Receipts Reported by Bob McDonnell Committees from Washington
catering, event expenses.”90 On his 2012 statement of economic interest, Gov. McDonnell
reported gifts totaling $19,000 from the Washington Redskins, including tickets to the Redskins’
game suite.91 Past Virginia governors have reported gifts from the team of far smaller value.92
A Redskins executive said the team’s lease provides a suite for the governor of Maryland and
local county officials and “on rare occasions, based on availability,” the team provides a suite for
the governor of Virginia.93 The governor’s spokesman denied there was any connection between
the tickets and the deal for Redskins Park.94
In June 2013, the Washington Post reported United Co., one of Virginia’s largest coal
companies, paid Ms. McDonnell $36,000 to serve as a consultant for the company and the
company’s charitable foundation.95 On his 2011 and 2012 statements of economic interest, Gov.
McDonnell reported his wife was paid as a trustee of the coal company’s family foundation, the
Frances G. and James W. McGlothlin Foundation.96 The governor was not legally required to
disclose the salary his wife received for serving on the charitable board.97 James McGlothlin, the
company’s chairman and chief executive officer, however, said the first lady was never named to
the foundation’s board and her salary was paid by the company not the foundation.98 The
governor is required to disclose employment payments to immediate family members of more
than $10,000 a year.99
In March 2013, Gov. McDonnell signed a voter identification bill into law.100 The law, slated to
go into effect in 2014, requires photo identification and disallows the use of utility bills, bank
statements and Social Security cards.101 The bill could not immediately go into effect because,
under Section 5 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, Virginia was legally required to get preclearance
90 Virginia Public Access Project, Personal Finances Summary for Bob McDonnell, Statement of Economic
Interests: Gifts and Payments for Meetings/Publications from Daniel M Snyder, 2010.
91 Virginia Public Access Project, Personal Finances Summary for Bob McDonnell, Statement of Economic
Interests: Gifts and Payments for Meetings/Publications from Washington Redskins, 2012.
92 Helderman and Vozzella, Washington Post, May 17, 2013.
95 Rosalind S. Helderman, Virginia Governor’s Wife Was Paid $36,000 as Consultant to Coal Philanthropy,
Washington Post, June 2, 2013.
99 Helderman, Washington Post, June 2, 2013.
100 Ian Simpson, Virginia Governor Approves Photo ID Requirement for Voters, Reuters, March 26, 2013.
101 Id.; Ryan J. Reilly, Voting Rights Group Decries Virginia's New Restrictive Voter ID Law, Huffington Post,
March 26, 2013.
from the Department of Justice (DOJ) for changes in its election laws.102 As a result of the
Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby v. Holder, however, preclearance is no longer required and
the law can take effect.103 Gov. McDonnell said the bill is stuck “in a little bit of limbo” in the
wake of the decision, but likely still will go into effect in July 2014.104
102 Id.; Chelyen Davis, Ruling Raises Questions About Virginia Voter I.D. Law, Fredericksburg Free Lance Star,
June 27, 2013.
103 Adam Liptak, Supreme Court Invalidates Key Part of Voting Rights Act, New York Times, June 25, 2013.
104 Davis, Fredericksburg Free Lance Star, June 27, 2013.
Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX), the longest serving governor in Texas history, assumed the office of
governor in 2000, after George W. Bush resigned. He was elected to a full term in 2002 and reelected
in 2006 and 2010. Gov. Perry unsuccessfully ran for the 2012 Republican presidential
nomination. He has said he will not run for re-election in 2014, but has not ruled out running for
president in 2016.
His inclusion stems from: (1) promotion of a political culture rife with cronyism and pay-to-play
appointments; (2) the pervasiveness and influence of revolving-door lobbyists in his
administration; (3) accepting free trips on the private planes of donors and special interests; (4)
abusing his position to benefit his family; (5) simultaneous collection of a state government
salary and state retirement pension; (6) financial disclosure reporting violations; (7) repeated
flouting of transparency standards and blocking of public disclosure; (8) misuse of state
resources for his presidential campaign; (9) advocacy for voter identification restrictions; and
(10) killing a measure that would have required politically active nonprofits to disclose their
donors. He was included in CREW’s 2010 report on governors.1
Culture of Cronyism and Pay-to-Play Appointments
Gov. Perry has appointed hundreds of campaign donors to state posts and fundraised
aggressively among his appointees. According to Texans for Public Justice, between January
2001 and June 2010, Gov. Perry raised more than $17 million from 921 of his appointees and
their spouses.2 Those contributions made up 21 percent of the $83.2 million Gov. Perry raised
during that period.3
Texas Enterprise Fund and Texas Emerging Technology Fund
The Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF) was designed to lure businesses and jobs to Texas.4 It has
made $487.4 million in state-funded corporate grants since 2003.5 The Texas Emerging
Technology Fund (TETF), launched in 2005 and was intended to attract technology and
research-based capital investments to Texas, has dispensed nearly $200 million in state-funded
grants to 137 companies since 2005.6 The legislature created both funds at Gov. Perry’s
request.7 The TEF review process is overseen by the governor’s office, while the TETF
evaluation process is conducted by an advisory committee composed of 17 members, 13 of
1 For more information, see CREW’s Worst Governors 2010, available at http://www.citizensforethics.org
2 Governor Perry’s Patronage: Donor-Appointees Gave the Governor $17 Million, Texans for Public Justice,
4 State of Texas, Office of the Governor, Texas Enterprise Fund 2013 Legislative Report.
6 State of Texas, Office of the Governor, Texas Emerging Technology Fund Fiscal Year 2012 Legislative Report.
7 Id.; State of Texas, Office of the Governor, Texas Enterprise Fund 2013 Legislative Report.
whom are Perry appointees.8 Every TEF and TETF award must receive approval from the
governor, lieutenant governor, and Texas House speaker, all of whom are currently Republican.9
Independent watchdogs and critics from both political parties have found the funds to be riddled
with conflicts of interest.10 Further, they lack transparency, oversight, and effectiveness, and
have been characterized as slush funds used to reward the governor’s political allies and
In March 2010, the Texas Observer found that since TEF’s inception, 20 of the 55 grant
recipients gave money directly to Gov. Perry’s campaign or to the Republican Governors
Association (RGA), a group that supports Republican candidates for governor across the
country.12 Gov. Perry was the RGA’s chairman in 2008 and 2011 and its finance chair in 2009
and 2010.13 Those 20 companies collectively received $174.2 million from TEF and donated
$2.2 million to Gov. Perry and the RGA, with several of the donations made close in time to
when the companies received grants from TEF.14 A 2010 investigation by Texans for Public
Justice found more than 20 of the 45 companies analyzed did not meet or struggled to meet job
creation goals, with only 13 meeting all the terms of their contracts.15 TEF has yet to face a
comprehensive state audit.16
An October 2010 investigation by the Dallas Morning News found TETF gave approximately
$16 million to firms in which major contributors to Gov. Perry were either investors or officers.17
In addition, the paper uncovered evidence of Perry donors with significant ownership interests in
multiple TETF-funded companies and a TETF board member who made an investment in a
TETF-funded company he reviewed.18 At one point, Gov. Perry bypassed the review process to
10 Aman Batheja, Calls for Reform of Incentive Programs Grow Louder, Texas Tribune, December 12, 2012; Audit
of Texas Enterprise Fund Finds Bipartisan Favor, Star-Telegram, April 11, 2013; Paul J. Weber, Gov. Perry’s Tech
Fund Shows $6M in Potential Losses, Associated Press, February 4, 2013; James Drew, Report Says Texas
Enterprise Fund Not Creating Jobs Promised, Dallas Morning News, January 28, 2010.
12 Dave Mann, Slush Fun: At Least One Texan Has Benefited from Rick Perry’s Enterprise Fund, Texas Observer,
March 11, 2010.
13 Matea Gold, Governors Group is Perry’s Largest Donor, Los Angeles Times, September 13, 2011. According to a
September 2011 report by Texans for Public Justice, Gov. Perry’s gubernatorial donors gave the RGA 32 percent of
$216.9 million it raised between January 2006 and June 2011, or $68.7 million. These same donors contributed
$13.7 million to Gov. Perry’s campaigns since 2001, 13 percent of the $103 million the governor raised. See Crony
Capitalism: The Republican Governors Association in the Perry Years, Texans for Public Justice, September 2011.
14 Id. An October 2011 report by Texans for Public Justice found that 3 of the 37 companies in which Gov. Perry
held stock received $12.2 million in grants from TEF. Gov. Perry sold his holdings in two of those companies,
Hewlett-Packard and General Electric, at a loss in 2010. These holding came to light after Gov. Perry dissolved a
15-year-old blind trust and publicly disclosed its contents as part of his presidential bid. See Perry’s Piggybank:
Texas Enterprise Fund Recipients Gave $7 Million to Rick Perry and His Republican Governors Association,
Texans for Public Justice, October 2011.
15 Recession Pounds Perry’s Jobs Fund, Texans for Public Justice, January 2010.
16 Kelley Shannon, Senate Committee Votes for Audit of Texas Enterprise Fund, Dallas Morning News, April 10,
17 James Drew, Steve McGonigle, and Ryan McNeill, Perry’s Tech Fund Aided Firms with Ties to His Donors,
Dallas Morning News, October 3, 2010.
award a $50 million grant to his alma mater, Texas A&M.19 A May 2011 investigation found
TETF paid $27 million to companies founded or advised by six advisory board members, all of
whom were appointed by Gov. Perry.20 The full extent to which Gov. Perry’s donors have
benefited from TETF is difficult to gauge because TETF’s decision-making process is opaque.21
The advisory committee meets in sessions closed to the public and does not take minutes.22 In
2011, the Texas state auditor’s office recommended that TETF make significant changes to
promote greater transparency and accountability after finding TETF had no consistent process
for awarding grants, did not stop advisory board members from accepting compensation from
grant recipients, and did not submit all required annual reports.23
During its most recent session, the Texas legislature passed a bill requiring an audit of TEF.24 In
June 2013, Gov. Perry signed the bill.25 Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst (R), acting as president of the
Senate, killed a bill that would have shifted the TETF’s grant-making authority to an
Teacher Retirement System
In recent years, Gov. Perry has appointed at least four top donors or bundlers to the board of the
Teacher Retirement System of Texas, a $110 billion pension fund that is among the largest in the
country.27 In some cases, these appointees appear to have pressured the fund’s management into
investing in firms whose investors, officers, or partners had donated to the governor.28 In a 2009
letter to a board trustee, an investment manager at the pension fund wrote that the fund’s chief
investment officer urged him and other employees not to object to these investments, including
the fund’s investment in two firms whose partners and former partners donated more than $1
million to Gov. Perry’s campaigns.29
Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas
The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT), a $3 billion state-funded
program established in 2007 to fight cancer with the backing of Gov. Perry and cyclist Lance
Armstrong, is under scrutiny due to concerns about its review process and conflict-of-interest
issues.30 Since 2010, CPRIT has awarded nearly 500 grants for a total of $836 million.31
20 Todd J. Gillman, Texas Emerging Technology Fund Panel Members Tied to Award Recipients, Dallas Morning
News, May 28, 2011.
21 Drew, McGonigle, and McNeill, Dallas Morning News, Oct. 3, 2010.
23 Texas State Auditor’s Office, An Audit Report on the Emerging Technology Fund, April 2011.
24 Texas Lawmakers Require Audit of Development Fund, Associated Press, May 23, 2013.
26 Laylan Copelin, Dewhurst Kills Bill that Would’ve Shifted Power on Tech Grants, Austin American-Statesman,
May 23, 2013.
27 Nicholas Confessore and Michael Luo, Perry Mines Texas System to Raise Cash for Campaigns, New York Times,
Aug. 20, 2011.
30 Becca Aaronson, Investigations of CPRIT’s Grants Process Are Pushed, Texas Tribune, December 3, 2012.
Most of CPRIT’s board members were appointed by Gov. Perry, Lt. Gov. Dewhurst, and House
Speaker Joe Straus (R). A November 2012 investigation by the Dallas Morning News uncovered
connections between some of the governor’s campaign contributors and companies receiving
CPRIT grants.32 For example, in 2007, David Shanahan, a Dallas businessman, raised $50,000
for Gov. Perry’s campaign, and in 2011, Caliber Biotherapeutics, a subsidiary of one of Mr.
Shanahan’s companies, received a $12.8 million CPRIT grant even though reviewers gave
Caliber the lowest science score of all companies that received the awards.33 The CPRIT grant
was in addition to more than $8 million Mr. Shanahan’s firms had previously received from
funds controlled by the governor’s office.34 As of October 2012, eight scientists had resigned
from CPRIT, citing suspicions of political favoritism and systematic abuses in the grant
Shortly after the Dallas Morning News story was published, Travis County district attorney
Rosemary Lehmberg (D) launched a criminal investigation into CPRIT’s grant awards.36 In
April 2013, however, Ms. Lehmberg was arrested and pled guilty to a charge of driving while
intoxicated.37 Republican lawmakers called for Ms. Lehmberg to resign, and Gov. Perry
announced that if she did not do so, he would veto approximately $7.5 million in state funding
for the Public Integrity Unit of the district attorney office.38 The unit’s high-profile probe into
CPRIT is one of 400 pending cases and investigations. If she were to resign, Ms. Lehmberg,
who was reelected to her second term in November 2012, would be replaced by a Perry
appointee.39 In June 2013, after Ms. Lehmberg refused to resign, Gov. Perry used a line-item
veto to eliminate the unit’s state funding.40 Two state watchdog groups, Texans for Public
Justice and Public Citizen, publicly criticized the governor’s decision.41 Texans for Public
Justice filed a criminal complaint alleging that Gov. Perry had violated state laws prohibiting
coercion of officials.42
32 DMN Investigates: State’s Cancer-Fighting Agency Funded Projects of Perry Campaign Contributor, Dallas
Morning News, November 17, 2012.
34 Sue Goetinck, Texas Cancer-Fighting Agency Has Benefitted Perry, Dewhurst Donor, Dallas Morning News,
November 19, 2012.
35 7 More Cancer Scientists Quit Texas Institute Over Grants, Associated Press, October 13, 2012.
36 John A. Salazar, Public Integrity Unit Launches Criminal Investigation On CPRIT, YNN, December 12, 2012;
James Drew, Travis County DA: “The CPRIT Investigation Is Ongoing and Aggressive”, Dallas Morning News,
January 23, 2013.
37 Ciara O’Rourke, As Lehmberg Heads to Jail, New Details About Booking Emerge, Austin American-Statesman,
April 19, 2013.
38 Mike Ward, Perry Vetoes Ethics Unit Funding After Lehmberg Does Not Resign, Austin American-Statesman,
June 14, 2013; Mike Ward, Perry Vetoes Funding of Lehmberg-Led Unit, Austin American-Statesman, June 15,
39 Id.; Patrick George, Lehmberg Returns for Second Term as Travis DA, Austin American-Statesman, May 29,
Sam Womack, In Online Letter, Lehmberg Says She Won’t Seek Re-Election, Will Seek ‘Professional Help’, Austin
American-Statesman, April 27, 2013.
40 Ward, Austin American-Statesman, June 14, 2013; Ward, Austin American-Statesman, June 15, 2013.
Harold Simmons and Waste Control Specialists
Harold Simmons, owner of Waste Control Specialists LLC, is Gov. Perry’s second largest
individual donor and has given more than $1.2 million to the governor’s campaigns since 2001.
After the state legislature passed a 2003 law privatizing the formerly state-run radioactive waste
program, two entities stocked with Gov. Perry’s appointees — the Texas Commission on
Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and the Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact
Commission — granted Waste Control a series of controversial permits to build a radioactive
waste dump in West Texas and import waste from at least 36 other states.43 Mr. Simmons’s
company was granted an effective monopoly to dispose of the waste over the objections of
environmentalists and TCEQ employees concerned the site threatened the Ogallala Aquifer,
which provides water for drinking and agriculture from Texas to Nebraska.44 At least three
TCEQ employees resigned in protest and an executive director of TCEQ who advanced the case
became a lobbyist for Waste Control Specialists a month after the first permit was approved.45
In 2009, HNTB, an engineering firm with ties to Gov. Perry, won a $69 million state contract to
help manage $1.4 billion in hurricane disaster aid for nonhousing projects from the U.S.
Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).46 Because HNTB’s contract was for
professional services and not subject to a bid process, it is unclear exactly how HNTB was
chosen.47 Nevertheless, awarding a contract to a private firm with no experience managing
community development funds to administer a community development block grant program,
together with the state’s poor project completion rate and lack of oversight, “present[ed]
significant cause for concern” to HUD’s Office of Inspector General, which audited the
contract.48 The 2012 HUD audit found Texas had improperly contracted with HNTB, and
because Texas paid HNTB with federal funds, recommended the state pay back almost $1.5
million and either provide evidence supporting or repay nearly $8 million in overcharges billed
by the firm.49 The report also said the Texas Department of Rural Affairs (TDRA), the nowdefunct
agency that Gov. Perry dissolved after the HNTB contract was awarded, acted
improperly when it more than doubled the size of the contract from $69 million to $144 million
and expanded the scope of HNTB’s work.50 Auditors said the state was unable to explain how
43 Asher Price, Importing Low-Level Radioactive Waste to Texas OK’d, Austin American-Statesman, January 4,
2011; Dave Montgomery, Has ‘Crony Capitalism’ Tainted Perry's Campaign for President?, McClatchy
Newspapers, September 25, 2011; Peter Overby, Perry Donor’s Radioactive Waste Site Deal Scrutinized, All Things
Considered, September 15, 2011.
44 Alison Fitzgerald, Perry’s Texas Friends Find Donations Dovetail With Contracts, Bloomberg, August 31, 2011.
46 Brenda Bell, State Outsourced Allocation of Federal Disaster Recovery Funds to Firm with Ties to Perry, Austin
American-Statesman, October 4, 2011.
48 Id.; U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Inspector General, Audit Report, 2012-FW-
1005, March 7, 2012.
49 Id.; Becca Aaronson, Federal Audit Questions $8 Million Paid to HNTB, Texas Tribune, March 9, 2012; Brenda
Bell, Federal Audit Recommends Texas Pay Back Millions in Overcharges Billed by HNTB, Austin American-
Statesman, March 11, 2012.
HNTB got the contracts and could not show it had adequately monitored the firm and billings.51
While the state cancelled HNTB’s original $144 million contract after the firm spent nearly 85
percent of the money budgeted for overhead administrative expenses and only 15 percent of the
project funds, HNTB continued to manage federal grants under a different contract.52
According to an October 2011 report by Texans for Public Justice, HNTB’s PAC and HNTB
executives gave $57,000 to Gov. Perry’s campaigns between 2002 and 2009, and gave $245,000
to the RGA beginning in 2008, when Gov. Perry assumed his leadership role with the group.53
Ray Sullivan, a longtime aide and spokesperson for Gov. Perry’s office and campaigns, was
HNTB’s top lobbyist in Texas from 2003 to 2009.54 Just one month before HNTB won the 2009
contract, Mr. Sullivan became Gov. Perry’s chief of staff and, later, his presidential campaign
According to a September 2011 analysis of state lobbying disclosure filings and staff records
conducted by the Huffington Post, 40 of Gov. Perry’s aides either registered as lobbyists after
leaving the administration or moved from lobbying into the governor’s inner circle, with some
walking through the revolving door multiple times.56 The Huffington Post found former Gov.
Perry staffers made tens of millions of dollars in lobbying fees between 2001 and 2011.57 At
least five of Gov. Perry’s closest presidential campaign aides were registered lobbyists, including
his communications director, his spokesperson, and his political director.58 As of September
2011, five out of eight of his gubernatorial chiefs of staff had been lobbyists.59 Two former toplevel
staffers headed super PACs supporting Gov. Perry’s 2011 presidential campaign while they
were registered to lobby state government.60
A January 2012 report by Texans for Public Justice highlighted the example of Mike Toomey,
the governor’s chief of staff from 2002 to 2004.61 Mr. Toomey’s two years in the state job fell in
between lobbying stints. The report found that 42 out of 105 of Mr. Toomey’s lobbying clients
together gave more than $5.5 million to Gov. Perry’s gubernatorial campaigns, or 5 percent of
his total contributions, from 2001 to 2011.62 The time period includes Mr. Toomey’s stretch as
52 Audit Report, 2012-FW-1005, Mar. 7, 2012; Brenda Bell, Texas Tightens Reins on HNTB, Which Was Hired to
Manage U.S. Disaster Grants, Austin American-Statesman, February 6, 2012.
53 Perry, HNTB Collect Windfalls From Hurricanes Dolly and Ike, Texans for Public Justice, October 6, 2011.
56 Paul Blumenthal, Rick Perry’s Former Staffers Made Millions As Lobbyists, Huffington Post, September 16,
59 Id. See also Bill White Says Most of Gov. Rick Perry’s Chiefs of Staff Have Been Lobbyists, Poltifact Texas,
August 14, 2010.
60 Blumenthal, Huffington Post, Sept. 16, 2011.
61 Perry’s Roomie Mike Toomey Mobilizes the Corporate Lobby to ‘Make Us Great Again’, Texans for Public
Justice, January 2012.
62 Texans for Public Justice, Jan. 2012; Dan Eggen, The Influence Industry: Lobbyist’s Clients, Perry Donors
Overlap by $5.5 Million, Washington Post, September 21, 2011.
chief of staff.63 The report also found many of his clients have benefited from Gov. Perry’s
Free Flights from Top Donors
In October 2011, the New York Times ran a story questioning whether Gov. Perry was properly
reimbursing the costs of, and disclosing the travel dates of, flights connected to his presidential
campaign.65 Under current Federal Election Commission (FEC) guidelines, candidates must
reimburse plane owners the amount it would cost to rent a similar plane for the same trip.66 The
newspaper reported Gov. Perry had instead been paying plane owners for the number of
individual seats his campaign used, as permitted by a previous FEC regulation that had been
changed in 2009.67
Gov. Perry subsequently disclosed eight new travel-related campaign expenses totaling more
than $227,000.68 These new disclosures included $45,435 owed to a company owned by Dan
Friedkin, one of Gov. Perry’s biggest donors.69 Gov. Perry appointed Mr. Friedkin to head the
influential Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission in 2005 and reappointed him in 2011.70 The
new disclosures also showed $22,931 owed to Brian Pardo, the owner of a company under
investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Texas State Securities Board
for account and disclosure practices.71
Texas law allows Gov. Perry to accept free flights, and the Times found that while governor, he
accepted more than 200 such trips on the private planes of corporate executives and wealthy
donors.72 While many of the trips revolved around campaign travel and other ceremonial or
political events, some involved the governor’s official functions.73 The newspaper’s analysis of
Texas Ethics Commission records found Gov. Perry’s free flights were worth $1.3 million.74
The Texas Ethics Commission does not require officials to charge these expenses to the state,
63 Texans for Public Justice, Jan. 2012.
65 Richard A. Oppel, Jr. and Jim Rutenberg, Questions Raised Over Perry Campaign’s Reimbursements for Use of
Private Plane, New York Times, October 17, 2011.
67 Id.; Mark Maremont and Neil King Jr., Campaign to Pony Up for Flight Costs, Wall Street Journal, October 20,
68 Tessa Muggeridge, Unraveling Perry’s Air Travel Using FEC Disclosures, Sunlight Foundation, November 18,
69 Id.; http://query.nictusa.com/pres/2011/Q3/C00500587/D_DEBTS_C00500587.html.
70 Id.; Ryan Murphy and Jay Root, Despite Scrutiny, Perry Gives Two Donors Plum Posts, Texas Tribune, August
71 Muggeridge, Sunlight Foundation, Nov. 18, 2011; http://query.nictusa.com/pres/2011/Q3/
72 Mike McIntire, For Perry, Private Jets Have Been Key to Public Job, New York Times, November 3, 2011.
73 Id. CREW’s 2010 report on governors raised similar questions. CREW highlighted Gov. Perry’s use of poultry
magnate Lonnie Pilgrim’s private plane for trips to lobby for the interests of the plane’s owner. For more
information, see CREW’s Worst Governors 2010, available at http://www.citizensforethics.org/worstgovernors.
74 McIntire, New York Times, Nov. 3, 2011.
and while state law allows officials to count the cost of any flights as in-kind campaign
donations, they are not required to reimburse plane owners.75
Used His Position to Benefit His Family
Gov. Perry’s wife, Anita Perry, worked as a $65,000-a-year contract fundraiser for the Texas
Association Against Sexual Assault (TAASA) and raised roughly $1.5 million for the
organization between 2003 and 2011.76 TAASA is also funded, in part, by grants from Texas
state agencies, including the governor’s office.77
In September 2011, the Austin American-Statesman reported Anita Perry’s salary at TAASA
came indirectly from the governor’s donors, state contractors, and companies with business with
the state or issues before the legislature.78 The newspaper found 34 out of TAASA’s 37 major
donors during Mrs. Perry’s tenure had ties to the governor or state business.79
According to the newspaper, the year before Mrs. Perry began raising money for the nonprofit,
TAASA told the Internal Revenue Service it had received no donations of $5,000 or more.80 The
year after hiring Mrs. Perry, the nonprofit reported receiving $100,000 worth of donations of
$5,000 or more — all from Gov. Perry’s donors, state contractors, or lobbyists.81 Between 2004
and 2009, more than 70 percent of TAASA’s $634,500 in large donations came from businesses
or individuals with ties to the governor.82 Watchdogs have questioned whether the TAASA
donations allow donors to curry favor with the governor while avoiding disclosure.83 Both
TAASA and the Perrys’ spokeswoman said Mrs. Perry’s work for the nonprofit did not
constitute a conflict of interest.84
State Salary and Pension Double Dip
In January 2011, Gov. Perry began taking advantage of an obscure provision in Texas law that
allows him to “double-dip,” collecting pension benefits from the Employees Retirement System
of Texas while simultaneously drawing his $150,000-a-year governor’s salary from the state.85
According to this law, Gov. Perry’s combined years in military service, state service, and age
qualify him for a retirement annuity of more than $92,000 a year.86 In addition, when he actually
76 Jay Root, Perry Reports Modest Income, and Losses, in 2010, Texas Tribune, October, 2011; Jacob Bernstein,
Anita Perry’s Political Baggage, Daily Beast, October 13, 2011.
77 R.G. Ratcliffe, Anita Perry’s Salary Comes Indirectly from Governor’s Backers, Austin American-Statesman,
September 14, 2011.
81 Ratcliffe, Austin American-Statesman, Sept. 14, 2011.
85 Jay Root, Critics Question Perry’s Move to Collect Pension, Texas Tribune, December 17, 2011.
leaves office, he will be eligible to retire again with a higher pension as a member of an “elected
Gov. Perry’s unusual retirement arrangement came to light in December 2011 after the governor
filed federal personal financial disclosure forms required for his presidential bid.88 According to
the Texas Tribune, Gov. Perry sought and was granted two successive delays of his disclosure.89
In June 2011, Gov. Perry signed a bill that makes it harder for public school teachers to engage
in a similar practice by requiring public school teachers to have a 12-consecutive-month break in
service after retirement before returning to draw a full-time salary as a state employee.90
Financial Disclosure Reporting Violations
In 2011, the Texas Ethics Commission fined Gov. Perry $1,500 for failing to report rental
income from a house he owns in College Station in 2009 and 2010 and for not disclosing all of
the debts related to the house or the names of banks holding the notes and leases.91 According to
the ethics commission, the total of Gov. Perry’s undisclosed income was between $7,000 and
Lack of Transparency
Gov. Perry’s office has a policy of deleting its e-mails every seven days, though the governor’s
office is legally required to ensure that records dealing with state business are printed and
preserved.93 The seven-day policy predates Gov. Perry’s administration, but he has maintained
it.94 The policy makes it more difficult to determine the role the governor’s office plays in state
affairs. For example, in 2007, reporters were unable to determine what and when Gov. Perry
knew about systematic abuse inside juvenile jails, in large part because his office deleted e-mails
long before the scandal broke.95
Gov. Perry also does not disclose the details of his daily schedule or lists of guests who stay
overnight at the governor’s mansion, records that have been made public by his predecessors.96
According to the Houston Chronicle, Gov. Perry has appealed 100 requests filed under the Texas
88 Jay Root, Perry “Retires” to Boost Pension Pay, Texas Tribune, December 16, 2011.
89 Id.; Jay Root, Perry Again Delays Required Personal Financial Report, Texas Tribune, October 26, 2011.
90 Arlene Saenz and Rick Klein, Rick Perry ‘Retires’ Early To Collect Pension Benefits, ABC News, December 16,
2011; Dave Lieber, Retiree Double Dipping is Common in Fort Worth School District, Fort Worth Star-Telegram,
January 15, 2012.
91 Reeve Hamilton, Perry Fined $1,500 by Ethics Commission, Texas Tribune, March 23, 2011.
93 Elise Hu, Perry’s Spare Schedule Feeds Transparency Concerns, Texas Tribune, August 23, 2010; Patricia Kilday
Hart, Perry’s Long Tenure is Short on Particulars, Houston Chronicle, August 28, 2011.
94 Hu, Texas Tribune, Aug. 23, 2010.
96 Kenneth P. Vogel and Ben Smith, Rick Perry’s Governing Style: Secrecy Over Straight Talk? Politico, September
Public Information Act to the attorney general’s office.97 Most of these requests involved
documents related to economic development funds TEF and TETF.98 Records relating to the
connections between these funds and Gov. Perry’s donors and political appointees were among
In 2011, Gov. Perry also pressed state lawmakers to add an amendment to a school finance bill to
keep the details of the cost of his security team secret for 18 months, until after the 2012
Misusing State Resources for His Presidential Campaign
Although the use of state phones for campaign purposes is prohibited by state ethics rules, a
review of phone records by the Associated Press found Gov. Perry used his governor’s office
phone in the months before he announced his bid for the presidency in August 2011 to call his
big fundraisers and appointed state officials who owed him their jobs.101 There is no record of
what Gov. Perry discussed on the calls, though a spokeswoman insisted the calls were about state
In addition, the Dallas Morning News reported that as of March 2012, the state Department of
Public Safety had spent $3.6 million on travel costs — for overtime pay, hotels, airfare, fuel and
other expenses — incurred by security agents assigned to the governor and his family during the
period he was seeking the GOP presidential nomination.103 Critics called on Gov. Perry to use
his presidential campaign funds to reimburse the state, but the governor has not done so.104
Voter ID Law
In May 2011, Gov. Perry signed a voter ID bill into law.105 The law, which Gov. Perry had
prioritized, would require voters to present one of five kinds of photo identification in order to
vote.106 It could not immediately go into effect because, under Section 5 of the 1965 Voting
Rights Act, Texas was legally required to get preclearance from the Department of Justice (DOJ)
for changes in its election laws.107 In January 2012, after the voter ID law had been under DOJ
review for six months, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott filed suit against the DOJ asking the
97 Hart, Houston Chronicle, Aug. 28, 2011.
100 Patricia Kilday Hart, Cost of Perry's Travel Security Team will be Secret for 18 Months, My San Antonio, June
101 Before Announcing, Rick Perry Used Work Phone to Call Donors, Associated Press, December 6, 2011. See also
Jonathan Lemire, Rick Perry Inappropriately Used Texas State Phones for White House Campaigning: Report, New
York Daily News, December 6, 2011.
102 Associated Press, Dec. 6, 2011.
103 Will Weissert, Taxpayer Tab for Perry Presidential Run Tops $3.6M , Dallas Morning News, March 30, 2012.
104 Peggy Fikac, Larson Targets Out-of-State Security Costs, My San Antonio, December 17, 2012.
105 Daniel Setiawan, After Six-Year Fight, Perry Signs Voter ID into Law, Texas Observer, May 27, 2011.
107 Chuck Lindell, Texas Sues Feds Over Voter ID Law, Austin American-Statesman, January 23, 2012.
federal court to intervene and approve the law.108 In March 2012, the DOJ blocked the voter ID
law, saying it would disproportionately harm Hispanic voters, and in August 2012, a panel of
three federal judges of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia unanimously struck it
down.109 The judges called the Texas voter ID law the most stringent in the country and said it
would disproportionately affect poor and minority voters.110 Gov. Perry publicly criticized and
vowed to appeal the court’s decision.111 As a result of the Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby v.
Holder, however, preclearance is no longer required and the law can take effect.112 Gov. Perry
praised the decision and Mr. Abbott announced the law “will take effect immediately.”113
Dark Money Bill Veto
In May 2013, Gov. Perry issued a veto effectively killing a measure that would have required
politically active nonprofits that are tax-exempt under section 501(c)(4) of the tax code to
disclose their donors.114 Lawmakers in the GOP-dominated Texas Senate and House passed the
“dark money” bill despite fierce opposition from far-right activists and criticism that it exempted
labor unions.115 In a statement released in response to Gov. Perry’s veto, the bill’s author, state
Sen. Kel Seliger (R), said: “This is a sad day for integrity and transparency in Texas. Gov.
Perry’s veto of SB 346 legalizes money laundering in Texas elections.”116
109 Sari Horwitz, Justice Department Bars Texas Voter ID Law, Washington Post, March 12, 2012; Charlie Savage
and Manny Fernandez, Court Blocks Texas Voter ID Law, Citing Racial Impact, New York Times, August 30, 2012.
110 Savage and Fernandez, New York Times, Aug. 30, 2012.
111 Press Release, Office of Gov. Rick Perry, Statement by Gov. Perry on Court’s Decision to Deny Texas Voter ID
Law, August 30, 2012; Lucy Madison, Rick Perry: We'll Take Voter ID Case to Supreme Court, CBS News, March
112 Adam Liptak, Supreme Court Invalidates Key Part of Voting Rights Act, New York Times, June 25, 2013.
113 Sarah Ferris, Texas Revives Voter ID Law in Wake of Supreme Court Decision, Opponents Pledge to Keep Up
Fight, Houston Chronicle, June 25, 2013.
114 Emily Ramshaw, Perry Vetoes "Dark Money" Bill, Texas Tribune, May 25, 2013.
116 Press Release, Office of Texas State Senator Kel Seliger, Statement by Senator Seliger on Governor Rick Perry
Veto of SB 346, May 25, 2013.
Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL) was elected in 2010 and is running for re-election in 2014. His inclusion
stems from: (1) using his office to benefit his company; (2) using his office to promote donors’
interests; (3) appointing campaign contributors to official positions; (4) privatizing a state-run
insurance company to benefit his donors; (5) concealing e-mail he had promised to make public;
and (6) accusations of voter disenfranchisement.
While campaigning for office, then-candidate Scott disclosed a $62 million ownership stake in
Solantic, Inc., a chain of Florida urgent care and emergency service clinics he co-founded in
2001.1 Gov. Scott’s ownership of the company raised a number of conflict-of-interest questions
because Solantic is subject to regulation by state agencies.2 In addition, during the campaign, a
former Solantic employee filed a complaint accusing the company of overcharging Medicare and
committing other violations.3
The governor said Solantic would not enter into contracts with the state while he was governor
and had ties to the company.4 After lawyers from Gov. Scott’s transition team met privately with
the state ethics commission and before taking office, Gov. Scott reportedly transferred his
ownership stake in Solantic to his wife’s revocable trust.5 Under Florida law, Gov. Scott then
did not have to report the Solantic stake as an asset on his disclosure of financial interests.6 In
addition, there are no laws prohibiting the governor or other elected officials from pushing
policies benefitting the business interests of family members.7
In 2011, two Florida residents filed separate complaints with the state Commission on Ethics
claiming the governor had used his position to benefit Solantic.8 Both were thrown out by the
ethics commission, which said the complaints lacked sufficient evidence to launch an
1 Stacey Singer, Gov. Scott Shifting Clinics to His Wife Raises Conflict of Interest Questions, Palm Beach Post,
March 12, 2011; Stacey Singer, Gov. Rick Scott’s Drug Testing Policy Stirs Suspicion, Palm Beach Post, March 30,
3 Stacey Singer, Medicare Fraud Investigators Were Directed to Rick Scott’s Solantic During His Campaign,
Records Show, Palm Beach Post, July 11, 2011.
4 Gov. Rick Scott: Solantic Won’t Contract with Florida, Associated Press, April 5, 2011.
5 Id.; Singer, Palm Beach Post, Mar. 12, 2011; Suzy Khimm, Rick Scott’s Medicaid Overhaul to Benefit…Rick
Scott?, Mother Jones, March 25, 2011.
7 Kris Hundley, Gov. Rick Scott, Solantic and Conflict of Interest: What’s the Deal?, Tampa Bay Times, April 1,
8 Michael C. Bender, Ethics Complaint Filed Against Gov. Rick Scott, Tampa Bay Times, April 11, 2011; Florida
Ethics Panel Rejects Solantic Complaints Against Gov. Rick Scott, Associated Press, May 18, 2011.
In April 2011, days after the first ethics complaint was filed, Gov. Scott said he would sell his
ownership stake in Solantic.10 In June 2011, Gov. Scott reportedly sold his share of the company
to Solantic’s minority shareholder, private equity firm Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe, for an
Drug Testing Program
In March 2011, shortly after taking office, Gov. Scott signed an executive order mandating drug
testing for all newly hired state employees.12 In addition, he required random drug tests for
workers at state agencies whose directors are appointed by the governor.13 In May 2011, Gov.
Scott signed a bill requiring drug testing for all of the state’s welfare recipients.14
Drug testing is one of Solantic’s most popular services, and critics said the company seemed
poised to benefit from the new policies.15 The state required all welfare applicants to pay for
their own drug tests, though it reimbursed those who passed.16 In October, a court issued an
injunction halting the drug testing of welfare recipients, saying it violated the Fourth Amendment
of the Constitution.17 Florida officials had said the drug testing would save the state money, but
fewer than 3 percent of the recipients tested failed.18 Because of that, the state paid $118,140 in
reimbursements for the tests while welfare payments to those who failed would have cost only
The American Civil Liberties Union and the American Federation of State, County and
Municipal Employees filed a lawsuit challenging Gov. Scott’s drug testing requirement for state
workers.20 The governor suspended his order after the lawsuit was filed, and in April 2012, a
U.S. district court judge ruled the requirement unconstitutional.21
10 John Kennedy and Stacey Singer, Scott Says Selling Solantic ‘Right Thing to Do’; Dems Want Disclosure of All
Assets, Palm Beach Post, April 14, 2011.
11 Id.; Lloyd Dunkelberger, Solantic, Rick Scott’s Former Company, Moving Headquarters Out of Florida, Herald
Tribune, November 2, 2011.
12 Tom Brown, Florida Judge Blocks Drug Tests for State Workers, Reuters, April 26, 2012; David Royse, Florida
Gov. Rick Scott Orders Random Drug Testing of State Employees, Orlando Sentinel, March 22, 2011.
14 Aliyah Shahid, Florida Governor Rick Scott Signs Law Requiring Welfare Recipients to Take Drug Test, ACLU
Objects, New York Daily News, June 1, 2011.
15 Singer, Palm Beach Post, Mar. 30, 2011.
16 Shahid, New York Daily News, June 1, 2011.
17 Arthur Delaney, Rick Scott Drug Testing Executive Order Ruled Unconstitutional by Federal Judge, Huffington
Post, April 26, 2012.
18 Brittany Alana Davis, Florida's Welfare Drug Tests Cost More Money Than State Saves, Data Shows, Miami
Herald, April 20, 2012; Lizette Alvarez, No Savings are Found from Welfare Drug Tests, New York Times, April
19 Singer, Palm Beach Post, Mar. 30, 2011.
20 Delaney, Huffington Post, Apr. 26, 2012; Dara Kam, Gov. Scott’s State Worker Drug Testing Unconstitutional,
Federal Judge Rules, Palm Beach Post, April 26, 2012.
21 Delaney, Huffington Post, Apr. 26, 2012.
Medicaid Privatization Plan
In 2005, the federal government approved a pilot program which allowed certain Medicaid
recipients in Florida to use Medicaid funds at private clinics such as Solantic.22 In 2011, Gov.
Scott began pushing the legislature to pass a sweeping Medicaid reform bill to expand the pilot
program to every Medicaid patient in Florida.23 The law would give health management
organizations and private health care companies much greater control over the program.24 In
order for Florida to take additional advantage of the program, which could potentially bring new
business to Solantic, the state needed to get a waiver from the federal government.25
As of 2011, Solantic accepted traditional Medicaid at only one location but accepted with several
private Medicaid plans at all locations.26 The Tampa Bay Times reported that Gov. Scott’s
Medicaid privatization plan “would dramatically increase Solantic’s potential patient base.”27
In February 2013, the Obama administration approved a second Medicaid waiver that tentatively
allowed the governor’s privatization plan to go into effect.28 Hours after the federal government
granted Florida the privatization waiver, Gov. Scott announced the state would expand Medicaid
under President Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA), a move he had previously opposed.29
Prison Privatization Plan
Gov. Scott has used his office to push for prison privatization policies that would benefit private
prison companies, which have donated to his inaugural fund and campaigns.30 GEO Group, the
second-largest private prison company in the U.S., is based in Boca Raton, Fla.31 The company
runs the state’s largest private prison, the Blackwater River Correctional Facility.32 Geo Group’s
largest competitor, Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), also does business with the
22 Khimm, Mother Jones, Mar. 25, 2011.
25 Hundley, Tampa Bay Times, Apr. 1, 2011; Khimm, Mother Jones, Mar. 25, 2011.
26 Hundley, Tampa Bay Times, Apr. 1, 2011.
28 Jim Turner, Florida Wins Second Medicaid Waiver, Sunshine State News, February 20, 2013.
29 Jason Millman, Gov. Rick Scott Embraces Medicaid Expansion in Florida, Politico, February 20, 2013; Tia
Mitchell, Gov. Rick Scott’s ‘New Perspective’: Expand Medicaid After All, Tampa Bay Times, February 20, 2013.
30 Privatizing Prisons Could Prove Profitable to Politically Connected Companies, McClatchy News Service, April 5,
2011; Alex Seitz-Wald, Is Gov. Rick Scott Rewarding Donors with Private Prison Plan?, Think Progress, May 5,
31 Privatizing Prisons Could Prove Profitable to Politically Connected Companies, McClatchy News Service, April 5,
33 McClatchy News Service, April 5, 2011; Steve Bousquet, Bidding Begins to Privatize Prisons in South Florida,
Miami Herald, July 25, 2011.
Gov. Scott reportedly has close ties to Brian Ballard, a lobbyist who has worked for both
companies.34 Mr. Ballard and his wife, Kathryn, each contributed $500 to Gov. Scott’s 2010
campaign.35 More significantly, Mr. Ballard helped raise $3 million for Gov. Scott’s inaugural
celebration committee.36 In 2011, the governor watched the Super Bowl at Mr. Ballard’s
GEO Group contributed $25,000, the maximum amount, to the governor’s inauguration.38 CCA
gave $5,000 to Gov. Scott’s inaugural fund.39 In April 2012, GEO Group made a $100,000
contribution to the Let’s Get to Work Political Action Committee (PAC), which supports Gov.
Scott.40 CCA made a $25,000 contribution to the PAC in March 2013.41
During his 2010 campaign, Gov. Scott promised to cut the state’s prison costs by $1 billion.42
In 2011, Gov. Scott and the legislature inserted a provision into the budget bill setting a deadline
of January 1, 2012 to privatize 30 prisons and other facilities in South Florida, and announced
the state would hire a single company to take over those operations.43 This set up a bidding war
between GEO Group and CCA.44
Florida’s Police Benevolent Association, a union that represents prison guards likely to be
affected by the law, filed a lawsuit against Gov. Scott’s administration claiming the plan was
unconstitutional because it circumvented the legislative process.45 In September 2011, a state
judge ruled that inserting the plan into the budget was unconstitutional because it avoided an upor-
down vote in the legislature.46
The same month, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters filed a complaint with the Florida
Commission on Ethics alleging Gov. Scott pushed prison privatization in exchange for political
34 Seitz-Wald, Think Progress, May 5, 2011.
35 Follow the Money, Contributions Lookup: Scott, Richard L. and Carroll, Jennifer, 2009-2010; http://ballardpartners.
36 Seitz-Wald, Think Progress, May 5, 2011.
37 Marc Caputo, Brian Ballard’s Super Bowl Guest, Tampa Bay Times, February 8, 2011; Seitz-Wald, Think
Progress, May 5, 2011.
38 Id.; McClatchy News Service, Apr. 5, 2011.
39 Seitz-Wald, Think Progress, May 5, 2011; Dara Kam, Teamsters Accuse Gov. Scott of Conflict of Interest in
Privatization of Florida Prisons, Palm Beach Post, September 14, 2011.
40 Florida Department of State, Division of Elections, Campaign Contributions Lookup, Let’s Get to Work, 2010-
42 Tonya Alanez, Scott Pushes for State Prison Privatization, Orlando Sentinel, February 14, 2011.
43 Bill Kaczor, Florida Prison Privatization Decision Appealed, Associated Press, October 31, 2011;
Bousquet, Miami Herald, July 25, 2011.
45 Chris Kirkham, Florida Prisons Bill Would Expand Private Management, Netting a Big Win for Political
Contributors, Huffington Post, February 1, 2012.
46 Kaczor, Associated Press, Oct. 31, 2011.
contributions.47 The commission rejected the complaint in October 2011, saying the governor’s
actions did not amount to a quid pro quo.48
In February 2012, Gov. Scott made a second attempt at winning legislative approval for his
privatization plan, but it was voted down in the state Senate.49 The result was a significant defeat
for GEO, which decided to seek prison expansion outside of Florida.50 Gov. Scott and the state
Department of Corrections are now seeking to privatize the state’s work release centers.51
In an August 2012 Orlando Sentinel story, Dave Gordon, president of ETS, an Orlando-based
aviation-logistics company, claimed a Republican fundraiser told him to donate $10,000 to Gov.
Scott’s Let’s Get To Work PAC if he wanted to be appointed to Orlando International Airport’s
board of directors.52 Mr. Gordon refused to make a donation, and was not appointed to a
position on the board.53 Gov. Scott appointed two new members, Dean Asher and Domingo
Sanchez, who donate to Republicans, and re-appointed an existing member, Jim Palmer, less
than two weeks after he donated $25,000 to the Let’s Get to Work PAC.54 Mr. Asher, Mr.
Sanchez, and Mr. Palmer all said they were not told their appointments were contingent on
donations.55 Another member who sought reappointment, Jose Colon, who made no campaign
contributions, also lost his seat.56
In May 2013, Gov. Scott signed a bill aimed at reforming the state-run Citizens Property
Insurance Corp.57 The bill mandated the transfer of thousands of policyholders to Heritage
Property and Casualty Insurance Co., a privately held startup insurance company based in St.
47 Michael C. Bender, Teamsters File Ethics Complaint Against Gov. Rick Scott over Prisons, Tampa Bay Times,
September 14, 2011.
48 Jim Turner, Teamsters Fail in Ethics Claim Against Rick Scott; ‘Pay-to-Play’ Rejected, Sunshine State News,
October 27, 2011.
49 Michael C. Bender, Florida Senate Blocks Largest U.S. Private-Prison Plan Dealing GEO Setback, Bloomberg,
February 15, 2012.
51 Steve Bosquet, Gov. Rick Scott Presses for Prison Privatization, Miami Herald, July 2, 2012; Kameel Stanley and
Curtis Krueger, State Hopes to Privatize More Work Release Centers, Tampa Bay Times, June 22, 2013.
52 Dan Tracy, Executive Says He Didn’t Get Airport Post After Refusing to Give to GOP, Orlando Sentinel, August
56 Tracy, Orlando Sentinel, Aug. 17, 2012.
57 Toluse Olorunnipa, After Big Donations to Gov. Scott, Insurance Company May Reap $52M, Tampa Bay Times,
May 21, 2013; Editorial, Citizens Property Insurance: Scott’s Stormy Policy, The Ledger (Lakeland, FL), June 8,
58 Olorunnipa, Tampa Bay Times, May 21, 2013.
The unusual move was billed as a way to reduce Citizens’ policyholder burden before the
upcoming hurricane season, but it also produced a massive windfall for Heritage.59 Heritage
received $52 million for taking over 60,000 Citizens policies.60 The deal was structured as a
backdated reinsurance agreement in which Heritage was paid to cover Citizens’ losses from
policies dating back to January.61 Heritage, however, was able to pick and choose which policies
it wanted to absorb, allowing it to select policies that had no claims pending with Citizens.62
That eliminated most of the risk for Heritage.63
Heritage was founded only nine months before the bill passed, but a number of Heritage
employees have been financial supporters of Gov. Scott’s re-election campaign.64 In March
2013, employees of Heritage and its affiliated companies contributed $110,000 to a PAC
controlled by Gov. Scott.65 They also gave more than $40,000 to the Republican Party of
Gov. Scott’s chief of staff, Adam Hollingsworth, downplayed the administration’s role in
brokering the deal and said it was “outrageous” to suggest that the governor’s office influenced
Citizens’ board members into approving the transaction.67
E-mails from the Scott administration, however, show that the governor’s office did know about
the Citizens deal with Heritage before it went through.68 A spokeswoman for Gov. Scott later
confirmed that representatives from Heritage met with Gov. Scott’s office in January.69 In
addition, according to documents obtained by the Associated Press, an administration official
met with a Heritage lobbyist in March 2013, roughly two months prior to the deal’s
completion.70 Gov. Scott’s deputy chief of staff, Michael Sevi, met with Heritage lobbyist Fred
Karlinsky to discuss the pending deal with Citizens.71 Other state officials, such as Jeff Atwater,
the state’s chief financial officer, also knew about the plan.72 Nonetheless, a spokesman for the
governor said the administration did not take a position on the deal before the Citizens board
voted on it.73
60 Id.; Editorial, The Ledger (Lakeland, FL), June 8, 2013.
61 Id.; Gary Fineout, Florida Governor Rick Scott, Others, Knew in Advance About Citizens Property Insurance
Deal, Associated Press, June 14, 2013.
62 Olorunnipa, Tampa Bay Times, May 21, 2013
65 Id.; Fineout, Associated Press, June 14, 2013.
69 Fineout, Associated Press, June 14, 2013.
73 Fineout, Associated Press, June 14, 2013.
The transaction caused a great deal of controversy in Florida. The state’s Senate President Don
Gaetz (R) called for an investigation into the Heritage-Citizens transaction to make sure it was
“in the best of interest of Floridians.”74
In May 2012, Gov. Scott announced he would post his official e-mails and those of several staff
members to a website known as Project Sunburst.75 The governor directed reporters to use the
Sunburst e-mails in place of public records requests for his e-mail.76 In July 2012, however,
reporters began pressing the Scott administration about the remarkably high percentage of emails
favoring Gov. Scott’s policies.77 The Scott administration then acknowledged the website
did not include e-mails sent to the governor’s main official account.78 Rather, it included e-mail
from a separate, lesser-known state e-mail address for Gov. Scott.79 The second e-mail address
was not posted on state websites, but rather had appeared on Tea Party websites and mainly was
used by the governor’s supporters.80 Transparency and good government groups that had praised
Gov. Scott for Project Sunburst said they had not realized e-mails to the governor’s official state
account would not be posted to the site, and accused the Scott administration of promoting
misinformation and “what has essentially been a propaganda machine.”81 In response to the
criticism, the Scott administration announced it would phase out the unofficial e-mail address
and add all e-mails sent to the governor’s official account to Project Sunburst.82 Even after the
governor’s official e-mails were added to the site, however, transparency advocates said there
was little of interest, and Gov. Scott and some of his top aides said they did not use e-mail as a
primary form of communication.83
Shortly after his election, Gov. Scott asked then-Florida Secretary of State Kurt Browning how
the state verified the citizenship of voters.84 Mr. Browning said there was no method in place for
74 Id.; http://www.flsenate.gov/Senators/s1.
75 Lloyd Dunkelberger, Scott's Emails Will Go on the Web, Herald Tribune, May 4, 2012.
76 Toluse Olorunnipa, Gov. Scott’s Emails Go to Unknown Account, Bradenton Herald, July 30, 2012.
80 Olorunnipa, Bradenton Herald, July 30, 2012.
81 Brent Kallestad, Scott’s Emails Not Included in Public Release, Associated Press, July 31, 2012.
82 Olorunnipa, Bradenton Herald, July 30, 2012.
83 Steve Bousquet, Florida’s Email Transparency Effort Project Sunburst Fails to End State Secrecy, Miami Herald,
November 29, 2012.
84 Marc Caputo, How Rick Scott’s Noncitizen Voter Purge Started Small and Then Blew Up, Miami Herald, June
determining citizenship.85 Gov. Scott reportedly responded, “Well, people lie.”86 In the wake of
the conversation, elections officials began looking into the citizenship status of voters.87
Elections workers eventually generated a list of more than 2,600 questionable voters, but then-
Secretary Browning said he was concerned about its accuracy and decided against releasing it.88
In spring 2012, however, his successor, Secretary of State Ken Detzner, under pressure from
Republicans in the wake of a news report that found noncitizens registered in Lee County,
decided to go ahead.89 The list was dominated by minority voters from South Florida.90 The
state sent the information to Florida’s county election supervisors.91
A May 2012 Miami Herald analysis of elections records found that Latino, Democratic and
independent voters were the most likely to be targeted.92 For example, Hispanics make up 58
percent of the list but just 13 percent of eligible voters.93 White voters and Republicans were
disproportionately the least likely to have been removed.94
The Department of Justice (DOJ) said the state’s efforts violated the Voting Rights Act and the
National Voter Registration Act, and ordered state election officials to suspend the further
removal of voters.95 State officials refused to comply.96
In June 2012, several county elections officials said they believed the state’s information was
inaccurate, and they would stop searching for illegally registered voters.97 The state then
requested data from the Department of Homeland Security, eventually suing for access to it.98
Several voter advocate groups and the DOJ sued the State of Florida, claiming the purge unfairly
discriminated against minorities.99 In September 2012, the state reached a settlement with the
voter advocate groups and acknowledged most of the initial list was made up of eligible
Despite the errors, in September 2012, 41 days before Election Day, Gov. Scott began another
push to purge voters.101 State officials released a list of 198 people they believed ineligible that
85 Gary Fineout, Gov. Scott Started Push to Remove Voters from Rolls, Associated Press, May 22, 2012.
89 Marc Caputo, Patricia Mazzei and Steve Bousquet, Fla. Gov. Rick Scott’s Voter Purge Efforts Start Anew, Tampa
Bay Times, September 26, 2012; Caputo, Miami Herald, June 12, 2012.
90 Caputo, Mazzei and Bousquet, Tampa Bay Times, Sept. 26, 2012.
92 Marc Caputo and Patricia Mazzei, Hispanics, Democrats Biggest Groups on Florida’s List of Potential Noncitizen
Voters, Analysis Shows, Tampa Bay Times, May 12, 2012.
95 Caputo, Mazzei and Bousquet, Tampa Bay Times, Sept. 26, 2012; Dara Kam, Florida Voter Purge Gets Pushback
from Elections Supervisors, U.S. Justice, Palm Beach Post, June 1, 2012.
97 Kam, Palm Beach Post, June 1, 2012.
98 Caputo, Mazzei and Bousquet, Tampa Bay Times, Sept. 26, 2012.
had been compiled from the federal data.102 Gov. Scott said “We are doing absolutely the right
thing. We believe in honest, fair elections.”103 Voter advocates again questioned the governor’s
intentions, noting Florida’s status as a hotly-contested swing state and historically thin victory
margins in presidential elections.104 In October 2012, a judge ruled the state’s purge could
continue, and 39 voters were ultimately removed from Florida rolls.105
In 2011, Gov. Scott signed a bill reducing early voting days in Florida from 14 days to eight.106
The law designated only two Saturdays and one Sunday for early voting and eliminated early
voting on the Sunday prior to Election Day, which was a popular time for minorities to vote in
2008.107 Despite reports of extremely long early voting lines, Gov. Scott refused to expand early
voting before the election.108 The new law was widely seen as a significant reason for the
extraordinarily long waits many Florida voters suffered on Election Day.109 Some voters in
urban areas waited more than eight hours, and some polling places were forced to stay open late
into the night.110 In the wake of the disastrous 2012 election, the legislature passed a bill
restoring early voting hours and reversing other changes.111 Gov. Scott signed the bill in May
102 Caputo, Mazzei and Bousquet, Tampa Bay Times, Sept. 26, 2012.
105 Patricia Mazzei, Judge: Florida Voter Purge Can Go On, Miami Herald, October 4, 2012; Scott Maxwell, Voting
Fraud? Politicians are the Real Frauds, Orlando Sentinel, October 31, 2012.
106 Matt Dixon, Gov. Rick Scott Signs Election Bill that Cuts Early-Voting Days, Florida Times-Union, May 19,
2011; Rachel Weiner, Florida Early Voting Cuts Survive, Washington Post, September 24, 2012; Elections, HB
1355, Florida Legislature, May 19, 2011, available at http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2011/1355
108 Joey Francilus, 3.4 Million Early Ballots Cast in Florida Already; Rick Scott Declines Extra Hours, Huffington
Post, November 2, 2012; Mary Ellen Klas, Scott Signs Election Flaws Fix Earlier Than Expected, Bradenton
Herald, May 22, 2013.
112 Klas, Bradenton Herald, May 22, 2013.
Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) was elected in 2010 and won a recall election in 2012. He is running
for re-election in 2014. His inclusion stems from: (1) using his office to promote donors’
interests; (2) illegally using state troopers to track down his political opponents; (3) an
investigation into illegal activity by his aides; (4) diverting money from a nationwide mortgage
settlement; (5) an investigation into the state economic development corporation he chairs; (6)
dismissing a political appointee for signing the recall petition against him; and (7) advocating for
new voter identification restrictions.
Promoting Donors’ Interests
Shortly after Gov. Walker took office in 2011, he proposed legislation that would supposedly fix
Wisconsin’s $137 million dollar budget gap.1 The bill, however, was designed to strip certain
public-sector employees of their collective bargaining rights and deny them some compensation
and benefits.2 Democrats said the bill was not a sincere effort to reduce the deficit, but rather a
calculated effort to break the unions.3 Within days, the governor’s proposal sparked a sharp
backlash among thousands of Wisconsin’s teachers and other public-sector union members who
flooded into Madison’s Capitol rotunda to protest the measure.4
Opponents raised questions about whether Gov. Walker was attempting to carry out the antiunion
agenda of Koch Industries, the family corporation of anti-union billionaires Charles and
David Koch. Koch Industries had contributed $43,000 to Gov. Walker’s campaign.5 Koch
Industries owns a coal company subsidiary, timber plants, and a network of pipelines in
Wisconsin.6 The Koch Industries Political Action Committee gave $1 million to the Republican
Governors Association, which spent almost $65,000 on independent expenditures backing Gov.
Walker and spent more than $3 million on ads and mailers attacking his opponent.7
In February 2011, at the height of the protests, Gov. Walker received a phone call from
a blogger impersonating David Koch.8 During the call, Gov. Walker said he had considered
planting “troublemakers” among the protesters but ultimately decided against it.9 At that point, a
group of Senate Democrats had left the state to prevent Republicans from having a quorum to
1 Andy Kroll, What’s Happening in Wisconsin Explained, Mother Jones, March 17, 2011.
5 Andy Kroll, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker: Funded by the Koch Bros., Mother Jones, February 18, 2011; Rick
Ungar, Koch Brothers Behind Wisconsin Effort to Kill Public Unions, Forbes, February 18, 2011; Follow the
Money, Contributions Lookup, Friends of Scott Walker, 2009–2010.
7 Kroll, Mother Jones, Feb. 18, 2011.
8 A.G. Sulzberger, Walker Receives Prank Call from Koch Impersonator, New York Times, February 23, 2011;
vote on Gov. Walker’s bill.10 The governor also said he would try to lure the wayward Senate
Democrats back to Madison under false pretenses and then immediately declare a quorum to vote
on the bill.11 At the end of the call, the blogger posing as Mr. Koch said, “once you crush these
bastards, Scott, I’ll fly you out to Cali[fornia] and really show you a good time.”12 Gov. Walker
thanked him for his support.13 The call raised further questions about the relationship between
Gov. Walker and the Kochs.14
PRESSURING PUBLIC OFFICIALS
Illegally Using State Troopers
On February 17, 2011, 14 Senate Democrats fled across the state line to Illinois to avoid granting
Republicans a quorum to vote on Gov. Walker’s bill.15 A day later, Wisconsin Senate Majority
Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R) asked the Wisconsin State Patrol (WSP) to locate Senate Leader
Matt Miller (D) after he and other Democratic senators left the state.16 Gov. Walker agreed to
dispatch the officers.17
Troopers were also dispatched to all of the senators’ homes on the morning of February 24 at the
request of Sen. Fitzgerald.18 He said the decision to send the troopers was made because he had
heard reports that at least some senators had been spending the nights at their homes and driving
to Illinois each morning.19 Senate Majority Leader Fitzgerald said he asked Gov. Walker to send
troopers to the lawmakers’ homes to send a message.20 Video of a state trooper and another
man, Senate Sergeant at Arms Ted Blazel, arriving and knocking on the door of Sen. Miller’s
home is available on the Internet.21 In addition, Sen. Tim Cullen (D) said troopers visited his
home on two different occasions.22 At one point, Sen. Cullen said his wife and three-year-old
granddaughter arrived at his home to find troopers blocking the driveway.23
10 Bill Glauber, Jason Stein, and Patrick Marley, Democrats Flee State to Avoid Vote on Budget Bill, Milwaukee
Journal Sentinel, February 17, 2011.
13 Sulzberger, New York Times, Feb. 23, 2011.
15 Glauber, Stein and Marley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Feb. 17, 2011.
16 Andy Kroll, Watchdog Wants Probe of Gov. Walker’s State Patrol Visit, Mother Jones, February 24, 2011.
17 Mary Spicuzza, Politics Blog: State Troopers Sent to 14 Absent Senators’ Homes, Wisconsin State Journal,
February 24, 2011.
18 Steven Schultze, Troopers Sent to Absent Senators’ Homes, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, February 24, 2011.
20 Id. In March 2011, Sen. Fitzgerald’s office released documents suggesting the senator was aware there was no
legal authority to send the troopers after the missing legislators. Some e-mails suggested doing so would require a
legislative fix, though no such bill was ever passed. See Letter from CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan to
the State of Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, March 22, 2011 available at http://www.scribd.com/doc/
21 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pihlr17nwbM; Wis. GOP Sends State Troopers After Democratic Leader, but
Comes Up Dry, Associated Press, February 18, 2011.
22 Spicuzza, Wisconsin State Journal, Feb. 24, 2011.
The arrest of lawmakers when the legislature is in session is prohibited by Wisconsin’s State
Constitution except in cases of breaches of peace, felonies, or treason.24 The governor may only
call on the WSP in times of civil disturbance.25 In cases of civil disturbance, the governor cannot
call the WSP to intervene in any kind of labor dispute.26 The legislation at the heart of the
controversy specifically dealt with “compensation and fringe benefits of public employees.”27
On March 9, 2011, the bill passed the Senate without any Democrats present.28 Gov. Walker
signed it into law on March 11, 2011.29 On March 12, after three weeks in hiding, the Democrats
returned to Madison.30 In 2012, in the wake of the budget bill controversy, Gov. Walker faced a
prolonged and expensive recall election, which he won.31
For much of Gov. Walker’s term, the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office was engaged
in a sprawling investigation of illegal activity that took place during Gov. Walker’s time as
executive of Milwaukee County and his campaign for governor. The years-long investigation,
known as the John Doe Investigation, ultimately led to the convictions of several former Walker
aides and a prominent donor to Gov. Walker’s gubernatorial campaign committee.32 Much of
the wrongdoing appeared designed to benefit Gov. Walker’s 2010 gubernatorial campaign, and
in November 2010, the day before the gubernatorial election, investigators subpoenaed e-mails
from Gov. Walker’s gubernatorial campaign committee.33
The investigation was ultimately closed in March 2013.34 Gov. Walker was never charged or
accused of wrongdoing, maintained he was unaware of his aides’ illegal activity, and said he was
24 Melissa Bell, Wisconsin Democrats Boycott Vote; State Troopers Sent After Absent Senator, Washington Post,
February 18, 2011; Wisconsin Constitution, Article IV, §15, Wisconsin Constitutional Convention, March 13, 1848;
James Kelleher, Wisconsin Police Sent to Search for Democratic Senators, Reuters, February 24, 2011; Wisconsin
Senate Republicans Send State Trooper After Democratic Leader Mark Miller, Post Crescent (Appleton, WI),
February 18, 2011; Dee J. Hall, Ability to Compel Senators’ Return Murky, Wisconsin State Journal, February 22,
25 Wis. Stat. § 323. 12(2)(c) (2011).
26 Wis. Stat § 323.17 (2011).
27 Senate Bill 11, State of Wisconsin 2011–2012 Legislature, January 2011 Special Session, February 14, 2011,
available at http://docs.legis.wi.gov/2011/related/proposals/jr1_sb11/_32?up=1.
28 Kroll, Mother Jones, Mar. 17, 2011.
31 Lee Ann Goodman, Scott Walker Faces Recall in Wisconsin After Fight with Public Sector Unions, Associated
Press, June 4, 2012; Brian Montopoly, Scott Walker Wind Wisconsin Recall Election, CBS News, June 5, 2012.
32 Dee J. Hall and Mary Spicuzza, Prosecutor Closes John Doe Investigation into Former Scott Walker Aides,
Wisconsin State Journal, March 2, 2013; Andy Kroll, Scott Walker John Doe Investigation Explained, Mother
Jones, February 7, 2012.
33 Patrick Marley and Daniel Bice, State DOJ Officials Wanted to Stay out of John Doe Probe, Milwaukee Journal
Sentinel, December 30, 2011.
34 Hall and Spicuzza, Wisconsin State Journal, Mar. 2, 2013.
not a target of the probe.35 He did create a legal defense fund and paid hundreds of thousands of
dollars in legal fees in connection with the investigation.36
The problems dated back to Gov. Walker’s time as Milwaukee County executive. In 2009, his
staff at the county realized some money raised by his annual Operation Freedom military
appreciation day, a program for veterans, was unaccounted for, and reported the matter to the
Milwaukee County district attorney’s office.37 The money had been overseen by a nonprofit, the
Military Order of the Purple Heart.38 The finance officer, Kevin Kavanaugh, also served on the
Milwaukee County Veteran Service Commission.39 He had been appointed by Gov. Walker,
then the county executive.40 After Gov. Walker’s staff discovered the discrepancies and
requested the investigation, authority over the money was transferred to the Heritage Guard
Preservation Society, an organization run by a top Walker aide, Tim Russell.41 In August 2010,
officials seized Mr. Russell’s work computer.42 His home was raided in December 2010 as part
of the probe.43
In January 2012, Mr. Russell and Mr. Kavanaugh were charged with embezzling more than
$60,000, mostly from Operation Freedom, and using the money to pay for vacations and
wedding expenses.44 In addition, prosecutors said Mr. Russell used some of the money to pay
fees associated with renewing domain names for Walker campaign websites and to travel to
Georgia to meet with former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain about his
campaign.45 Prosecutors said Mr. Russell and Mr. Kavanaugh did not work together, but instead
embezzled money separately and at different times.46
Illegal Campaign Activity
Gov. Walker has said his staff’s complaint over the missing Operation Freedom money is what
triggered the John Doe probe, which then broadened to include other wrongdoing by his aides.47
In May 2010, Darlene Wink, Gov. Walker’s constituent services coordinator while he worked for
35 Id.; Scott Walker Closes Legal Defense Fund, Associated Press, March 29, 2013; Scott Bauer, 3 Arrested as Part
of Probe into Ex-Walker Aides, Associated Press, January 6, 2012.
36 Kroll, Mother Jones, Feb. 7, 2012; Associated Press, Mar. 29, 2013; Wisconsin Campaign Finance System,
Expenditure Lookup, Friends of Scott Walker, 2010–2012; Hall and Spicuzza, Wisconsin State Journal, Mar. 2,
37 Daniel Bice, Steve Schultze, and Jason Stein, Walker Appointees Charged in John Doe Investigation, Milwaukee
Journal Sentinel, January 6, 2012.
39 Id.; Bauer, Associated Press, Jan. 6, 2012.
40 Id.; Bice, Schultze and Stein, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Jan. 6, 2012.
42 Kroll, Mother Jones, Feb. 7, 2012.
43 Id.; http://www.jsonline.com/news/137697508.html#1291701600000-Authorities.
44 Bice, Schultze, and Stein, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Jan. 6, 2012. Mr. Russell’s domestic partner, Brian
Pierick, was charged with two felonies for child enticement due to evidence found during investigators’ search of
Mr. Russell’s home.
the county, resigned in the wake of press reports showing that during working hours, she posted
comments to online articles praising Gov. Walker and criticizing his opponents.48 Ms. Wink also
wrote press releases for the local Republican party and organized a fundraiser for Gov. Walker
while on county time and, at least in part, using a county computer.49 In an e-mail to Mr.
Russell, sent shortly after Ms. Wink’s resignation, Gov. Walker wrote, “I talked to her at home
last night. Feel bad. She feels worse.”50 The e-mail also said, “we cannot afford another story
like this one.”51
In August 2010, law enforcement officials searched Ms. Wink’s home as part of the
investigation.52 In February 2012, Ms. Wink pled guilty to two campaign finance-related
misdemeanors.53 Kelly Rindfleisch, Gov. Walker’s deputy chief of staff while at the county, was
also charged with four felonies for fundraising on county time.54 She apparently worked
illegally on behalf of a 2010 lieutenant governor campaign, but also traded thousands of e-mails
with Walker campaign staffers during work hours.55 In October 2012, Ms. Rindfleisch pled
guilty to one felony count of misconduct in public office.56 She served six months in jail, but in
June 2013, she appealed, asking for her guilty plea and conviction to be thrown out because, she
argued, the state’s search of her computer was overly broad, and the state shouldn’t have been
allowed to use the results of it to prosecute her.57
The investigation also ensnared William Gardner, chief executive officer of Wisconsin and
Southern Railroad Co., for making excessive contributions to Gov. Walker’s gubernatorial
campaign and offering to reimburse employees for campaign contributions to Gov. Walker.58 In
May 2011, Mr. Gardner pled guilty to violating campaign finance laws and was subsequently
sentenced to two years of probation.59 As a result of the probe, the railroad company also paid a
civil forfeiture of $166,900 to the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board.60 Gov.
Walker’s campaign returned $43,800 in campaign contributions.61
48 Kroll, Mother Jones, Feb. 7, 2012.
52 Kroll, Mother Jones, Feb. 7, 2012.
53 Steve Schultze, Former Walker Aide Pleads Guilty, Will Cooperate with DA, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel,
February 7, 2012.
55 Hall and Spicuzza, Wisconsin State Journal, Mar. 2, 2013.
56 Steve Schultze, Former Walker Aide Rindfleisch Enters Guilty Plea to Misconduct, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel,
October 11, 2012.
57 Marie Rohde, Former Walker Aide Appeals Conviction, WisPolitics.com, June 13, 2013.
58 Daniel Bice and Patrick Marley, Railroad CEO Charged with Campaign Law Violations, Milwaukee Journal
Sentinel, April 11, 2011.
59 Don Behm, Rail Executive Gets Probation in Campaign Finance Case, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, July 7, 2011.
61 Patrick Marley and Jason Stein, Walker Donor Broke Political Contribution Rules, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel,
May 19, 2010.
In 2012, Wisconsin received $140 million as part of a national settlement with banks accused of
widespread mortgage fraud.62 A portion of each state’s settlement was allocated to state
governments, and was to be used to either repay public funds lost as a result of servicer
misconduct or to “fund housing counselors, legal aid, and other similar purposes determined by
state attorneys general.”63 Wisconsin’s allotment was $31.6 million.64
Gov. Walker and state Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen instead instructed state officials to use
the bulk of the settlement to help close the state’s budget shortfall, saying it was an appropriate
use of the money because the foreclosure crisis had damaged the state economically.65 They put
the remaining money in a fund earmarked to provide relief for local communities, mostly
through loans and investments for small businesses and by demolishing vacant, foreclosed
Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.
In 2011, Gov. Walker and the state legislature created the Wisconsin Economic Development
Corp. (WEDC), a public-private business development group that replaced the state’s Commerce
Department.67 Creating the WEDC was one of Gov. Walker’s top priorities, and he chairs its
board and appointed its director.68
The agency has been troubled. In 2012, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported it had failed to
adequately track millions of dollars in overdue loans, prompting the resignation of senior
managers.69 In May 2013, the Wisconsin Audit Bureau released a report detailing illegal activity
and a lack of oversight within the agency.70 The audit report determined the WEDC did not have
sufficient policies in place to deal with $520 million in grant, loan, and tax-credit programs, and
found it did not obey the law or its own existing policies when handling delinquent loans.71 The
WEDC did not have invoices or other required documents for a number of grants the audit board
reviewed.72 The agency also retroactively gave out $906,000 in tax credits for job creation and
62 Dee J. Hall, Use of Portions of Bank Foreclosure Settlement Questioned, Wisconsin State Journal, January 13,
2013; Jason Stein and Paul Gores, Walker, Van Hollen: Chunk of Mortgage Settlement Going to State Budget,
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, February 9, 2012.
64 Stein and Gores, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Feb. 9, 2012.
67 Scott Bauer, Blistering Audit Faults Wis. Job Creating Agency, Associated Press, May 1, 2013.
68 Wisconsin: Troubles Mount for Walker’s Jobs Agency, Associated Press, May 7, 2013.
69 Jason Stein, Development Agency Changes Players Again, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, June 13, 2013.
70 Bauer, Associated Press, May 1, 2013.
Almost all recipients of WEDC’s grant and loan contracts of at least $100,000 failed to submit
financial statements required by law.74 The WEDC also did not verify performance of grant
recipients — something required by the state — and in some cases gave tax breaks to ineligible
companies.75 In addition, WEDC employees inexplicably spent agency money on alcohol,
iTunes gift cards, and season tickets to University of Wisconsin football games.76
The report enraged both Democrats and Republicans, who called for reforming or reorganizing
the agency.77 Legislators are considering several measures, including withholding money until
the agency addresses the issues found by the audit.78 In June 2013, the state Senate passed a bill
that would set six-year terms for WEDC board members, who currently serve at the pleasure of
the governor and legislative leaders.79 In addition, state auditors would be required to review
WEDC annually, and the public-private agency’s employees would be subject to state ethics
In June 2013, Gov. Walker rescinded the appointment of Joshua Inglett to the University of
Wisconsin System Board of Regents after learning Mr. Inglett had signed a petition to recall the
governor.81 Mr. Inglett, an engineering student at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, had
sought the student representative position for several months before the governor nominated
him.82 Mr. Inglett was subsequently contacted by one of Gov. Walker’s aides, who asked him if
he had signed the petition.83 Mr. Inglett initially could not remember, but said he returned the
call a few moments later to say that he had.84 Within a few hours, he received another call from
a Walker aide, who told him the nomination had been rescinded.85 Gov. Walker declined to
publicly say why he was withdrawing Mr. Inglett’s nomination, but Mr. Inglett said he was told
it was because the governor’s office did not believe he could be confirmed by the state Senate.86
Voter ID Law
In May 2011, Gov. Walker signed a voter ID bill into law.87 The law, which Gov. Walker has
been a strong proponent of since he was a member of the State Assembly more than a decade
74 Bauer, Associated Press, May 1, 2013.
75 Associated Press, May 7, 2013.
76 Bauer, Associated Press, May 1, 2013.
77 Associated Press, May 7, 2013.
78 Jason Stein, Budget Panel Holds Up WEDC Funding, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, May 10, 2013.
79 Wisconsin Senate Approves WEDC Board Term Limits, Associated Press, June 18, 2013.
81 Karen Herzog and Patrick Marley, Scott Walker Pulls Student’s Regents Appointment over Recall Petition,
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, June 14, 2013.
85 Herzog and Marley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, June 14, 2013.
87 James B. Kelleher, Wisconsin Voter ID Law Signed by Scott Walker, Reuters, May 25, 2011.
ago, requires presentation of photo identification in order to vote.88 It also requires voters
casting absentee ballots to mail copies of their photo identification along with their ballots.89
Opponents have challenged the law, arguing it violates both the state and U.S. Constitution, and
court battles have prevented it from going into effect.90 In May 2013, a state appeals court
overturned a lower court’s decision holding that the law violated the state’s constitution.91
Another state appeals court has yet to decide on a separate challenge and two federal lawsuits are
pending, on hold until the state cases are resolved.92
88 Id.; Scott Bauer, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker Signs Voter ID Law, Associated Press, May 26, 2011; AP
Election Guide, Associated Press, 2010, available at http://www.webcitation.org/5waQHlpQj.
89 Bauer, Associated Press, May 26, 2011.
90 Brendan O’Brien, Wisconsin's Voter ID Law Constitutional, Appeals Court Rules, Reuters, May 30, 2013; Patrick
Marley, Wisconsin Appeals Court Rules Voter ID Law Constitutional, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, May 30, 2013;
Patrick Marley, Voter ID Suspended for Recall Elections, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, April 26, 2012; Andrew
Harris, Wisconsin Attorney General Seeks to Restore Voter-ID Law, Bloomberg, April 12, 2012.
Gov. Steven Beshear (D-KY) was elected in 2007 and re-elected in 2011. Under the state’s term
limits law, he cannot run for re-election in 2015. His inclusion stems from the politicized firing
of the head of the state’s mine permitting division and from allowing representatives of the coal
industry to exert improper influence over official appointments.
PRESSURING PUBLIC OFFICIALS
Wrongful Firing of Coal Industry Regulator
On November 13, 2009, Ron Mills, Kentucky’s director of the division of mine permits, was
fired.1 Soon after, Mr. Mills suggested that his dismissal was a result of his efforts to block mine
permits sought by Alliance Resource Partners and issued under a controversial policy, the socalled
“33 1/3 rule.”2 The rule had allowed mining companies to begin mining underground
before obtaining the legal right to enter all of the land included in their plans. Critics said the
policy was illegal because it conflicted with state and federal laws, and after Mr. Mills’
appointment by Gov. Beshear in 2008, he rescinded the rule and refused to issue permits under
Mr. Mills’ decision was overturned by the deputy secretary of the energy and environment
cabinet, Hank List, who ordered all permit applications including the 33 1/3 provision to be
approved over Mr. Mills’ objections.4 This included five permits for Alliance Resource
A month after his firing, Mr. Mills filed an appeal with the state’s personnel board, arguing that
he was fired due to his age and “his refusal to issue permits based upon an illegal policy.”6 Soon
after, Mr. Mills filed a lawsuit under the state Whistleblower Act seeking lost wages,
compensatory damages, and punitive damages.7 In his lawsuit, Mr. Mills argued that his efforts
to inform his superiors that permits issued under the 33 1/3 rule violated state law and state
administrative regulation were “the substantial contributing factor/cause” of his dismissal.8
Mr. Mills told reporters his direct supervisor, Carl Campbell, had informed him that Alliance
Resource Partners, together with Gov. Beshear’s office, had sought his removal over his
opposition to the rule.9 Mr. Mills also said the personnel official who informed him of his firing
told him that Gov. Beshear “was involved.”10
1 Tom Loftus, Ky. Mine Permit Director Dismissed, Courier-Journal, November 14, 2009.
2 Tom Loftus, Fired Official Says Mine Rule Illegal; Mills Says He Refused to Sign 6 Permits, Courier-Journal,
November 18, 2009.
3 John Cheves, Mine Permitting Official Overruled to ‘Accommodate The Coal Interests’, Lexington Herald-
Leader, December 3, 2009.
6 Tom Loftus, Mills Appeals Firing to State; Political and Age, Courier-Journal, December 15, 2009.
7 Tom Loftus, Former Mine Permits Chief Files ‘Whistleblower’ Suit, Courier-Journal, February 2, 2010.
8 Loftus, Courier-Journal, Feb. 2, 2010.
9 Cheves, Lexington Herald-Leader, Dec. 3, 2009.
10 Loftus, Courier-Journal, Nov. 18, 2009.
State Energy and Environment Secretary Len Peters denied firing Mr. Mills at the behest of the
coal industry or Gov. Beshear.11 Instead, Mr. Peters said he decided on his own to fire Mr. Mills
because he was not meeting performance expectations.12 Mr. Mills’ personnel file, however, did
not include any documentation of performance issues.13 In a deposition, Mr. Campbell said he
was “shocked” by Mr. Mills’ firing, agreed the 33 1/3 rule was illegal, and had never heard Mr.
Peters complain about Mr. Mills’ job performance.14 Mr. Campbell said no one ever told him
directly that Alliance Resource Partners wanted Mr. Mills fired, but “industry representatives
voiced the opinion that we were taking too long to do the permit reviews” and “if you don’t
make the decisions that they want to hear, they tend to try to get you moved out of those
positions.”15 Mr. Campbell was fired in 2011, shortly after Gov. Beshear won re-election.16 Mr.
Campbell, who had worked for the state since 1978, said he did not know why he was fired.17
Alliance Resources Partners CEO Joe Craft, meanwhile, told the Courier-Journal his company
had not complained about Mr. Mills.18 Gov. Beshear publicly denied any involvement in Mr.
Mills’ firing and told reporters he did not learn about the dismissal until the day it happened or
the next day.19 In a deposition taken in connection with Mr. Mills’ lawsuit, Gov. Beshear said
coal industry pressure had not led to Mr. Mills’ termination.20
Alliance Resource Partners, however, was clearly kept closely informed of Mr. Mills’ job status.
Mr. Mills said he was informed of his dismissal around 9 a.m. on November 13, 2009.21 At 9:24
a.m., Raymond “Rusty” Ashcraft, Alliance Resource Partners’ manager of environmental affairs
and mine permitting, sent an e-mail to colleagues saying “Ron Mills will be asked to resign this
morning and will be replaced by Allen Luttrell on an acting basis.”22 Mr. Luttrell was Mr. Mills’
deputy in the division of mine permits.23 Mr. Ashcraft had received a call on his cell phone from
Mr. Luttrell 14 minutes before sending that e-mail, according to state phone records obtained by
Mr. Ashcraft, who was not registered to lobby the executive branch in Kentucky at the time of
Mr. Mills’ firing, nonetheless often communicated with Beshear administration officials about
coal-related issues.25 In the deposition he gave as part of Mr. Mills’ lawsuit, Mr. Ashcraft said
11 Cheves, Lexington Herald-Leader, Dec. 3, 2009.
12 Tom Loftus, Energy Chief: I Fired Mills on My Own, Courier-Journal, December 3, 2009; John Cheves, No
Complaints in Mine Permits Director’s File, Lexington Herald-Leader, December 16, 2009.
13 Id.; Loftus, Courier-Journal, Dec. 3, 2009.
14 Tom Loftus, Official ‘Shocked’ by Firing of Mills; Removal of State Mine Permits Director, Courier-Journal,
July 31, 2010.
16 Tom Loftus, Firing Shocks State Official, Courier-Journal, December 1, 2011.
18 Tom Loftus, Coal Company Source of Big Political Gifts, Courier-Journal, November 19, 2009.
19 Jack Brammer, Gov. Sees Nothing Amiss in Dismissal, Lexington Herald-Leader, December 7, 2009.
20 John Cheves, Trial Delayed Again in Case That Probe’s Coal’s Influence on Beshear, Lexington Herald-Leader,
September 18, 2012.
21 Tom Loftus, Coal Lobbyist was Called After Mills’ Firing, Courier-Journal, December 19, 2009.
22 John Cheves, E-Mail Raises Questions in Firing, Lexington Herald-Leader, December 7, 2009.
23 Cheves, Lexington Herald-Leader, Dec. 7, 2009.
24 Loftus, Courier-Journal, Dec. 19, 2009.
25 John Cheves, Coal Executive Not Registered as Lobbyist, Lexington Herald-Leader, December 9, 2009.
he had been informed the morning of the firing “by an individual in the governor's office.”26
Though he said he could not recall exactly who told him, Mr. Ashcraft said “it was either Geoff
Dunn or Jeff Belcher.”27 Mr. Dunn was the executive director of boards and commissions in the
governor’s office and Mr. Belcher was one of Gov. Beshear’s staff assistants.28 In their own
depositions, Mr. Belcher denied calling Mr. Ashcraft about the firing and Mr. Dunn was unable
to remember whether he had done so.29 Mr. Mills has said Mr. Belcher regularly called the
division of mine permits to ask about permit applications on behalf of coal companies.30 Mr.
Ashcraft also said in his deposition that he had lobbied the administration of Gov. Beshear’s
predecessor to enact the controversial 33 1/3 rule, and after Mr. Mills rescinded the rule, he
lobbied the Beshear administration to reinstate it.31 Additionally, as part of Alliance Resource
Partners’ efforts around the 33 1/3 rule, the coal company hired Gov. Beshear’s former law firm,
Stites & Harbison of Lexington, to work on a legal defense of it.32
In court, the Beshear administration’s lawyers argued Mr. Mills had been fired based on poor job
performance.33 In his own deposition, Mr. Peters denied that the coal industry had influenced
him and criticized Mr. Mills’ management skills, citing a backlog of pending mine permits.34
Mr. Campbell, however, said Mr. Mills was a good manager and the backlog of permits predated
him.35 James Dickinson, a policy advisor and attorney at the state Natural Resources
Department, said in his deposition that the consensus in the department was that the 33 1/3
policy was central to Mr. Mills’ termination.36 Mr. Dickinson also said Mr. Ashcraft had
“openly and publicly to several people” said he was “extremely unhappy” with Mr. Mills’
decision to rescind the policy.37
The Beshear administration sought to have Mr. Mills’ lawsuit dismissed, unsuccessfully
challenging it in motions that went as high as the Kentucky Court of Appeals.38 In November
2012, the state settled the lawsuit for $270,000.39 The agreement, which included a
confidentiality provision, explicitly said the state did not admit “any liability, violation or
26 John Cheves, Beshear Aide Allegedly Gave Coal Industry Early Word of Regulator’s Firing, Lexington Herald-
Leader, July 30, 2011.
28 Cheves, Lexington Herald-Leader, Dec. 9, 2009; Cheves, Lexington Herald-Leader, Dec. 3, 2009.
29 Cheves, Lexington Herald-Leader, July 30, 2011.
30 Cheves, Lexington Herald-Leader, Dec. 3, 2009.
31 Cheves, Lexington Herald-Leader, July 30, 2011.
33 Cheves, Lexington Herald-Leader, Sept. 18, 2012.
37 Cheves, Lexington Herald-Leader, Sept. 18, 2012.
39 Tom Loftus, Kentucky to Pay Fired Mine Permits Director $270,000 Settlement, Courier-Journal, November 21,
40 Loftus, Courier-Journal, Nov. 21, 2012.
Coal Industry Influenced Beshear Appointments
Documents filed as part of the Mills lawsuit hints at the extent of Alliance Resource Partners’
influence on the Beshear administration’s decisions. The court file included an e-mail from Mr.
Ashcraft to Gov. Beshear’s then-chief of staff, Adam Edelman, about potential appointments to a
federal panel on mountaintop removal mining.41 In his e-mail, Mr. Ashcraft provided the names
of three men that Alliance Resource Partners wanted Gov. Beshear to nominate for the panel.42
“Thanks. Will follow up in short order,” replied Mr. Edelman.43 According to Mr. Ashcraft,
Gov. Beshear eventually nominated two of the three men he suggested.44 Mr. Ashcraft was
asked about his interest in the nominations during his deposition. “Is Alliance Coal engaged in
mountaintop mining?” asked Mr. Mills’ attorney, Bernard Pafunda.45 “No, sir,” replied Mr.
Ashcraft.46 “So why stick your nose into mountaintop mining? Mr. Pafunda asked.47 “Good
question,” Mr. Ashcraft responded.48 “These names were suggested by other members of
industry and sent to me.”49
The Beshear administration has appointed other officials with ties to Alliance Resource Partners.
Roughly a month before Mr. Mills was fired, Gov. Beshear reappointed Mr. Ashcraft to the
Kentucky Geological Survey Advisory Board.50 Gov. Beshear appointed Alliance Resource
Partners CEO Craft to his Kentucky Climate Action Plan Council, tasked with helping Kentucky
work toward “energy independence” while lowering its carbon footprint.51 In March 2012, Jerry
F. "Freddie" Lewis, Sr., a former safety director at Alliance Resource Partners, was named the
new executive director of the Office of Mine Safety and Licensing.52
41 Cheves, Lexington Herald-Leader, July 30, 2011.
45 Cheves, Lexington Herald-Leader, July 30, 2011.
49 Cheves, Lexington Herald-Leader, July 30, 2011.
51 Linda B. Blackford, Billionaire Joe Craft at Nexus of Kentucky Basketball, Coal and Politics, Lexington Herald-
Leader, November 4, 2012.
Gov. Jan Brewer (R-AZ) assumed the governorship in 2009, after then-Gov. Janet Napolitano
(D-AZ) resigned. She was elected to a full term in 2010. Under the state constitution, she
cannot run for re-election in 2014 because governors are permitted to serve a maximum of two
consecutive terms.1 Gov. Brewer’s inclusion stems from: (1) improper intervention in the state’s
redistricting process; (2) awarding of unnecessary bonuses; (3) spending excessively on travel;
and (4) advocating for new voter identification restrictions.
PRESSURING PUBLIC OFFICIALS
Improper Intervention in Redistricting Process
After Arizona’s bipartisan redistricting commission drafted new maps that would have made
Democratic candidates competitive in a majority of the state’s congressional districts, Gov.
Brewer successfully urged the state Senate to impeach the commission’s chairwoman, Colleen
Mathis, a political independent, based on allegations that the commission had failed to meet
constitutional criteria.2 Gov. Brewer said the commission had produced a “flawed product” and
improperly prioritized constitutional requirements in an effort to make districts more
competitive.3 In addition, Gov. Brewer reportedly wanted to remove the two Democrats on the
commission but wasn’t able to muster enough state Senate votes to do so.4 The Arizona
Supreme Court eventually reinstated Ms. Mathis, finding she had not committed the “substantial
neglect of duty” or “gross misconduct” the state constitution requires to justify her removal.5
In June 2010, by executive order, Gov. Brewer moved to eliminate the state commerce
department and replace it with a public-private entity called the Arizona Commerce Authority
(ACA).6 In November 2010, she announced that Don Cardon, the director of the old commerce
department, would head the new authority.7 On August 30, 2011, the ACA board, which is
appointed and headed by Gov. Brewer, awarded Mr. Cardon a three-year contract.8 The contract
1 Arizona state law treats a partial term as a full term. Nevertheless, Gov. Brewer has mentioned the possibility of
running for a third term and her former general counsel has publicly suggested she could seek a court ruling that
would allow her to run. See Sean Peick, Despite Law, Some Say 3rd Term for Brewer is Possible, Cronkite News
Service, December 12, 2012.
2 Alex Isenstadt, Colleen Mathis Impeached by Jan Brewer, Arizona Senate, Politico, November 1, 2011.
4 Red and Blue: Redistricting Battle Heats Up, Arizona Public Media, November 3, 2011.
5 Court Reinstates Ousted Head of Arizona Redistricting Panel, Los Angeles Times, November 17, 2011; Mary Jo
Pitzl, Court Orders Reinstatement of Redistricting Official, Arizona Republic, November 18, 2011.
6 Press Release, Governor Jan Brewer Establishes New Arizona Commerce Authority — Significant Economic
Development Measures on the Horizon, Office of the Governor, State of Arizona, June 29, 2010.
7 Press Release, Governor Jan Brewer Announces Don Cardon Will Stay as President and CEO of Arizona
Commerce Authority, Arizona Commerce Authority, November 30, 2010.
8 Elvina Nawaguna-Clemente, Commerce Authority Head Don Cardon Gets Big Raise in New Economic Role,
Cronkite News Service, September 2, 2011.
called for Mr. Cardon to receive a $117,000 raise over his old commerce department salary,
bringing it to $300,000. In addition, he received a $50,000 signing bonus, a monthly $1,000 car
stipend, six weeks of paid time off a year, and an extra $30,000 allowance paid by private donors
to cover additional expenses.9
A few months later, on January 11, 2012, Mr. Cardon announced he was resigning from the
ACA.10 Gov. Brewer, who chairs the agency, supported the agency’s executive committee’s
decision to give him a discretionary bonus of $60,657.11 The state paid the bonus, though Team
ACA, a nonprofit fundraising organization associated with the ACA and also headed by Mr.
Cardon, said it would reimburse the state for the bonus and half of Mr. Cardon’s salary.12
ACA justified the bonus by saying Mr. Cardon helped create thousands of jobs and millions of
dollars in new investments.13 Those numbers included jobs businesses had promised to create
but that did not yet exist, and capital investments projected but not yet made.14
Excessive Spending on Travel
Gov. Brewer and two members of her staff spent roughly $32,000 on a European trade trip in
May and June of 2012.15 Gov. Brewer and her chief of staff flew business class.16 In addition,
the delegation spent more than $3,500 on meals and Internet access and incurred $4,160 in
cancellation fees after switching hotels.17 Taxpayers paid for more than half of the trip.18 Team
ACA, the nonprofit fundraising group set up to raise money for the ACA’s budget and a state
promotional account funded by private donations paid for the rest.19 The nonprofit’s board
includes representatives from businesses, including Arizona-based Apollo Group, Alliance Bank
of Arizona, and JP Morgan Chase.20 Team ACA has only disclosed some contributors, and
watchdogs have criticized it for failing to disclose information about its donors and contribution
10 Mike Sunnucks, Don Cardon Steps Down as CEO of Arizona Commerce Authority, Phoenix Business Journal,
January 11, 2012.
11 Craig Harris, Former Arizona Commerce Authority CEO Don Cardon’s Bonus Stirs Questions, Arizona Republic,
August 9, 2012.
15 Yvonne Wingette Sanchez, Brewer, Aides Spend $32,000 on Europe Trade Trip, Arizona Republic, September 18,
19 Mike Sunnucks, Info on Private Arizona Fundraising Group, ‘Team ACA,’ Hard to Come By, Phoenix Business
Journal, September 13, 2012; Paul Davenport, Brewer, Aides Spend $32,000 on Europe Trade Trip, Associated
Press, September 18, 2012.
20 Jeremy Duda, The Veiled Power Behind Arizona Commerce, Arizona Capitol Times, October 15, 2012.
21 Jeremy Duda, Arizona’s Team ACA Punts on Disclosure Policy, Arizona Capitol Times, October 19, 2012.
In 2004, voters approved a measure known as Proposition 200, with support from then-Secretary
of State Brewer.22 Among other requirements, Prop 200 required voters to show proof of
citizenship when registering to vote and photo identification at polling stations.23 The law was
challenged in federal court by a coalition of voting rights groups, and in October 2006, the 9th
Circuit Court of Appeals temporarily suspended the law pending further litigation.24 Later that
month, then-Secretary of State Brewer appealed the hold to the U.S. Supreme Court.25 The
Supreme Court vacated the appellate court’s hold and sent the case back to the lower courts
without ruling on the merits.26 In October 2010, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down
the law’s proof of citizenship requirement.27 The state appealed the decision, and in June 2013,
the Supreme Court ruled that the law’s proof of citizenship requirement was unconstitutional.28
22 Michelle Ye Hee Lee, Appeals Court Strikes Down Voter-ID Law, Arizona Republic, October 27, 2010.
24 http://www.ncsl.org/legislatures-elections/elections/voter-id.aspx; Michael Kirkland, Voter ID Fight Finally
Reaches High Court, UPI, October 21, 2012; David G. Savage, Supreme Court Will Decide on Arizona Voter ID
Law, Los Angeles Times, October 15, 2012.
25 Press Release, Sec. of State Brewer Expresses Alarm and Concern Over Court Decision, Arizona Department of
State, October 5, 2006; Press Release, Sec. of State Brewer Gets ID at Polls Reinstated, Arizona Department of
State, October 20, 2006.
26 Kirkland, UPI, Oct. 21, 2012; Linda Greenhouse, Supreme Court Allows Arizona to Use New Voter-ID
Procedure, New York Times, Oct. 21, 2006.
27 Ye Hee Lee, Arizona Republic, Oct. 27, 2010.
28 AZ Voter ID Law Ruled Unconstitutional, Arizona Public Media, June 17, 2013.
Gov. Tom Corbett (R-PA) was elected in 2010. He is eligible for re-election in 2014, but has not
said whether he will run again. His inclusion stems from: (1) accepting gifts from law firms,
lobbyists, and others with business before the state; (2) concealing the awarding of a state
contract to a campaign contributor; (3) an investigation into his handling of the Penn State abuse
scandal while attorney general; and (4) advocating for new voter identification restrictions.
Acceptance of Gifts
Gov. Corbett has accepted thousands of dollars in gifts from executives, lobbyists, law firms, and
others who, in many instances, had business interests before the state. In most cases, the
governor received campaign contributions as well. Public officials are allowed to accept gifts
under Pennsylvania law, but are prohibited from accepting gifts from anyone engaged in
business activity regulated by the state.1
In March 2013, the Pennsylvania Democratic Party filed an ethics complaint with the State
Ethics Commission regarding the gifts.2
Between 2007 and 2010, Gov. Corbett and his wife, Susan Corbett, accepted thousands of dollars
in gifts from Blank Rome, a powerful Philadelphia law firm that represents several companies in
the oil, gas, and coal industries.3 The firm has a number of clients with financial interests tied to
the Marcellus Shale, Pennsylvania’s natural gas reserve, and it is an associate member of the
Marcellus Shale Coalition, an industry lobbying organization.4
Blank Rome gave the Corbetts tickets collectively worth $15,000 to the Philadelphia Academy
of Music Concert and Ball in 2007, 2008, and 2010.5 The couple also received tickets worth
$275 to a Pennsylvania Society dinner.6 The law and lobbying firm also bought tickets to
Philadelphia Phillies games, including a $65 ticket for opening day in 2010.7
1 Marie Cusick, Formal Ethics Complaint Filed over Free Gifts Taken by Corbett, StateImpact/NPR, March 5, 2013.
2 Id. The complaint also cited gifts from lobbyists for the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC). For
example, on New Year’s Day 2011, Robert Kennedy, a lobbyist for UPMC, paid for then-Governor-elect Corbett to
attend the NHL Winter Classic in Pittsburgh and a pre-game brunch, which together were valued at $472. See Will
Bunch, Corbett, Wife Accepted Thousands in Gifts from Biz Execs, Lobbyists, Philadelphia Inquirer, March 6,
3 Marie Cusick, Corbett and His Wife Took over $15,000 in Gifts from Law Firm Representing Oil and Gas
Industry, StateImpact/NPR, March 13, 2013.
7 Cusick, StateImpact/NPR, Mar. 13, 2013.
Blank Rome attorneys and executives contributed nearly $35,000 to Gov. Corbett’s 2010
gubernatorial campaign committee.8 Blank Rome also donated between $15,000 and $25,000 to
the governor’s 2011 Inaugural Ball, which gave the firm “Platinum Sponsor” status.9
After Gov. Corbett took office, he appointed a former Blank Rome partner, Michael Krancer,
then chair of the state’s Environmental Hearing Board, to head the Department of Environmental
Protection (DEP).10 Environmentalists criticized Mr. Krancer for what they saw as pro-industry
stances, and federal environmental regulators said the state needed to do a better job of
monitoring and regulating the impact of drilling wastewater discharge near public water
sources.11 Mr. Krancer stepped down in April 2013 and returned to Blank Rome as head of the
firm’s energy, petrochemical, and natural resources practice.12
John Moran, Jr.
Gov. Corbett and his wife accepted a free trip from John Moran, Jr., a warehousing and
transportation company executive, while Mr. Moran’s company was attempting to secure an
exemption to Pennsylvania permitting rules to operate a fracking waste site without waiting for
required environmental permits. Mr. Moran and Gov. Corbett have described themselves as
personal friends.13 Mr. Moran and his wife, Ann, contributed more than $93,700 to Gov.
Corbett’s 2010 gubernatorial campaign.14 Mr. Moran has also contributed $20,000 to Gov.
Corbett’s 2014 campaign.15
In 2010, Jeffrey Stroehmann, vice president of Moran Industries, wrote to Pennsylvania’s
outgoing Department of Environmental Protection commissioner, John Hanger, asserting that the
waste from natural gas fracking was becoming a problem.16 Because of that, Mr. Stroehmann
wanted a Moran-owned industrial site in Sunbury, Penn., to be permitted to operate without a
state permit.17 Moran thought that would be possible because the company had a contract with
an interstate railroad that opened the door to an exemption from Pennsylvania permitting laws.18
Mr. Stroehmann said the company could not wait the six to nine months it would likely take to
receive a permit through the normal process.19 Mr. Hanger, part of the outgoing administration
8 Follow the Money, Contributions Lookup, Tom Corbett for Governor, 2009–2010.
9 Cusick, StateImpact/NPR, Mar. 13, 2013.
10 Id.; Mark Shade, DEP Secretary Krancer Hit on Marcellus Shale, Smallmouth Bass, Phillyburbs.com, February
22, 2013; Don Hopey, Pennsylvania Environmental Secretary to Step Down; Krancer Praised, Criticized for
Actions, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, March 23, 2013.
12 Marie Cusick, Controversial Head of DEP Leaving Agency to Work on Behalf of Energy Industry,
StateImpact/NPR, March 22, 2013; Susan Phillips, Revolving Door Keeps Spinning for Former DEP Chief Michael
Krancer, StateImpact/NPR, May 2, 2013; http://www.blankrome.com/index.cfm?contentID=10&bioID=471.
13 Will Bunch, Money, Politics and Pollution in Fracking Country, Philadelphia Inquirer, January 16, 2013.
14 Follow the Money, Contributions Lookup, Tom Corbett for Governor, 2009-2010.
15 Follow the Money, Contributions Lookup, Tom Corbett for Governor, 2011.
16 Bunch, Philadelphia Inquirer, Jan. 16, 2013.
of former Gov. Ed Rendell (D-PA), said the company would have to either go through the
normal permit process or submit more information in support of its request for an exemption.20
Nonetheless, on January 18, 2011 — one day before Gov. Corbett’s inauguration — trucks
entered the site, filled with drilling debris.21 The site’s neighbors said they repeatedly called
DEP to complain about spills, strange odors, and the need for more information about the type of
waste flowing through the site.22 DEP inspectors visited repeatedly, but, puzzlingly, said they
found no violations, even though the site was apparently operating without the appropriate
In July 2011, even as Sunbury residents were questioning the use of the Moran Industries site in
their town, Gov. Corbett and Ms. Corbett traveled with Mr. Moran to Rhode Island for a
yachting vacation over a long weekend.24 Gov. Corbett originally failed to disclose the trip on
his 2011 statement of financial interests, but later amended the statement to report $1,422 worth
of gifts from Mr. Moran — the value of air travel and hotel accommodations for the governor
and first lady.25 Gov. Corbett said the trip was omitted from his original statement because of a
clerical error.26 Mr. Moran also paid $901 to fly the governor on his private plane and helicopter
to events in Pittsburgh and Williamsport in September 2011.27 Watchdogs criticized the trips as
DEP officially granted approval for operations at the Sunbury site in March 2012.29 The DEP’s
approval allowed the site to operate without a permit and was based on an agreement between
Moran Industries and Norfolk Southern railroad, even though that particular agreement had been
signed in April 2011, roughly three months after Moran began operating at the Sunbury site.30
Shortly after the Rhode Island trip, Gov. Corbett appointed Mr. Moran to the Advisory Council
on Privatization and Innovation, a 24-member panel he created to examine opportunities to
privatize state services.31 He appointed Ann Moran, Mr. Moran’s wife, to an unpaid position
with the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.32 In 2012, Gov. Corbett named Mr.
Moran a co-chair of the Team Pennsylvania Foundation, a nonprofit that focuses on economic
development, and the Team Pennsylvania website has featured Moran Industries.33 Gov. Corbett
20 Bunch, Philadelphia Inquirer, Jan. 16, 2013.
22 Bunch, Philadelphia Inquirer, Jan. 16, 2013.
24 Marie Cusick, Ethics Filing Shows Corbett Took Free Vacation from Businessman with Ties to Gas Industry,
StateImpact/NPR, December 20, 2012.
25 Id.; Bunch, Philadelphia Inquirer, Mar. 6, 2013.
26 Amy Worden, Corbett Defends Donor Paid Vacation, Philadelphia Inquirer, December 20, 2012.
27 Cusick, StateImpact/NPR, Dec. 20, 2012.
31 Cusick, StateImpact/NPR, Dec. 20, 2012; Tracie Mauriello, Corbett Sets Privatization Panel, Pittsburgh Post-
Gazette, September 30, 2011.
32 Cusick, StateImpact/NPR, Dec. 20, 2012.
is the other co-chair of Team Pennsylvania.34 Mr. Moran accompanied the governor on a trade
mission to France and Germany in 2012 to promote the Marcellus Shale.35 In 2013, Mr. Moran
announced he would accompany Gov. Corbett on a trade mission trip to Brazil and Chile.36
Empire Education Group
In December 2011, Empire Education Group CEO Frank Schoeneman flew Gov. Corbett to an
event in Pittsburgh on his private jet, a trip valued at $1,407.37 Mr. Schoeneman also contributed
nearly $36,000 to Gov. Corbett’s 2010 gubernatorial campaign.38 In 2012, Gov. Corbett signed a
bill easing requirements for state cosmetology licenses, seen as a boon to Empire Education
For Gov. Corbett’s inauguration, Marty Lane, an insurance company executive, donated $1,800
to partially pay for the first lady’s gown and coat.40 The gown’s designers also donated clothing
totaling $9,776 for the first lady for the inauguration and her birthday.41
Failed to Disclose Contract with Outside Law Firm
Philadelphia law and lobbying firm Drinker Biddle & Reath and its employees donated $21,000
to Gov. Corbett’s campaigns between 2002 and 2010, including $8,000 to his 2010 gubernatorial
campaign.42 The firm has also donated more than $5,500 in legal services to the governor’s
campaigns over the years, and played an especially high-profile role during his 2004 campaign
for attorney general.43
In September 2012, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported Drinker Biddle & Reath had received a
$75,000 contract to represent the governor’s office in Pennsylvania’s controversial voter ID
case.44 According to the Inquirer, on August 27, Gov. Corbett’s office denied having any deal in
place with an outside firm.45 Gov. Corbett’s office refused to answer questions regarding the
issue for two weeks before finally acknowledging the deal and the amount that would be paid.46
36 Jan Murphy and John Beauge, Gov. Tom Corbett Will be Joined by Businessman John Moran on Trade Mission,
Patriot-News, April 3, 2013; Jan Murphy, Gov. Tom Corbett Releases Names of Traveling Companions
Participating in South American Trade Mission, Penn Live, April 3, 2013.
37 Bunch, Philadelphia Inquirer, Mar. 6, 2013.
38 Follow the Money, Contributions Lookup, Tom Corbett for Governor, 2009-2010.
39 Bunch, Philadelphia Inquirer, Mar. 6, 2013.
41 Cusick, StateImpact/NPR, Mar. 5, 2013; Bunch, Philadelphia Inquirer, Mar. 6, 2013.
42 Follow the Money, Contributions Lookup, Tom Corbett for Governor, 2009–2010; Bob Warner, Corbett
Transparency May Have Its Limits, Philadelphia Inquirer, September 16, 2012.
46 Warner, Philadelphia Inquirer, Sept. 16, 2012.
The governor’s office eventually said the deal had not been finalized until three hours after the
newspaper’s August 27 inquiry.47
According to court documents, on September 7, 2012, the firm filed a 46-page brief on behalf of
the state, the governor, and the secretary of state, defending Pennsylvania’s voter identification
Investigation of the Penn State Scandal
In February 2013, state Attorney General Kathleen Kane (D) appointed a special prosecutor, H.
Geoffrey Moulton, Jr., to investigate Gov. Corbett’s handling of the Penn State abuse scandal
while attorney general.49 Ms. Kane has suggested Gov. Corbett did not aggressively pursue
charges and delayed prosecuting the case while running for governor in 2010, accusations Gov.
Corbett denies.50 Gov. Corbett’s office first received complaints about then-assistant football
coach Jerry Sandusky in 2009.51
The governor’s critics pointed out current and previous board members of Mr. Sandusky’s
Second Mile Foundation and their businesses and family members had donated heavily to his
campaigns dating back to 2004. Individuals and businesses associated with Second Mile
contributed more than $640,000 to Gov. Corbett’s campaigns for attorney general and governor,
including more than $200,000 to his 2010 gubernatorial campaign.52
In 2011, Gov. Corbett approved a $3 million dollar grant for the Second Mile Foundation, even
though at that point Mr. Sandusky’s indictment appeared imminent.53 Gov. Corbett was aware
of the abuse investigation when he approved the grant, which was later put on hold.54 In 2012,
Mr. Sandusky was convicted of 45 counts of child sexual abuse and sentenced to 30 to 60 years
In the wake of the case, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) announced it
would penalize Penn State for its handling of the matter. Gov. Corbett sued the NCAA, arguing
that the penalties were too severe and the NCAA was in violation of antitrust laws.56 The lawsuit
was dismissed in June 2013, after a federal judge said it did not meet the proper requirements for
an antitrust case.57
49 Trip Gabriel, Investigation to Focus on Governor’s Handling of Penn State Abuse Case, New York Times, January
31, 2013; Pa. AG Picks Ex-Prosecutor to Lead Sandusky Probe, Associated Press, February 4, 2013.
50 Gabriel, New York Times, Jan. 31, 2013.
52 Luke O’Brien, Past And Present Board Members of Sandusky’s Charity and Their Businesses or Families Gave
$641,481.21 to Gov. Tom Corbett, Deadspin.com, November 16, 2011.
53 Jon Schmitz, Corbett Approved Grant for Sandusky Charity, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, November 16, 2011.
55 Associated Press, Feb. 4, 2013.
56 Gabriel, New York Times, Jan. 31, 2013; Tackled on the Play: Corbett’s NCAA Lawsuit is Found to Have No
Merit, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, June 9, 2013.
57 Adam Rittenberg, Judge Dismisses Corbett’s NCAA Lawsuit, ESPN, June 6, 2013.
Gov. Corbett pushed a controversial voter identification law which would have disenfranchised
thousands of Pennsylvania voters, but the law was struck down just prior to Election Day in
2012. The law, signed by Gov. Corbett in March 2012, required Pennsylvania voters to present a
valid, state-approved photo ID before voting.58 Acceptable forms of identification include
driver’s licenses, military IDs, passports, government-issued employee IDs, photo IDs from state
care facilities, and some college IDs.59 One Republican lawmaker said the law would “allow
Gov. [Mitt] Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania,” prompting opponents to argue it had been
passed for partisan reasons.60 According to state data obtained by the Philadelphia City Paper,
43 percent of voters in Philadelphia, the state’s largest urban Democratic center, would not
qualify to vote under the law.61
In a press release issued after signing the bill, Gov. Corbett’s office claimed 99 percent of the
state’s population “already have acceptable photo IDs,” a figure not consistent with official
government data.62 The governor also said voters could easily obtain proper identification
because the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (Penn DOT) would provide it free of
charge.63 Penn DOT’s motor vehicle license centers are not located in every county, however,
nor are they easily accessible by public transportation.64 Gov. Corbett also repeatedly claimed
the law was necessary to combat voter fraud even though state officials admitted there was no
evidence of in-person voter fraud.65
In July 2012, the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice began a formal
investigation into whether the law discriminates against minorities.66 Investigators also sought
information on the state’s efforts to educate Pennsylvanians about the law, as well as documents
and records supporting Gov. Corbett’s claim that 99 percent of the state’s population already had
58 Amy Bingham, Pennsylvania Court Upholds Voter ID Law, ABC News, August 15, 2012.
59 Id.; Ryan J. Reilly, Pennsylvania Governor Can’t Recall Requirements of Voter ID Law He Signed, Talking
Points Memo, July 26, 2012.
61 Ryan J. Reilly, New GOP-Backed Voter ID Law Could Keep 43 Percent of Philly Voters from Polls, Talking
Points Memo, July 25, 2012; Daniel Denvir, A Whopping 43 Percent of Philly Voters May Not Have Voter ID,
According to New Data, Philadelphia City Paper, July 25, 2012; https://docs.google.com
62 Ryan J. Reilly, DOJ Investigates Pennsylvania Voter ID Law, Talking Points Memo, July 23, 2012; Press Release,
Office of the Governor of Pennsylvania, Governor Corbett Signs Voter ID Bill to Require Photo Identification,
March 14, 2012.
63 Governor Corbett Defends Voter ID Law, CBS Pittsburgh (KDKA), September 26, 2012.
65 Id.; Ryan J. Reilly, Ahead of Voter ID Trial, Pennsylvania Admits There’s No In-Person Voter Fraud, Talking
Points Memo, July 24, 2012; Judge Blocks Pennsylvania Voter ID Law for November Election, CNN, October 2,
66 Reilly, Talking Points Memo, July 23, 2012.
In October 2012, a Pennsylvania judge blocked state officials from enforcing the voter ID law
during the 2012 elections.68 Pennsylvania Commonwealth Judge Robert Simpson cited the
likely disenfranchisement of eligible voters as the reason for granting a preliminary injunction
against enforcement of the law.69
68 CNN, Oct. 2, 2012.
Gov. Nikki Haley (R-SC) was elected in 2010. She is eligible for re-election in 2014, but has not
said whether she will run again. Her inclusion stems from: (1) an investigation into her privatesector
work while a member of the state legislature; (2) pay-to-play appointments; (3) accepting
free trips on the private planes of donors, appointees, and people with business before the state;
(4) flouting of transparency standards; (5) misuse of federal funds; and (6) advocating for new
voter identification restrictions.
Investigation into Private-Sector Work
Since becoming governor, Gov. Haley has faced an ethics investigation and lawsuit regarding
her employment while a member of the state legislature. At issue are Gov. Haley’s actions while
working as a consultant for an engineering firm and a fundraiser for the Lexington Medical
Center Foundation. John Rainey, a longtime Republican activist and fundraiser, filed a lawsuit
in a South Carolina circuit court over the ethics issues in November 2011, and filed a complaint
with the House Ethics Committee in March 2012.1 Mr. Rainey alleged Gov. Haley illegally
lobbied while in the legislature and exploited her position as state representative on behalf of her
employers.2 Gov. Haley has denied any wrongdoing and has repeatedly said Mr. Rainey’s
complaint was racially and politically motivated.3
In June 2010, while campaigning for governor, Gov. Haley disclosed tax records showing that,
from 2007 until 2009, while a state representative, she had earned more than $40,000 in
consulting fees from Wilbur Smith Associates, an engineering firm with interests before the
legislature and a history of receiving state contracts.4 A representative for Wilbur Smith said
Gov. Haley had been hired because she was “a connected person who had access to a lot of folks
and information.”5 State law does not require state representatives to disclose information about
their outside employment, and Gov. Haley had not previously disclosed the Wilbur Smith job.6
The law does bar legislators with an economic interest in a business from advocating for
legislation that would benefit that company specifically.7 In 2007, Gov. Haley cited an
unspecified conflict of interest and recused herself from voting on legislation that involved
Wilbur Smith.8 She later decided against abstaining from a 2008 vote on the same matter.9
1 Seanna Adcox, Lawsuit Asks If Haley Broke the Law, Associated Press, November 17, 2011; Seanna Adcox,
South Carolina House Ethics Panel Clears Nikki Haley, Associated Press, June 29, 2012.
2 Meg Kinnard, SC High Court Taking Up Haley Ethics Appeal, Associated Press, March 19, 2013; Gina Smith,
Haley Cleared of Illegal Lobbying, The State, May 3, 2012.
3 Andrew Shain, Haley: ‘I’ve Done Nothing Wrong’, The State, June 29, 2012; Gina Smith, Haley Ethics Probe
Shines Light on Dark Side of S.C. Politics, The State, June 17, 2012.
4 Peter Hamby, Haley Earned $42,500 for Consulting Work While in Legislature, CNN Political Ticker, June 21,
7 Smith, The State, June 17, 2012.
8 Meg Kinnard, John Rainey Lawsuit Against Gov. Nikki Haley Dismissed, Associated Press, March 21, 2012;
Smith, The State, May 3, 2012.
Throughout the ethics inquiry, Gov. Haley has said her consulting role was limited to finding the
firm private-sector work and that she did not lobby for Wilbur Smith or assist the firm with
procuring state contracts.10 However, both Gov. Haley and the firm’s vice president
acknowledged the governor did not secure any new projects for the firm over the course of her
two years of employment.11
Mr. Rainey’s ethics complaint also alleged that while working for Lexington Medical Center
from August 2008 through April 2010, Gov. Haley illegally lobbied on behalf of the hospital’s
plan for a heart surgery center and solicited donations from lobbyists and companies with
business before the legislature.12 The hospital’s chief executive created the $110,000-a-year
fundraising position expressly for her, without securing the approval of the foundation’s board.13
According to an analysis conducted by the newspaper The State, Gov. Haley earned 63 percent
more than fundraisers at similarly sized charities, with 21 percent of the contributions and grants
the foundation raised going to pay her salary.14
In at least one case, companies she oversaw as a legislator donated to the foundation. Payday
lending companies and their trade associations have long supported Gov. Haley.15 In 2008, her
state House campaign took in at least four donations totaling $4,000.16 At the time, she chaired a
House Labor, Commerce and Industry subcommittee which was responsible for regulating
payday lenders, and that year, a Republican state senator leading an effort to pass tougher
restrictions on payday lenders accused Gov. Haley of killing the reform bill.17 In May 2009,
while Gov. Haley was raising money for the foundation, two payday lending companies
contributed $10,000 to sponsor an event.18 A spokesperson for one of the payday lending
companies said Gov. Haley did not solicit its donation.19 However, neither company had
previously donated.20 In addition, Gov. Haley organized the event the companies sponsored.21
Mr. Rainey first filed his complaint with the South Carolina Fifth Circuit court, but a judge
dismissed it, saying the issues raised in the case more properly belonged before the House Ethics
Committee.22 Mr. Rainey then filed both an appeal of the circuit court’s decision and a
complaint with the House Ethics Committee.23 In May 2012, the six-member House Ethics
Committee found probable cause that a violation had occurred.24 It quickly opened its hearing to
the public, then dismissed the complaint moments later after a 5-1 party-line vote.25 The
10 Shain, The State, June 29, 2012.
12 Smith, The State, May 3, 2012.
13 John O’Connor, How Haley Achieved Financial Health, The State, September 26, 2010.
15 Smith, The State, June 17, 2012.
16 O’Connor, The State, Sept. 26, 2010.
17 Smith, The State, June 17, 2012.
18 O’Connor, The State, Sept. 26, 2010.
22 Kinnard, Associated Press, Mar. 19, 2013; Andrew Shain, SC Supreme Court to Hear Nikki Haley Ethics Case,
The State, January 30, 2013.
24 Smith, The State, May 3, 2012.
committee chose not to call witnesses or review documents, and based its decision to dismiss on
Mr. Rainey’s complaint and Gov. Haley’s written responses.26 Later that month, after
Democratic lawmakers asked for the probe to be reopened, the committee reheard the ethics
complaint.27 This time, the committee held hearings with testimony from witnesses, including
Gov. Haley. As part of her defense, Gov. Haley’s attorney argued that she had “not done
anything that is not already the norm of members of the General Assembly.”28 In June 2012, the
committee cleared the governor of the charges, though members of the committee said the case
showed the state’s ethics laws were too ambiguous and needed reform.29
In March 2013, the South Carolina Supreme Court heard arguments regarding whether Mr.
Rainey’s complaint could be heard in state court.30 In June 2013, the high court unanimously
upheld the circuit court’s decision to dismiss Mr. Rainey’s lawsuit.31
In March 2011, The State reported that 26 of the 59 people Gov. Nikki Haley appointed to state
boards or commissions were donors to her campaign.32 According to the newspaper’s review of
state campaign finance records, those 26 appointees contributed at least $74,703 to Gov. Haley’s
In March 2011, Gov. Haley appointed Thomas Cofield, who had contributed $4,500 to her
gubernatorial campaign, to the University of South Carolina’s board of trustees.34 Mr. Cofield
replaced Darla Moore, who had donated $70 million to the university.35 News of the
appointment sparked student protests and public scrutiny.36 Gov. Haley initially said she
replaced Ms. Moore because she wanted a “fresh set of eyes” on the board, but later said she
replaced Ms. Moore for failing to return her phone calls and delaying a meeting.37 In fact,
correspondence obtained by The State through a public records request showed the governor
decided to replace Ms. Moore with Mr. Cofield even before attempting to meet with her.38
27 Matt Long, Panel Agrees to Rehear Haley Ethics Complaint, South Carolina Radio Network, May 15, 2012.
28 Smith, The State, June 17, 2012.
29 Robbie Brown, Ethics Inquiry Exonerates Governor in Lobbying, New York Times, June 29, 2012; Kinnard,
Associated Press, Mar. 19, 2013.
30 Shain, The State, Jan. 30, 2013.
31 Adam Beam, SC Supreme Court Dismisses Rainey Ethics Complaint Against Gov. Haley, The State, June 12,
32 John O’Connor, Haley’s Appointments Include 26 Campaign Donors, The State, March 22, 2011.
34 Corey Hutchins, Nikki Haley’s Pay-to-Play Politics, The Nation, June 15, 2011.
36 Seanna Adcox, USC Rally for Ousted Trustee Darla Moore, Associated Press, March 23, 2011; After a ‘Crush of
Calls,’ Haley Administration Stumbles; ‘Do We Want to do Anything?’, The State, April 20, 2011.
37 Yvonne Wenger, Gov. Nikki Haley Removes Darla Moore From USC Board, Post and Courier, March 15, 2011;
Kathleen Parker, Has Nikki Haley Doomed Her Promising Career?, Washington Post, March 25, 2011.
38 After a ‘Crush of Calls’, The State, Apr. 20, 2011.
In March 2011, Gov. Haley replaced six of the seven members of the influential Department of
Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) board.39 Four of the six appointees had contributed
to her 2010 gubernatorial campaign.40 Those appointees included one of her largest donors,
Robert Kenyon Wells, who together with his wife and business gave Gov. Haley’s 2010
campaign $38,500.41 Gov. Haley appointed Allen Amsler, who had contributed $3,000 to her
campaign, to be the DHEC board’s chairman.42
The board’s terms are staggered by law, and replacing that number of board members at once
was unprecedented.43 Gov. Haley was able to do so because former Gov. Mark Stanford (R) had
allowed members to continue on the board even after their terms lapsed.44 The outgoing
chairman at the time said Gov. Haley might have been attempting to assert control over a
department that is not directly under the governor’s purview.45
Private Flights from Donors, Appointees, and Special Interests
Gov. Haley took at least 17 flights on the private planes of people with potential business before
the state between November 2010 and October 2011, and also accepted free flights from donors
and appointees.46 For example, Gov. Haley used a private jet owned by Lou and Bill Kennedy
on several occasions.47 Ms. Kennedy is the chief executive officer of Nephron Pharmaceuticals
Corp. (Nephron), and her husband is a strategic consultant for the company.48 The state
Department of Commerce agreed to give Nephron $4.5 million so the company would build a
39 Sammy Fretwell, Nikki Haley Remakes DHEC Board, Post and Courier, March 24, 2011.
41 Follow the Money, Contributions Lookup, Nikki Haley (contributions of Kenyon Wells, Cathy Wells, and
Kenyon Wells & Associates, Inc.), 2010.
42 Follow the Money, Contributions Lookup, Nikki Haley, 2010.
45 Fretwell, Post and Courier, Mar. 24, 2011. In September 2011, the DHEC board refused to grant a permit
requested by the Georgia Ports Authority to deepen the Port of Savannah. The Georgia authority needed DHEC’s
approval to dredge because the port is located on the Savannah River, which crosses the state border into South
Carolina. The DHEC board said the planned dredging would create water-quality issues. On November 10, the
DHEC abruptly reversed its decision and granted Georgia the permit. In response to questions, Gov. Haley said that
after receiving a request from Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (R), she asked Mr. Amsler, the chairman, to hear Georgia’s
appeal. In addition, Gov. Haley’s flight records show she flew on the private planes of two DHEC board members
while the Port of Savannah permit was under review. In December 2011, a state Senate committee held a hearing on
the governor’s role in the DHEC’s approval of the permit. Gov. Haley refused to testify, but members of her staff
were subpoenaed and cleared of exerting undue influence on the board. See Yvonne Wenger, Scrutiny Growing on
Haley Port Role, Post and Courier, November 24, 2011; Seanna Adcox, Senate Panel Says Haley Did Not Pressure
Board, Associated Press, December 8, 2011; Jody Barr, Haley Denies Influence in DHEC-Savannah Ports Decision,
WISTV, November 30, 2011; Chris Gentilviso, Nikki Haley Port Controversy: South Carolina Governor Declines to
Attend Hearing, Stands by Decision, Huffington Post, November 29, 2011.
46 Yvonne Wenger and Renee Dudley, Landing New Jobs; Haley’s Frequent Donated Plane Rides Raising
Questions, Post and Courier, October 29, 2011. Gov. Haley apparently undervalued the cost of the private flights
after receiving inconsistent and unclear advice from state ethics commission staff. The governor’s office reported
the cost of a commercial ticket, even though a flight on a private plane is more expensive. In response to news
reports about Gov. Haley’s flights, in November 2011, the state ethics commission voted 5-0 to require politicians to
calculate the value of flights on private planes by multiplying the cost of operating the plane by the number of hours
it is in the air. See Yvonne Wenger, Haley’s Flight Rules Changing, Post and Courier, November 17, 2011.
47 Wenger and Dudley, Post and Courier, Oct. 29, 2011.
$313 million drug manufacturing plant in Lexington County.49 Ms. Kennedy contributed $3,111
to Gov. Haley’s 2010 campaign, and Ms. Kennedy and Nephron have contributed $6,338 to her
re-election campaign fund, including the value of flights reported as in-kind donations.50 Some
of the campaign contributions and flights came as Nephron negotiated with the state for
Mr. Wells’ appointment to the DHEC board came in April 2011, the same month the governor
used his private plane to travel to a conference in Palm Beach, Fla.52 Mr. Amsler’s appointment
to the DHEC board also came in April, the same month the governor used his private plane to
travel to North Carolina to visit a sick relative.53
Lack of Transparency
Gov. Haley’s office has a policy of only saving and archiving e-mails between the governor and
the public.54 Under the governor’s policy — a holdover from Gov. Sanford’s tenure — all other
internal e-mails Gov. Haley sends and receives are permanently deleted.55 South Carolina Press
Association attorneys have said the policy may violate the state’s open records law.56 The press
association and state historians say that the practice effectively destroys records essential to
determining the governor’s role in state affairs.57 Gov. Haley’s office says e-mail-storage space
is limited and the governor rarely uses e-mail to conduct state business.58 Instead, according to
Gov. Haley’s staffers, the governor conducts state business on the phone or during face-to-face
According to a column in the Charleston City Paper, in response to a Freedom of Information
Act request, Gov. Haley’s office claimed that she and her chief of staff did not communicate via
e-mail between November 1 and November 30, 2011.60
In another report published by The State, the newspaper found that Gov. Haley’s office cited a
similar rationale to explain why the governor made and received only 197 calls on her stateissued
cellphone over a nine-month period that included heavy out-of-state travel.61 Critics
questioned whether her infrequent use of the state-issued cellphone indicates that she is
conducting state business on a private cellphone in order to avoid public scrutiny.62 Gov.
50 Jeff Wilkinson, Drug Firm Plans to Create 700 Jobs in Cayce; Haley/Williams Relationship Questioned, The
State, October 29, 2011; Follow the Money, Contributions Lookup, Nikki Haley, 2010–2012.
52 Wenger and Dudley, Post and Courier, Oct. 29, 2011.
54 Gina Smith, Killing Emails, Cheating History?, The State, November 20, 2011.
58 Smith, The State, Nov. 20, 2011.
60 Chris Haire, Haley’s Lawyer: No E-mails Between Nikki and Chief of Staff, Charleston City Paper, January 3,
61 Gina Smith, Review: Gov. Haley Seldom Uses State-Issued Cellphone, The State, November 13, 2011.
Haley’s office contends that she uses her office phone, staffers’ cellphones, or face-to-face
In response to criticism of the governor’s records retention policy, in March 2012, Gov. Haley’s
office worked with the state Department of Archives and History to develop a new policy that
requires preservation of e-mails with historic value.64 However, press and watchdog groups
continue to express concern that the policy gives the governor’s office too much discretion in
deciding which records to destroy.65
Misuse of Federal Funds
In September 2011, the federal government awarded South Carolina a $1 million Affordable
Care Act (ACA) exchange-planning grant.66 Using approximately $305,000 of the money, Gov.
Haley established a South Carolina Health Planning Committee to study whether or not the state
should establish its own exchange.67 However, even before the group met for the first time, Gov.
Haley instructed members to identify ways to avoid implementation of the ACA.68 In a March
2011 e-mail to her top advisors and the committee member who wrote the eventual report, Gov.
Haley wrote that “the whole point of this commission should be to figure out how to opt out and
how to avoid a federal takeover, NOT create a state exchange.”69 Unsurprisingly, the
committee’s eventual report recommended against establishing a state exchange.70
The e-mails were released to the Post and Courier newspaper in response to a November 2011
public records request to the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.71 When
the newspaper made the same request of Gov. Haley’s office in May 2011, the e-mails were not
included in the office’s response.72
Gov. Haley’s e-mails raised questions about whether the state’s study of exchange planning was
predetermined.73 In December 2011, U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) requested that the Office of
Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) investigate
South Carolina’s use of the grant, questioning whether the Haley administration “made improper
use of taxpayer funds.”74 HHS conducted an investigation that, according to a statement released
by Sen. Harkin, “found that the report prepared with the federal dollars will be of potential value
to the federal government in helping to ensure that South Carolinians have access to affordable
64 Stephen Largen, Doubts Arise About Gov. Haley’s Records Retention Policy, Post and Courier, April 8, 2012.
67 Renee Dudley, SC Gov. Haley Dictated Health Panel Finding, Post and Courier, December 14, 2011; Renee
Dudley, Feds Clear Haley; Government: Disputed Report Will Be of Benefit, Post and Courier, March 15, 2012.
68 Dudley, Post and Courier, Dec. 14, 2011.
72 Dudley, Post and Courier, Dec. 14, 2011.
73 Christopher Weaver, Harkin Calls for South Carolina Health Funding Probe, Wall Street Journal, December 23,
74 Press Release, Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, Harkin Calls For Investigation into
South Carolina Governor’s Use of Taxpayer Dollars, December 22, 2011; Dudley, Post and Courier, Mar. 15, 2012.
quality health care through an insurance exchange.”75 However, Sen. Harkin said, “[i]t continues
to appear that the outcome of the commission was predetermined.”76
In May 2011, Gov. Haley signed a voter identification bill into law.77 Gov. Haley was a vocal
proponent of the bill, which requires voters to present photo identification in order to vote.78 The
governor at one point said she would “take them to the DMV myself and help them get that
picture ID.”79 The bill could not immediately go into effect because, under Section 5 of the 1965
Voting Rights Act, South Carolina was legally required to get preclearance from the Department
of Justice (DOJ) for changes in its election laws.80 In December 2011, the DOJ blocked the
state’s voter ID law, saying it would disenfranchise minority voters.81 In response, Gov. Haley
publicly criticized the DOJ’s decision, and vowed to appeal.82 In October 2012, a panel of three
federal judges upheld the law but delayed enforcement until 2013.83 As a result of the Supreme
Court’s decision in Shelby v. Holder, however, preclearance is no longer required and the law
can take effect.84
77 Gina Smith, Haley Signs Voter ID Bill into Law, The State, May 18, 2011.
78 Id.; Yvonne Wenger, Debate Rages over South Carolina’s Voter-ID Law, Post and Courier, May 19, 2011.
79 Alex Seitz-Wald and Ian Millhiser, Will Gov. Nikki Haley Personally Drive South Carolina’s 178,000
Disenfranchised Voters to the DMV?, ThinkProgress, July 15, 2011.
80 Matt Loeb, Feds Put Hold on S.C. Voter ID Law, National Journal, August 31, 2011.
81 Adam Beam, U.S. Blocks S.C. Voter ID Law; Haley: Decision Outrageous, The State, December 24, 2011.
83 South Carolina Voter ID Law Upheld by Federal Court, but Delayed, Associated Press, October 10, 2012.
84 Adam Liptak, Supreme Court Invalidates Key Part of Voting Rights Act, New York Times, June 25, 2013.
Gov. Susana Martinez (R-NM) was elected in 2010. She is running for re-election in 2014. Her
inclusion stems from: (1) using state resources for political purposes; (2) investigations into the
awarding of a state contract to a large campaign donor; (3) using private e-mail for public
business; (4) improperly withholding public records; and (5) improperly interfering with the
labor relations board.
Using a State Agency for Political Purposes
In 2012, Jay McCleskey, Gov. Martinez’s political advisor and the manager of Susana PAC, the
governor’s political action committee (PAC), verbally asked Public Education Department
(PED) spokesman Larry Behrens for a list of all non-union teachers in the state and their e-mail
addresses.1 Mr. McCleskey was looking for a way to counter union material regarding the
administration’s proposed education reforms.2
Mr. Behrens, a Martinez appointee, used his personal e-mail address when he responded to the
request on May 2, 2012.3 His e-mail made it clear the department had plowed considerable
resources into finding the e-mail addresses and creating lists of them.4 “We have no master list
of all teacher e-mails so IT went through websites school-by-school and copied the publicly
available staff e-mails,” he wrote, attaching the spreadsheet with the results.5 Mr. Behrens said
he had requested a list from the department’s budget staff of school districts with unions or
collective bargaining agreements, then matched the budget division information with the staff emails
to compile the lists.6 Michael Archibeque, PED’s chief information officer, later said it
had taken the information technology department two days to compile the lists.7
Mr. Behrens sent his response to the private or campaign e-mail addresses of Mr. McCleskey and
four Martinez administration officials: Chief of Staff Keith Gardner, then-Communications
Director Scott Darnell, Education Secretary-designate Hanna Skandera, and Ms. Skandera’s
chief of staff, Christine Stavem.8 Ms. Skandera forwarded the e-mail to Gov. Martinez’s
campaign e-mail account.9 Administration officials later said the e-mail address Ms. Skandera
1 Editorial, Education Department Emails are Troubling, Albuquerque Journal, June 17, 2012; Joey Peters,
Mysterious Email Sent to Republicans Calls Out Jay McCleskey, Cites SFR, Santa Fe Reporter, December 6, 2012;
Steve Terrell, Agency Official Takes Heat over List of Teachers’ Emails, Santa Fe New Mexican, June 13, 2012.
2 Thomas J. Cole, Skandera in Loop on Nonunion Email List, Albuquerque Journal, July 14, 2012.
3 http://www.scribd.com/doc/96691033/Email-on-Use-of-Gov-t-Employees-for-Political-Purposes; James
Monteleone and Colleen Helid, Campaign Guru Finds Unwanted Limelight, Albuquerque Journal, June 17, 2012.
7 Cole, Albuquerque Journal, July 14, 2012.
8 http://www.scribd.com/doc/96691033/Email-on-Use-of-Gov-t-Employees-for-Political-Purposes; Dan Boyd, AG
Probe Sought over Email List, Albuquerque Journal, June 15, 2012; Rob Nikolewski, Breaking News: Rep. Keith
Gardner Becomes New Gov’s Chief of Staff, Capitol Report New Mexico, November 24, 2010.
9 Cole, Albuquerque Journal, July 14, 2012.
used was inactive, and Gov. Martinez did not read the e-mail until after she saw news stories
about the matter.10
An anti-Martinez union-affiliated PAC, Independent Source PAC, obtained the e-mails and
publicly released them.11 Mr. Behrens said he had simply made a mistake in using his personal
e-mail address to respond to a request for public information, calling it an “oversight.”12 Mr.
Behrens also maintained the list of all teacher e-mail addresses created by the IT department had
not been created in response to Mr. McCleskey’s request.13 Instead, he said the department had
needed the e-mail addresses to contact employees for its own purposes.14
Mr. McCleskey said he had merely been seeking publicly available information.15 It appears,
however, that other requests requiring such custom-tailored responses were routinely denied.16
Mr. McCleskey’s firm submitted a follow-up request seeking home addresses for teachers in
May 2013, and PED denied it.17
State Attorney General Gary King’s (D) office was investigating whether Gov. Martinez’s
administration violated New Mexico’s Governmental Conduct Act, which prohibits using state
resources for political purposes.18 The status of the investigation is unclear.19
11 Dan Boyd, PED Culled Teacher List, Albuquerque Journal, June 13, 2012. Independent Source PAC said it
obtained the e-mail legally from a source who bought the governor’s campaign website domain through an auction
after the domain registration expired. In May 2013, however, Jamie Estrada, a former Martinez campaign manager,
was indicted on computer intrusion and false statement charges. The New Mexico U.S. Attorney’s Office said that
in July 2011, Mr. Estrada used an alias to renew the registration for the Martinez campaign Internet domain and
changed the settings so incoming e-mail messages were diverted to an e-mail account he controlled. The indictment
of Mr. Estrada includes the dates and descriptions of a dozen e-mails Mr. Estrada allegedly intercepted. Many
appear personal in nature and none appear to be from Mr. Behrens. Search warrant affidavits related to the case
show federal agents also found e-mails stolen from the campaign website domain on the computers of others,
including a Democratic consultant, Jason Loera, who was subsequently arrested on child pornography charges. In a
statement released after Mr. Estrada was indicted, Michael Corwin, head of Independent Source PAC, noted that the
e-mails listed in the indictment were not the same as the ones released by Independent Source PAC and said he
would “continue to protect his source.” Representatives of the Martinez campaign said they had believed the
accounts inactive. In June 2013, Mr. Estrada pled not guilty. See Dan Boyd, PAC: Emails Obtained Legally,
Albuquerque Journal, September 19, 2012; United States v. Jamie Estrada, 1:13-cr-01877 (D.N.M. 2013); Press
Release, U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of New Mexico, Governor Martinez’s Former Campaign Manager Indicted
on Computer Intrusion and False Statement Charges, May 30, 2013; Mike Gallagher, Feds: Martinez E-mails Were
Hijacked, Albuquerque Journal, May 31, 2013; Milan Simonich, Not Guilty Plea for NM Gov. Susana Martinez’s
Former Campaign Staffer, El Paso Times, June 18, 2013; Ex-Campaign Staffer for New Mexico Gov. Indicted in
Email Scandal, Associated Press, May 30, 2013; Alexa Schirtzinger, Former Martinez Campaign Staffer Jamie
Estrada Indicted for Allegedly Intercepting Emails, Santa Fe Reporter, May 30, 2013; Mike Gallagher, Email Theft
Probe Went Down Two Paths, Albuquerque Journal, June 6, 2013.
12 Boyd, Albuquerque Journal, June 13, 2012.
16 Boyd, Albuquerque Journal, June 15, 2012.
17 Boyd, Albuquerque Journal, June 13, 2012.
18 James Monteleone, AG’s Opinion Sought After Skandera Hearings, Albuquerque Journal, March 13, 2013; Susan
Montoya Bryan, NM Attorney General Criticizes GOP Records Request, Associated Press, July 7, 2012; Boyd,
Albuquerque Journal, June 15, 2012.
Involvement in a State Contract
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and state agencies appear to be investigating the
circumstances around the awarding of a lucrative state lease to a local racetrack and casino.20
The Downs at Albuquerque, a racetrack and casino known as a racino, is located on property
managed by EXPO New Mexico, a state enterprise agency that oversees the state fair, and the
State Fair Commission.21
In December 2011, the Downs won a new 25-year state lease that could be worth more than a
billion dollars,22 but critics questioned the relationship between representatives of the Downs and
Gov. Martinez’s staff and appointees.23 Federal investigators have interviewed Gov. Martinez’s
former campaign finance director, among others.24 Gov. Martinez and state officials have said
the bidding process was fair.25
Between June 2010 and January 2011, donors connected to the Downs contributed $75,000 to
Gov. Martinez’s gubernatorial campaign. 26 In the summer of 2011, donors connected to the
Downs contributed an additional $10,000 to Susana PAC.27 The donors included Bill Windham,
a part owner who became company president in 2011.28 The Downs also hired Darren White,
who at one point filmed a Martinez campaign ad and had been appointed by Gov. Martinez to the
state Judicial Standards Commission,29 to help put together the Downs’ lease proposal.30
The Downs has been criticized for failing to maintain the property, and at one point, the state
filed a lawsuit against the Downs for falling $1 million behind on payments.31 A 2011
Legislative Finance Committee audit of the state fair found the Downs was not meeting all of its
obligations. The audit revealed the state fair agency was essentially insolvent, relied heavily on
the Downs lease payments for cash flow, suffered from a lack of strategic planning, and had
19 Monteleone, Albuquerque Journal, Mar. 13, 2013; Mike Gallagher, Hijacked Emails Fueled Political Battle,
Albuquerque Journal, June 16, 2013.
20 Justin Horwath and Joey Peters, Downs Doings, Santa Fe Reporter, May 29–June 4, 2013.
21 Id.; http://exponm.com/go-expo/about/who-we-are-what-we-do/.
22 Horwath and Peters, Santa Fe Reporter, May 29–June 4, 2013.
23 Joey Peters, Leaked, Santa Fe Reporter, July 4–July 10, 2012.
24 Mike Gallagher, Fundraiser for GOP Talked to FBI Agents About Downs Deal, Albuquerque Journal, June 4,
26 Joey Peters, It’s…“Trouble at the Ol’ Racing”, Santa Fe Reporter, August 22–August 28, 2012. Donors
connected to the Downs also contributed heavily to Gov. Martinez’s 2010 opponent, Diane Denish. See Charles D.
Brunt and Sean Olson, Downs Interests Gave Gov. $70,000, Albuquerque Journal, November 8, 2011.
27 Peters, Santa Fe Reporter, Aug. 22–Aug. 28, 2012.
28 Thomas Cole, Political Ties and the Downs, Albuquerque Journal, December 10, 2011.
30 Charles D. Brunt, Former Sheriff is Now GM of Racino, Albuquerque Journal, July 19, 2012; Charles D. Brunt,
Downs Racino Hires White, Albuquerque Journal, August 12, 2011.
31 Peters, Santa Fe Reporter, Aug. 22–Aug. 28, 2012; Horwath and Peters, Santa Fe Reporter, May 29–June 4,
2013; Report to the Legislative Finance Committee, New Mexico State Fair Program Evaluation, Report No. 11-13,
October 20, 2011.
failed to manage the Downs contract properly.32 The audit concluded the request for proposals
(RFP) was rushed because of poor strategic planning and because EXPO could not afford to do
without the Downs lease payments if the current lease lapsed before it had secured replacement
A few months after Gov. Martinez assumed office, she appointed Dan Mourning to head the
EXPO.34 In July 2011, Mr. Mourning issued an RFP for the property.35 The proposals were due
in 30 days, an unusually short period that some state fair commissioners later criticized.36 EXPO
did not advertise nationally and only put an ad on its website and in the Sunday Albuquerque
Journal.37 EXPO did not send out any notices, hold press conferences, or advertise in trade
journals.38 Only two companies, the Downs and Laguna Development Corp., submitted
proposals.39 Gov. Martinez herself appointed a three-member evaluation committee to review
the RFPs and select the best bid.40
Despite the racino’s past problems, the evaluation committee gave the Downs a perfect score for
“management expertise.”41 In September 2011, the evaluation committee chose the Downs bid
as the winner and Mr. Mourning began to work with the racino’s management on a contract.42
Some state fair commissioners voiced objections. Two commissioners, Charlotte Rode and
Benny Roybal, said they were concerned commissioners were not allowed to review the RFPs
before being asked to vote on a lease that had already been negotiated.43 Critics said the terms of
the new deal were too favorable to the Downs, since the new lease would allow it to pay the state
roughly $500,000 less than it paid in 2010.44
On November 9, 2011, the State Fair Commission delayed a scheduled vote on the Downs deal
because the deal lacked the support needed to pass.45 Lawyers for the Downs met with only one
commissioner, Kenneth Goff, and changed language in the agreement to address his concerns.46
The commission then held a surprise vote on November 21, 2011 and approved the lease in a
split 4-3 vote, with Mr. Goff the key vote in favor.47 Ms. Rode said the process “violated the
34 Charles D. Brunt, Expo Signs Extension with Downs Racino, Albuquerque Journal, June 9, 2011.
35 Charles D. Brunt, State Fair Officials Seek Bids for Downs, Albuquerque Journal, July 28, 2011.
36 Peters, Santa Fe Reporter, Aug. 22–Aug. 28, 2012; Charles D. Brunt, EXPO Casino Selection Rushed?,
Albuquerque Journal, October 12, 2011.
37 Peters, Santa Fe Reporter, Aug. 22–Aug. 28, 2012; Thomas J. Cole, No Jackpot for Bucking Gov on Casino Deal,
Albuquerque Journal, December 3, 2011.
38 Peters, Santa Fe Reporter, Aug. 22–Aug. 28, 2012.
39 Charles D. Brunt, Downs, Laguna Make EXPO Bids, Albuquerque Journal, August 26, 2011.
40 Id.; Brunt and Olsen, Albuquerque Journal, Nov. 8, 2011.
41 Peters, Santa Fe Reporter, Aug. 22–Aug. 28, 2012.
42 Brunt, Albuquerque Journal, Oct. 12, 2011; Brunt and Olsen, Albuquerque Journal, Nov. 8, 2011.
43 Brunt, Albuquerque Journal, Oct. 12, 2011.
44 Peters, Santa Fe Reporter, Aug. 22–Aug. 28, 2012.
45 Brunt and Olsen, Albuquerque Journal, Nov. 8, 2011; Charles D. Brunt, Downs Deal Gets Approval, Albuquerque
Journal, November 22, 2011.
46 Peters, Santa Fe Reporter, Aug. 22–Aug. 28, 2012.
47 Brunt, Albuquerque Journal, Nov. 22, 2011; Peters, Santa Fe Reporter, Aug. 22–Aug. 28, 2012.
48 Cole, Albuquerque Journal, Dec. 3, 2011.
The state board of finance, chaired by Gov. Martinez, still had to give final approval.49 Tom
Tinnin, a former chair of the State Fair Commission who had been appointed to the finance
board by Gov. Martinez, met with the governor to voice concerns over the process.50 He said she
told him she would take it personally if he publicly criticized her staff’s actions in the matter.51
Immediately after the meeting with Gov. Martinez, Mr. Tinnin resigned.52 On December 20,
2011, the finance board approved the Downs deal unanimously except for one abstention.53
A few weeks later, in January 2012, the losing bidder, Laguna Development Corp., filed a protest
with the state purchasing division.54 The formal protest alleged the Downs “may have had
access to the contents of [Laguna Development’s] proposal prior to submitting its best and final
offer,” and “was allowed improper involvement in the procurement process.”55 In April 2012,
the state purchasing agent reviewing the protest recommended denying it, saying the process
complied with the law.56 In May 2012, Mr. Mourning accepted the purchasing agent’s
recommendation and denied the protest.57
In June 2012, however, leaked e-mails distributed by Independent Source PAC showed several
e-mails from Pat Rogers, a lawyer for the Downs and a prominent Republican, to two of Gov.
Martinez’s staffers.58 The e-mails were addressed to then-Deputy Chief of Staff Ryan
Cangiolosi’s campaign e-mail account and Mr. McCleskey’s consulting firm e-mail address.59
Gov. Martinez’s office said Mr. Cangiolosi never received the e-mails because the campaign
account was inactive, and Mr. Cangiolosi did not meet with Mr. Rogers.60
In June 2012, Ms. Rode filed a complaint with the Office of the State Auditor asking for an
investigation into the Downs deal.61 The office later confirmed it was investigating the matter.62
In August 2012, the state attorney general’s office requested interviews with six state fair
commissioners as part of its own inquiry into the Downs deal.63
In May 2013, the Santa Fe Reporter reported the FBI had been interviewing former Martinez
campaign staffers about the Downs deal.64 The Martinez camp pushed back against the reports,
saying the governor had requested an investigation into the leaked e-mails and the FBI was
49 Thomas J. Cole, Downs Deal Smells of Money, Albuquerque Journal, November 26, 2011.
50 Thomas J. Cole, Gov. Appointee Quits over Racino Lease, Albuquerque Journal, November 19, 2011.
53 Charles D. Brunt and Mike Gallagher, Downs Lease Approved, Albuquerque Journal, December 21, 2011.
54 Charles D. Brunt, Downs Denies It Had Leaked Info for Lease, Albuquerque Journal, January 14, 2012.
56 Charles D. Brunt, Laguna Loses Round on Racino Lease Fight, Albuquerque Journal, April 12, 2012.
57 Charles D. Brunt, Downs Lease Protest Denied, Albuquerque Journal, May 16, 2012.
58 Dan Boyd, Downs Lawyer Wanted to Talk, Albuquerque Journal, June 28, 2012.
60 Id.; James Monteleone and Dan Boyd, Commissioner Seeks Downs Lease Inquiry, Albuquerque Journal, July 3,
62 Horwath and Peters, Santa Fe Reporter, May 29–June 3, 2013.
63 Peters, Santa Fe Reporter, Aug. 22–Aug. 28, 2012.
64 Horwath and Peters, Santa Fe Reporter, May 29–June 3, 2013.
asking questions about the Downs deal only as part of that.65 The indictment of former Martinez
campaign manager Jamie Estrada, however, which describes the allegedly stolen e-mails, does
not include any related to the Downs deal.66
Mr. Estrada pled not guilty, and has said he did nothing wrong.67 After Mr. Estrada was charged,
Andrea Goff, Gov. Martinez’s former finance director and the daughter-in-law of Mr. Goff, the
state fair commissioner, said she had been interviewed by the FBI about the Downs contract and
the agents’ questions were not related to the Estrada indictment.68 In addition, Jerry Todd
Wertheim, a lawyer for Anissa Ford, a former Gov. Martinez campaign staffer who is now a
witness in the e-mail case, said Ms. Ford was questioned separately about the Downs matter, by
a different set of agents than the team investigating Mr. Estrada.69 “It was clear there was no
linkage between the e-mail investigation and the Downs investigation,” Mr. Wertheim said.70 A
spokesman for Gov. Martinez described Ms. Ford as a disgruntled former staff member who was
angry because she was not offered a job after the campaign ended.71
Use of Private E-mail Accounts for Public Business
The Martinez administration has been repeatedly dogged by allegations of using private e-mail
accounts to conduct public business, such as in the PED and Downs matters. In response, in
June 2012, the governor issued a new policy explicitly directing her employees to use official email
accounts for all state business.72
A few days after the governor issued the policy, Lupe Martinez, the governor’s former
corrections secretary, said in an affidavit that during a 2011 cabinet meeting, Mr. Gardner, the
governor’s chief of staff, had told her and others to use private e-mail whenever possible so their
messages would not be made public.73 In addition, Ms. Martinez said the governor was present
at the meeting when Mr. Gardner gave his directive.74 Ms. Martinez said she complied with the
instructions and used her private e-mail account and BlackBerry Messenger to send messages to
the governor’s office.75
Ms. Martinez gave the affidavit as part of her boyfriend’s wrongful termination case against the
state.76 The investigation into Ms. Martinez’s boyfriend had led to her resignation.77 Mr.
65 Gallagher, Albuquerque Journal, June 16, 2013.
66 United States v. Jamie Estrada, 1:13-cr-01877 (D.N.M. 2013).
67 Simonich, El Paso Times, June 18, 2013.
68 Gallagher, Albuquerque Journal, June 4, 2013.
69 Gallagher, Albuquerque Journal, June 6, 2013.
72 Dan Boyd, Charges Fly over Emails, Albuquerque Journal, June 20, 2012.
73 Id. Ms. Martinez is not related to the governor.
76 Boyd, Albuquerque Journal, June 20, 2012.
Gardner called Ms. Martinez’s allegation “completely false,” and two other Cabinet members
said they had never heard of such a directive.78
Shortly thereafter, a progressive political group released a May 2011 e-mail sent from a private
account belonging to Mr. Cangiolosi to a personal e-mail address for Jon Barela, the state
economic development secretary.79 Mr. Cangiolosi was asking for information regarding
department operations and a jobs report on behalf of Mr. Gardner.80 Mr. Barela said he
forwarded the e-mail to his official state e-mail account before following up on it.81 In addition,
the group released an e-mail to the governor’s office from the private account of Veronica
Gonzales, the cultural affairs secretary.82 The group said it had obtained the e-mails through a
public records request.83
Questions flared up again in September 2012, when Sam Bregman, head of the state Democratic
party and the lawyer representing Ms. Martinez’s boyfriend in his case against the state, released
a recording of a private conversation involving Mr. Gardner.84 Mr. Gardner, discussing a sexual
assault case that apparently involved members of his family, not official business, was
apparently recorded without his knowledge,85 stating, “I never email on my state email, anything
that can come back and bite my ass. It’s all done offline….It’s all done on different stuff.”86 Mr.
Gardner and Gov. Martinez said the recording was misleading, and it was unethical for Mr.
Bregman to release it.87
Meanwhile, in July 2012, Independent Source PAC had turned over hundreds of documents to
the attorney general’s office.88 In December 2012, in response to a public records request from
the Santa Fe Reporter, Mr. King’s office released the documents, including nearly 600 pages of
e-mails.89 Many had already been released by Independent Source PAC and others were purely
personal, including confirmation of the governor’s online shopping orders.90 Mr. King said he
was obligated to release the records in response to the newspaper’s request.91 Gov. Martinez’s
office called it “a blatantly political maneuver,” and said the release compromised the thenongoing
FBI investigation into the stolen e-mails.92
79 James Monteleone and Deborah Baker, N.M. Politicos Feud over Email Ethics, Albuquerque Journal, June 23,
83 Monteleone and Baker, Albuquerque Journal, June 23, 2012.
84 Dan Boyd and James Monteleone, Release of Recording Fuels N.M. Ethics Feud, Albuquerque Journal,
September 6, 2012.
88 James Monteleone, AG King Releases Martinez Emails, Albuquerque Journal, December 20, 2012.
92 Monteleone, Albuquerque Journal, Dec. 20, 2012.
Withholding Public Records
The Associated Press requested records from several agencies for expenses and overtime paid to
officers assigned to Gov. Martinez’s security detail in August, September, and October 2012, a
period shortly before the 2012 elections.93 Several agencies denied the requests, saying releasing
detailed information could compromise the governor’s security.94 Instead, state officials
compiled summaries of costs.95 New Mexico Attorney General King has said the requested
records must be released.96
In addition, the administration resisted releasing records detailing expenses connected to a
September 2011 alligator hunting trip to Louisiana taken by Gov. Martinez’s husband, Chuck
Franco, and the governor’s office misled the public about who paid for the trip.97 The Martinez
administration repeatedly said Mr. Franco paid for his own expenses and two state police officers
were assigned to travel with him for security.98 In response to repeated requests for records
related to the trip and questions about it, however, the governor’s office eventually
acknowledged the family of one of the state police officers paid for much of the hunting trip.99
The two state police officers initially planned the hunting trip as a vacation, but when Mr. Franco
decided to go along, the officers instead were assigned to act as his security detail and received
overtime and holiday pay.100 The three men made the drive in a state-owned vehicle.101 Both
officers brought their 12-year-old sons on the trip, though the state police chief said the boys
were cared for by family in Louisiana.102
PRESSURING PUBLIC OFFICIALS
The state Public Employee Labor Relations Board (PELRB) oversees collective bargaining
between government agencies and workers, and is also responsible for hearing complaints about
possible violations.103 State law requires the governor to appoint one labor-supported member,
93 Jeri Clausing, NM Gov. Susana Martinez Declines to Release Travel Records, Associated Press, June 20, 2013;
James Monteleone, Open-Government Group Joins Security Detail Records Quest, Albuquerque Journal, June 26,
94 Id.; Clausing, Associated Press, June 20, 2013.
95 Id.; Monteleone, Albuquerque Journal, June 26, 2013.
96 Clausing, Associated Press, June 20, 2013.
97 Id.; James Monteleone, Travel Records for First Gentleman’s Trip are Public, Albuquerque Journal, January 4,
2013; Steve Terrell, State Still Mum on Franco’s Hunting Trip, Santa Fe New Mexican, June 19, 2013; Justin
Horwath, ‘A Good Old Time’: Host Discloses Details About Franco Trip, Santa Fe Reporter, July 9, 2013.
98 Id.; James Monteleone, Claims Against Governor Prove Wrong, Albuquerque Journal, April 19, 2012;
Monteleone, Albuquerque Journal, Jan. 4, 2013; Terrell, Santa Fe New Mexican, June 19, 2013.
99 Barry Massey, Governor Details Husband’s Alligator Hunt, Associated Press, July 5, 2013.
100 Id.; James Monteleone, Trip Details Disclosed; First Gent Joined State Police on Hunt, Albuquerque Journal,
July 6, 2013.
103 http://www.pelrb.state.nm.us/faq.php; Thomas Cole, Labor Board Dispute Heads Back to Court, Albuquerque
Journal, August 10, 2011.
one recommended by public employers, and one recommended jointly by the labor and public
employer members to the PELRB.104
On February 5, 2011, about a month after taking office, Gov. Martinez fired the PELRB’s
executive director, Pam Gentry, and began interviewing replacements.105 A few weeks later,
Gov. Martinez dismissed the board’s three members.106 A Gov. Martinez spokesman said that
the dismissals were done “as part of an ongoing review of boards, commissions and
On March 16, 2011, labor unions filed a lawsuit in the New Mexico Supreme Court against Gov.
Martinez, claiming she exceeded her authority in firing the board members and the executive
director, who is typically hired by the board.108 The lawsuit specifically asked for the
reinstatement of the labor-backed member, John Boyd, and the jointly backed member, Duff
Westbrook.109 The lawsuit noted that at the time of the firings, there were 43 complaints waiting
for processing, including 17 against the governor’s office.110
On April 13, 2011, the New Mexico Supreme Court unanimously voted to reinstate Mr. Boyd
and Mr. Westbrook, saying the PELRB must remain outside the control of the governor since it
deals with complaints against the executive branch.111
Mr. Boyd’s term expired July 1, 2011.112 The majority of unions wanted Gov. Martinez to
reappoint Mr. Boyd to the board.113 Instead, Gov. Martinez appointed R.E. “Bart” Bartosiewicz
to replace Mr. Boyd, saying he had been recommended by a local police union.114 In August
2011, the unions filed another lawsuit in an attempt to force Mr. Boyd’s reappointment.115 The
lawsuit said the police union’s parent organization had revoked the recommendation for Mr.
Bartosiewicz in favor of Mr. Boyd.116 In February 2012, a district court judge ruled Mr.
Bartosiewicz could be appointed, and the state Supreme Court declined to overturn the ruling.117
104 Deborah Baker, Unions Challenge Martinez, Albuquerque Journal, March 17, 2011.
105 Id.; Deborah Baker, High Court Orders 2 Reinstated to Labor Board, Albuquerque Journal, April 14, 2011.
106 Baker, Albuquerque Journal, Mar. 17, 2011.
109 Baker, Albuquerque Journal, Apr. 14, 2011.
112 Baker, Albuquerque Journal, Mar. 17, 2011.
113 Thomas J. Cole, Labor Dispute Heads Back to Court, Albuquerque Journal, August 10, 2011; Deborah Baker,
Governor Wins Court Fight over Labor Board Appointee, Albuquerque Journal, February 9, 2012.
114 Cole, Albuquerque Journal, Aug. 10, 2011.
117 Baker, Albuquerque Journal, Feb. 9, 2012; Court Rules in Favor of Governor in Union Dispute, Associated
Press, February 9, 2012; Barry Massey, Martinez Wins Battle Over NM Labor Board Selection, Associated Press,
March 14, 2012.
Gov. Pat McCrory (R-NC) was elected in 2012. He will be up for re-election in 2016. His
inclusion stems from appointing top donors to important state government positions and
advocating for new voter identification restrictions.
Art Pope, a retail industry millionaire and a former state legislator,1 has had a significant impact
on North Carolina electoral politics. Through a series of family foundations and companies, Mr.
Pope has contributed more than $30 million to conservative think tanks, section 501(c)(4)
nonprofit groups, and other political and advocacy groups in North Carolina.2 In 2010, three
outside groups, Civitas Action, Real Jobs NC, and Americans for Prosperity, all generously
backed by Mr. Pope, spent $2 million attacking Democrats in two dozen North Carolina state
legislative races.3 Mr. Pope and the Pope family also contributed $240,000 directly to candidates
in those races.4 Since its founding in 2005, the John William Pope Foundation, chaired by Mr.
Pope, has given Civitas Institute, the parent foundation of Civitas Action, more than $8 million
— about 97 percent of the group’s total income — and Mr. Pope sat on the board of directors of
all three groups.5 Mr. Pope was until recently one of three national directors of Americans for
Prosperity.6 During the 2010 elections, Mr. Pope’s Variety Wholesalers contributed $36,500 to
the Republican State Leadership Committee.7 That group gave $1.2 million to Real Jobs NC,
which ran attack ads and sent several mass mailings in competitive state legislative races.8
Variety Wholesalers gave $200,000 to Real Jobs NC during the 2010 election cycle as well.9
During North Carolina’s recent redistricting, Republican legislators appointed Mr. Pope a cocounsel
to the legislative leadership, allowing him to give direct instructions to the legislators
1 Paul Abowd, Nonprofit Profile: Americans for Prosperity, Center for Public Integrity, June 21, 2012; Jane Mayer,
State for Sale, New Yorker, October 10, 2011; http://www.archive.org/stream/northcarolinaman
2 Rob Christensen, Art Pope: a One-Man Republican Equalizer, News & Observer, October 27, 2010; Chris Kromm,
The Art Pope Empire: Media Outlets, Think Tanks and Election Machines, Indy Week, March 9, 2011.
5 Id.; http://www.civitasaction.org/; Press Release, Civitas Institute, Civitas Announces Pope Resignation from
Boards, December 20, 2012.
6 Kromm, Indy Week, Mar. 9, 2011; Craig Jarvis, McCrory Names Art Pope to be His Chief Budget Writer; News &
Observer, December 20, 2012.
8 Kromm, Indy Week, Mar. 9, 2011; Mayer, New Yorker, Oct. 10, 2011.
mapping districts.10 The resulting map went into effect for the 2012 elections and shifted the
state’s U.S. House delegation from a 7-6 Democratic majority to a 9-4 Republican majority.11
During the 2012 election, Mr. Pope and his family members heavily backed Gov. McCrory,
giving at least $20,000 directly to his campaign, in addition to $125,000 to the state Republican
Party.12 Variety Wholesalers also contributed at least $450,000 to three outside groups that spent
heavily on behalf of Gov. McCrory: the Republican State Leadership Committee, the Republican
Governors Association, and Real Jobs NC.13 In addition, Americans for Prosperity spent nearly
$470,000 on races in North Carolina during the cycle, including $130,000 on ads in the
governors’ race directly benefitting Gov. McCrory.14
Gov. McCrory named Mr. Pope co-chairman of his transition team.15 In December 2012, Gov.
McCrory appointed Mr. Pope budget director, the most powerful appointed position in state
government.16 In addition, Gov. McCrory’s chief of staff, Thomas Stith, is a former vice
president at the Civitas Institute.17 Mr. Pope said he has taken a leave from his family
foundations and various other public and nonprofit boards, including his positions with the
Civitas Institute and Civitas Action, as well as Americans for Prosperity, in order to take the state
job.18 Since becoming budget director, Mr. Pope has sought to end public financing for judicial
elections, a priority of Mr. Pope’s private foundations.19 The public financing system is favored
in polling by North Carolina residents20 and was used by every judicial candidate in 2012.21
Some organizations previously affiliated with Mr. Pope appear to be rallying to support his
initiatives. Americans for Prosperity, for example, recently ran ads in the state praising Gov.
McCrory as bringing “a new day” in North Carolina because “a fresh crop of leaders” are
“bringing conservative reforms” and minimizing “the threat of Obamacare.”22
In addition, during his unsuccessful 2008 gubernatorial campaign, Gov. McCrory, citing past
scandals, repeatedly said fundraisers should not be appointed to the state Department of
10 Olga Pierce, Justin Elliott, and Theodoric Meyer, How Dark Money Helped Republicans Hold the House and Hurt
Voters, ProPublica, December 21, 2012; http://www.politico.com/2012-election/results/house/north-carolina/;
11 Pierce, Elliott, and Meyer, ProPublica, Dec. 21, 2012; http://www.politico.com/2012-election/results/house/northcarolina/;
http://www.wral.com/news/political/page/8487904/?group=us; Chris Kromm and Sue Sturgis, North
Carolina’s Tug-of-War, American Prospect, June 6, 2013.
12 Chris Kromm, Art Pope’s Path to Power, Institute for Southern Studies, December 21, 2012.
15 McCrory Unveils Transition Team, Defends Selection of Conservative Activist Art Pope, Associated Press,
November 8, 2012.
16 Jarvis, News & Observer, Dec. 20, 2012; Kromm and Sturgis, American Prospect, June 6, 2013.
17 Kromm, Institute for Southern Studies, Dec. 21, 2012; Rob Schofield, Pope-Civitas Fundraiser Email Contains
Giant Omission, NC Policy Watch, January 2, 2013.
18 Jarvis, News & Observer, Dec. 20, 2012.
19 Paul Blumenthal, N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory, Budget Director Art Pope Aim to End Judicial Public Financing
Program, Huffington Post, April 4, 2013.
20 Press Release, North Carolina Center for Voter Education, N.C. Voters: Campaign Contributions Influence Court
Rulings, February 22, 2011.
21 Blumenthal, Huffington Post, Apr. 4, 2013.
22Abby Goodnough, Critics of Health Care Law Outspending Its Supporters on Ads, New York Times, June 4, 2013;
Transportation board.23 Nonetheless, in February 2013, Gov. McCrory appointed 10 new
members to the board, all of whom were donors or fundraisers to his 2012 campaign.24 In all,
the appointees and their spouses donated a combined $34,894.25 Appointee Mike Smith, a
fundraiser, raised $106,000 for Gov. McCrory’s campaign.26
Gov. McCrory named Aldona Wos as secretary of the Department of Health and Human
Services.27 Ms. Wos, a retired doctor and ambassador to Estonia from 2004-2006, was a cochair
of Gov. McCrory’s 2012 campaign and donated $5,717.28 In addition, her family, their
company, New Breed Logistics, and the company’s employees collectively contributed more
than $260,000 to Gov. McCrory’s 2012 campaign.29
In 2011, while running for governor, Gov. McCrory voiced support for a voter identification bill
later vetoed by then-Gov. Beverly Perdue (D).30 He urged his supporters to make videos
showing the places where they were already required to produce photo identification.31 In April
2013, the state House passed a bill to require voters to show government-issued photo
identification.32 The law is now pending before the state Senate, where it is expected to be taken
up this month.33 Gov. McCrory has said he supports the legislation.34
23 Mark Binker, McCrory Stands Behind DOT Appointee Despite Donations, WRAL-TV, April 8, 2013; Bruce
Siceloff, Gov. McCrory Appoints Fundraisers to Board After Candidate McCrory Vowed Not To, News &
Observer, April 5, 2013.
24 Id.; Bruce Siceloff, 10 Board of Transportation Appointees Helped McCrory Campaign Raise $156,394, News &
Observer, April 3, 2013.
26 Binker, WRAL, Apr. 8, 2013; Siceloff, News & Observer, Apr. 5, 2013.
27 Rob Christensen, McCrory Picks Outside the Box for DHHS Secretary, News & Observer, December 15, 2012.
28 Follow the Money, Contributions Lookup, Pat McCrory, 2009–2012; http://estonia.usembassy.gov/wos.html.
29 Gerrick Brenner, Op-Ed: Brenner — McCrory Donors Win Big Payback, Fayetteville Observer, January 27,
30 McCrory Not Wedded to Photo ID Requirement to Vote, Associated Press, January 10, 2013.
32 Rob Christensen, GOP Rolls Out Less Restrictive N.C. Voter ID Bill, Charlotte Observer, April 5, 2013; Herbert
L. White, N.C. House Passes Voter ID Bill, Charlotte Post, April 25, 2013; http://ncleg.net/
33 Id.; North Carolina Senate Delaying Voter ID Bill for Another Week, Associated Press, July 1, 2013.
34 Jim Morrill, McCrory Meets with African American Lawmakers, Educators, Charlotte Observer, April 29, 2013.
GOV. TERRY BRANSTAD (R-IA) was elected in 2010. He had previously served four
consecutive terms as governor, from 1983 to 1999.
CRONYISM Gov. Branstad appointed his top campaign donor, Bruce Rastetter, to the Iowa
Board of Regents and initiated a shakeup that allowed Mr. Rastetter to become the board
president in June 2013.1 Mr. Rastetter, who founded an ethanol company and is currently the
chief executive officer of an agriculture company, has been accused of using his board position
to stifle academic freedom and to promote a pro-agriculture agenda at the state’s three
universities.2 Gov. Branstad appointed Mr. Rastetter’s brother, Brent, also a major donor, to the
board of the Iowa Environmental Protection Commission, the state environmental oversight
panel.3 Brent Rastetter owns a business that builds large livestock operations regulated under
clean water laws overseen by the commission.4
PRESSURING PUBLIC OFFICIALS Gov. Branstad sought to pressure and remove the state
workers’ compensation commissioner on behalf of business interests. After taking office, Gov.
Branstad asked for the resignation of all state department heads.5 Iowa Workers’ Compensation
Commissioner Chris Godfrey, whose six-year term is meant to shelter him from political
interference, repeatedly refused to resign.6 Gov. Branstad’s administration then reduced his
salary from $109,000 to $73,259 a year, the lowest possible for his pay grade.7 Gov. Branstad
said he was encouraged to force out Mr. Godfrey by the Iowa Association of Business and
Industry, though the association’s president denied asking for Mr. Godfrey’s removal.8 Mr.
Godfrey filed a lawsuit against the state over the situation, alleging mistreatment and sex
discrimination, among other things.9 The lawsuit is pending.10
http://iowaindependent.com/4203/secrets-of-the-american-future-fund; Press Release, Office of Governor of Iowa
Terry Branstad, Gov. Branstad appoints Bruce Rastetter, Katie Mulholland and Nicole Carroll to the Iowa Board of
Regents, February 25, 2011; http://www.regents.iowa.gov/BoardMembers/boardmembers.html; Hog, Ethanol Baron
Bruce Rastetter Now a Republican Kingmaker, Associated Press, August 4, 2011; Ryan J. Foley, Rastetter Picked to
Lead Iowa Board of Regents, Associated Press, June 5, 2013.
2 Jim Rutenberg, Don Van Natta Jr., and Mike McIntire, Offering Donors Secrecy, and Going on Attack, New York
Times, October 11, 2010; Ryan J. Foley, Rastetter Picked to Lead Iowa Board of Regents, Associated Press, June 5,
3 http://www.followthemoney.org/database/StateGlance/contributor.phtml?d=1283676980; Associated Press, Aug.
4, 2011; Perry Beeman, Iowa CCI Files Ethics Complaint Against Environmental Commissioner Brent Rastetter,
Des Moines Register, August 16, 2011.
4 Id.; Ethics Complaint Against Rastetter Dismissed, Associated Press, November 17, 2011.
5 Jason Clayworth, Branstad First Demands Resignation and Then Sinks Commissioner’s Pay, Des Moines Register,
July 12, 2011.
8 Jason Clayworth, Business Group Says It Did Not Encourage Branstad to Fire Commissioner, Des Moines
Register, July 13, 2011.
9 Jason Clayworth, Iowa’s Workers’ Compensation Commissioner Files $1 Million Lawsuit Against the State, Des
Moines Register, January 11, 2012.
10 Branstad Lawsuit Bill Tops $370,000, Associated Press, April 3, 2013.
SELF ENRICHMENT Additionally, because he previously held office for 26 years, Gov.
Branstad draws a pension while also paid a salary.11 His 2012 salary was $121,188 and he also
received $53,480 in pension payments from the Iowa Public Employees Retirement System.12
He has defended double-dipping.13
PARTISAN POLITICS On his first day in office, Gov. Branstad signed an executive order
reversing a six-year policy of his Democratic predecessors to automatically reinstate the voting
rights of felons once they were discharged from state supervision.14 Under the terms of the new
order, felons were required to apply to the governor to regain their voting rights and were
required to submit a credit report.15 After the NAACP criticized the rules as disproportionally
harming blacks, Gov. Branstad amended the policy.16 Now, applicants still must apply to the
governor, but need only to be current on their payments of fines, restitution, and court costs.17
http://www.nndb.com/gov/941/000051788/; Tom Beaumont, Branstad Defends Receiving Pension and Salary, Des
Moines Register, February 21, 2011.
12 Governor Branstad Earning $130k Salary, Plus $50k Pension, Associated Press, February 15, 2011;
https://webapp.iecdb.iowa.gov/PublicView/pfd/2010/Branstad_Terry%20E..pdf; Branstad Releases 2012 Tax
Information, The Gazette, April 19, 2013.
13 Beaumont, Des Moines Register, Feb. 21, 2011.
14 Ryan J. Foley, Iowa Felon’s Voting Rights: Terry Branstad’s Executive Order Disenfranchises Thousands,
Associated Press, June 26, 2012.
16 Jason Noble, Terry Branstad Announces Changes to Application for Restoring Felons’ Voting Rights, Des Moines
Register, December 28, 2012.
GOV. BOBBY JINDAL (R-LA) was first elected governor in 2007 and was reelected in 2011.
He was included in CREW’s 2010 report on governors.1
SCANDAL Some of the governor’s largest corporate campaign contributors have also donated
heavily to a foundation set up by his wife, raising questions about whether they are attempting to
curry favor with the governor.2 Gov. Jindal’s wife, Supriya Jindal, founded the nonprofit
Supriya Jindal Foundation for Louisiana’s Children in July 2008, shortly after her husband took
office.3 The foundation distributes interactive whiteboards to Louisiana schools.4
A review in March 2011 found nine of 13 corporate donors that collectively pledged at least
$790,000 to the Jindal Foundation also contributed more than $100,000 to Gov. Jindal’s
campaign between 2007 and 2011.5 Gov. Jindal’s chief fundraiser, Alexandra Bautsch, who has
worked for the governor since at least 2005, was also listed as the foundation’s treasurer until
2010, according to the organization’s tax returns.6 In addition, the foundation’s fundraising web
page for a time featured a picture of Gov. Jindal with his wife.7
The March 2011 review showed the overlapping donors included companies with significant
interests before Louisiana state government, such as AT&T Inc., Marathon Oil Corp., Northrop
Grumman Corp., and state contractors such as Acadian Ambulance.8 The nine companies
collectively employed more than 50 lobbyists in Louisiana, and eight of the companies received
at least $113.6 million from the state.9 The governor’s spokesman described the foundation as “a
completely nonpolitical, nonpartisan organization created by the first lady,” and said he had not
intervened to help any of the foundation’s donors with state business.10
CRONYISM Gov. Jindal has appointed large campaign donors to state posts. An August 2012
newspaper analysis found 193 of Gov. Jindal’s appointees to state boards and commissions
collectively donated more than $2.6 million to the governor’s various campaigns.11 State higher
education boards and the Superdome’s board of commissioners were especially dominated by
1 For more information, see CREW’s Worst Governors 2010, available at http://www.citizensforethics.org
2 Eric Lipton, Wife’s Charity Offers Corporate Tie to a Governor, New York Times, March 2, 2011.
3 The Supriya Jindal Foundation for Louisiana’s Children, Nonprofit Corporation Registration, Secretary of State:
Louisiana, filed July 21, 2008; http://jindalfoundation.org/.
4 The Supriya Jindal Foundation for Louisiana’s Children, IRS Form 990-EZ, Initial Return 2009, May 11, 2010.
5 http://jindalfoundation.org/partners/; http://jindalfoundation.org/donate/; Follow the Money, Contributor Lookup,
Bobby Jindal, 2007 - 2012. Contributors to Gov. Jindal include Marathon Oil, Acadian Ambulance, D & J
Construction, State Farm, BlueCross BlueShield of Louisiana, Northrop Grumman, Wal-Mart, Dow Chemicals, and
AT&T, plus contributions from company PACs and executives.
6 The Supriya Jindal Foundation for Louisiana’s Children, IRS Form 990-EZ, Initial Return 2009, May 11, 2010;
The Supriya Jindal Foundation for Louisiana’s Children, IRS Form 990-EZ, Initial Return 2011, May 14, 2012; Jan
Moller, Gov. Bobby Jindal’s Campaign Spending is Up, Times-Picayune, March 3, 2010; Bobby Jindal, Candidate’s
Report Form F102, Report ID LA-35719, filed February 15, 2013.
8 http://jindalfoundation.org/partners/; Lipton, New York Times, Mar. 2, 2011.
9 http://www.ethics.state.la.us/LobbyistData/; http://wwwprd.doa.louisiana.gov/latrac/vendors.cfm.
10 Lipton, New York Times, Mar. 2, 2011.
11 Tom Aswell, 193 of Piyush’s Best Friends Cough up $2.6 Million, Get Choice Appointments, Louisiana Free
Press, August 13, 2012.
campaign contributors: 50 appointees and their families and businesses together contributed
nearly $1.2 million to Gov. Jindal.12
A March 2011 WAFB investigation found eight of nine appointees to the Louisiana Board of
Regents, the 16-member board that oversees higher education in Louisiana, contributed at or
near the $5,000 maximum personal contribution limit to Gov. Jindal’s campaign, collectively
giving a total of $37,500.13 Six of the eight donors’ contributions were received around the time
the donors were appointed to the board.14 In July 2012, Gov. Jindal appointed another large
donor, Ray Brandt, who contributed at least $25,000 to the governor’s campaigns since 2007.15
MISMANAGEMENT Gov. Jindal appointed Bruce Greenstein to be secretary of the state
Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) despite concerns about potential conflicts of interest.
The appointment led to a federal probe into DHH’s award of a nearly $200 million contract to
Sec. Greenstein’s former employer.
In July 2010, Gov. Jindal appointed Mr. Greenstein, a former vice president at Client Network
Services, Inc. (CNSI), as secretary of DHH.16 During Mr. Greenstein’s 2011 confirmation
hearings, which were not held until nine months after he began the job, state legislators voiced
concerns about his relationship with CNSI and questioned Mr. Greenstein about his role in
DHH’s selection of a Medicaid processing firm.17 Mr. Greenstein initially testified he had not
been involved in the selection process, but after documents contradicting him surfaced during a
second hearing, he acknowledged he had been responsible for changing the bid solicitations in a
way that made CNSI eligible to bid.18
The company received low technical scores but won the contract in large part because it offered
the lowest price, though the other firms competing for the work subsequently filed complaints
with the state accusing CNSI of “low balling” in order to win the bid.19 The state’s Division of
Administration rejected these complaints.20
In March 2013, however, news of a federal probe into the CNSI contract emerged publicly.21 On
the advice of the state attorney general’s office, Gov. Jindal’s administration cancelled the DHHCNSI
contract and launched an inquiry into Mr. Greenstein’s role in the award.22 The governor
issued a statement reaffirming his faith in Mr. Greenstein, but nonetheless, Mr. Greenstein
resigned a week after the termination of the contract.23 The Jindal administration later uncovered
13 Robb Hays and David Spunt, I-TEAM: Board of Regents Appointees Donate to Jindal, WAFB, March 3, 2011.
15 Stephen Sabludowsky, Jindal Continues Major Campaign Cash-Regents Pick with Ray Brandt, Bayou Buzz, July
16 http://www.gov.state.la.us/index.cfm?md=pagebuilder&tmp=home&cpid=27; Melinda Deslatte, Medicaid Probe
Is Trouble for Jindal, Associated Press, April 10, 2013.
17 Laura Maggi, Investigators Looking into Possible Perjury by Former Louisiana Health Chief, Times-Picayune,
May 3, 2013.
21 Marsha Shuler, Jindal Cancels Contract, The Advocate, March 24, 2013.
23 Laura McGaughy, DHH Secretary Bruce Greenstein Resigns in Wake of Federal Investigation, Times-Picayune,
March 29, 2013.
evidence showing Mr. Greenstein exchanged “hundreds of phone calls” and “thousands of text
messages” with CNSI during the bid process, creating an unfair advantage for the company, a
state official said in a letter cancelling the contract.24 In May 2013, the Louisiana attorney
general’s office launched its own criminal investigation into the DHH-CNSI contract.25 CNSI
has denied any wrongdoing, and has sued the state over the contract’s cancellation.26
TRANSPARENCY In 2009, Gov. Jindal backed legislation meant to allow more access to
public records. The legislation, however, included an exemption allowing the governor to block
disclosure of records considered part of his “deliberative process.”27 The governor’s
administration has since used the exemption to shield a wide array of documents, including some
previously available to the public, such as records generated by agencies outside the governor’s
office.28 The governor’s broad interpretation of the exemption has sparked concern among good
government and watchdogs groups and prompted a series of court challenges.29
Despite his pledge to make Louisiana’s state government more transparent, the Jindal
administration has faced complaints that it circumvents transparency scrutiny on multiple
fronts.30 Media outlets uncovered evidence that Gov. Jindal’s staffers used personal e-mail
accounts to conduct state business on some controversial issues, including Medicaid cuts and
school voucher programs.31 Critics have also charged Gov. Jindal’s administration with
deliberately skirting Louisiana’s open meetings law.32
24 Melinda Deslatte, Grand Jury to Look into $200M Medicaid Contract Awarded by Jindal Administration,
Associated Press, May 23, 2013; Maggi, Times-Picayune, May 3, 2013.
25 Deslatte, Associated Press, May 23, 2013.
27 Lawsuits Challenge Louisiana Public Records Exemption for Governor, Associated Press, September 10, 2012.
28 Id.; Tyler Bridges, Jindal Administration Invoking 2009 Law to Shield Public Records, The Lens, November 21,
30 Melinda Deslatte, Bobby Jindal Aides Use Personal Email to Strategize on Medicaid Cuts, Associated Press,
December 10, 2012; Barbara Leader, Critics: White’s Email Blurs Jindal’s Transparency, The News Star, July 3,
32 Bill Barrow, Governor’s Office Helped Organize Closed-Door Gathering of New Teaching Hospital Board,
Times-Picayune, August 5, 2010.
GOV. JOHN KASICH (R-OH) was elected in 2010.
TRANSPARENCY In February 2011, Gov. Kasich replaced Ohio’s Department of
Development with a private, non-profit organization called JobsOhio.1 JobsOhio is financed by
the sale of bonds backed by the state’s wholesale liquor profits and private donations, but it is
exempt from Ohio’s public record laws and does not have to disclose its donors.2 The Kasich
administration resisted efforts by the state auditor to examine JobsOhio’s financial records,
claiming private donations and liquor profits should not be subject to an audit.3 State Auditor
Dave Yost subpoenaed JobsOhio to get access to its financial records.4 JobsOhio eventually
complied, but with Gov. Kasich’s support, the group sought legislation to strip the state auditor
of authority to examine records related to money from state liquor-supported bond sales.5 Gov.
Kasich pushed the fast-tracked legislation, and signed it in private.6 In a separate disclosure
dispute, Gov. Kasich invoked executive privilege to block the release of some of his schedules to
the Ohio Democratic Party.7 He was the first Ohio governor to invoke executive privilege since
it was created by a 2006 Ohio Supreme Court decision.8
PARTISAN POLITICS Gov. Kasich has backed new restrictions on voting. In 2011, he signed
an election-law bill preventing counties from mailing unsolicited absentee ballots to voters,
eliminating a requirement that poll workers help voters voting at the wrong location, altering
rules for challenging voters based on citizenship and party affiliation and eliminating in-person
voting the three days preceding an election.9 Opponents of the bill were able to gather enough
signatures to put the law on the November 2012 ballot for a voter referendum.10 Concerned that
the referendum would drive Democratic-leaning voters to the polls, benefitting President
Obama’s re-election effort, Republicans reversed course and repealed all of the new measures
except that eliminating in-person voting the three days before the election, and Gov. Kasich
signed the legislation.11 Ohio Democrats sued state officials over the elimination of the threeday
period and a federal appeals court reinstated the early voting period in October 2012.12
1 Joe Guillen, Gov. John Kasich Signs JobsOhio Bill, Addresses Doubts that His Hand-Picked Leader for the
Corporation is Eligible to Serve, Cleveland Plain Dealer, February 18, 2011.
2 Id.; Reginald Fields, Gov. John Kasich’s Private Jobs Agency to Control Ohio Liquor Profits, Cleveland Plain
Dealer, January 23, 2012; Joe Vardon, Donors Funneled $6.9M to JobsOhio, Columbus Dispatch, May 18, 2013.
3 Joe Hallett, Kasich/Yost; Showdown?; Governor’s Office and State Auditor May Be at Odds over JobsOhio Audit,
Columbus Dispatch, March 7, 2013; Tom Breckenridge, Democrats Raising More Questions On JobsOhio as
Kasich, Yost Tussle over Audit, Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 14, 2013.
4 Robert Higgs, JobsOhio Complies with Ohio Auditor Dave Yost’s Records Subpoena but Still Disputes Auditor’s
Legal Authority, Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 19, 2013; Ann Sanner, Ohio Bill Shielding Liquor Deal Money
Heads to Kasich, Associated Press, May 31, 2013; Breckenridge, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Mar. 14, 2013.
5 Id.; Higgs, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Mar. 19, 2013; Breckenridge, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Mar. 14, 2013.
6 Joe Vardon, Bill Signed to Close JobsOhio’s Books, Columbus Dispatch, June 5, 2013; Sanner, Associated Press,
May 31, 2013.
7 Aaron Marshall, Gov. John Kasich Asserts Executive Privilege in Records Fight with Democrats, Cleveland Plain
Dealer, September 20, 2012.
9 Jim Siegel, House Approves Election Overhaul Bill, Columbus Dispatch, June 29, 2011; Joe Vardon, Kasich
Likely to Sign Repeal of Election Bill He Signed, Columbus Dispatch, May 15, 2012; Kim Palmer, John Kasich
Signs Bill to Repeal Voting Law Changes in Ohio, Reuters, May 15, 2012.
12 Ann Sanner, High Court Won’t Block Early Voting in Ohio, Associated Press, October 16, 2012.
GOV. RICK SNYDER (R-MI) was elected in 2010.
TRANSPARENCY Shortly after taking office, Gov. Snyder established three funds able to
accept unlimited corporate donations—the Governor’s Club, the Foundation to Reinvent
Michigan (FRM), and the New Energy to Reinvent and Diversify (NERD) fund.1 The
Governor’s Club, set up in March 2011 under Section 527 of the tax code, pays for the
governor’s job-related expenses, including travel to political meetings and conventions, office
lunches, and renovations to a press room in the governor’s office building.2 Unlike the two other
funds, donors to the Governor’s Club are publicly disclosed.3 FRM and the NERD fund were set
up in February 2011 under sections 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) of the tax code respectively, which
means they are not legally required to publicly disclose donors.4 FRM pays for repair and
maintenance of the governor's official residences, while money contributed to the NERD fund is
reportedly dedicated to “the promotion of civic action and social welfare.”5 Gov. Snyder’s
predecessor used funds like the Governor’s Club and FRM for similar purposes, but did not have
one similar in scope to the NERD fund.6 In tax filings, the NERD fund, which reported raising
$1.3 million in 2011, disclosed spending more than $130,000 on a security system and furniture
for the governor’s residences.7 It ambiguously describes the remainder, $562,866, as spent for
the “common good and general welfare” of the state’s residents and visitors.8
In May 2013, the Detroit Free Press reported two of Gov. Snyder’s key advisors, a campaign
staffer and a member of his gubernatorial staff, were on the payroll of the NERD fund.9 Rich
Baird is Gov. Snyder’s “transformation manager,” an influential position in the governor’s
administration created specifically for him.10 Mr. Baird, who recently retired from
1 Paul Egan, Watchdog: Snyder Funds ‘Disturbing’, Detroit News, September 9, 2011.
2 Id.; Governor’s Club, IRS Form 990, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax 2011, August 14, 2012.
The Governor’s Club raised $396,000 in 2011. Donors who contributed $25,000 in 2011 include: AT&T of
Michigan, Inc., Detroit Medical Center, DTE Energy, Health Care Association of Michigan, HNTB Corporation,
Jackson National Life Insurance Company, Michigan Credit Union League, Michigan Health & Hospital
Association, and Total Health Care.
4 Jennifer Dixon, A Too-Good Place to Stash Donor Cash, Detroit Free Press, March 11, 2012; Foundation to
Reinvent Michigan, IRS Form 990, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax 2011, June 29, 2012; New
Energy to Reinvent and Diversify, IRS Form 990, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax 2011, August
5 Id. The governor has two official state-owned residences, one in Michigan’s capitol, Lansing, and the other a
summer home in Mackinac Island. See http://www.michigan.gov/miplaces/0,4634,7-244-45894---,00.html.
6 Egan, Detroit News, Sept. 9, 2011.
7 New Energy to Reinvent and Diversify, IRS Form 990, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax 2011,
August 14, 2012.
9 Tom Walsh, Snyder's Talent Guru Steps Out from Behind the Curtain, Detroit Free Press, May 16, 2013; Chris
Gautz, Key Snyder Adviser Prefers His Place Behind the Curtain, Crain’s Detroit Business, May 19, 2013; Nancy
Kaffer, Gov. Rick Snyder Must Come Clean on Details of NERD Fund, Detroit Free Press, June 18, 2013. Gov.
Snyder’s former deputy campaign manager, Rick DiBartolomeo, was the NERD fund’s assistant secretary and
treasurer and its only paid employee in 2011, earning $48,366 for working 10 hours a week. During this period he
also collected a salary from Gov. Snyder’s campaign committee. Mr. DiBartolomeo left both positions in June 2012
to take a $115,000-a-year job as the investment administrator for the state Treasury Department. See Kaffer, Detroit
Free Press, June 18, 2013; Paul Egan, Snyder Campaign Official Chosen for $115,000-a-Year State Post, Detroit
Free Press, June 28, 2012; New Energy to Reinvent and Diversify, IRS Form 990, Return of Organization Exempt
from Income Tax 2011, August 14, 2012.
10 Kaffer, Detroit Free Press, June 18, 2013; Walsh, Detroit Free Press, May 16, 2013.
PricewaterhouseCoopers, set up a consulting firm, MI Partners LLC, with Gov. Snyder as his
sole client.11 The NERD fund pays MI Partners LLC $100,000 a year.12
Mr. Baird’s unusual position in the governor’s office and the NERD fund’s lack of transparency
have come under scrutiny as a result of Mr. Baird’s involvement in an ongoing lawsuit against
Gov. Snyder. The lawsuit alleges that the governor’s office violated state laws in offering
Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr his job before Detroit was designated as in financial
emergency and before the appointment was reviewed in a public meeting by a state board
controlled by the governor.13 Mr. Baird, who is not a defendant in the suit, was subpoenaed and
claimed executive privilege in refusing to disclose the names of the other candidates he
interviewed for the position.14
Gov. Snyder’s attorney explained that while Mr. Baird is not on the government’s payroll, “he
functions as if he is a state employee” with an office two doors down from the governor’s.15 In
defending Mr. Baird’s right to claim executive privilege, Gov. Snyder’s attorney cited two
precedents involving executive privilege: Aaron Burr’s 1807 treason trial and President Richard
Nixon’s attempt to block access to records related to the Watergate scandal.16 The presiding
judge, Ingham County Circuit Court Judge William Collette, dismissed Mr. Baird’s claim of
executive privilege, saying: “He is a private citizen claiming to be under an umbrella of the
governor. The governor wants it both ways, apparently. He wants the ability to hide behind this
corporate entity—to hide behind this umbrella and do all of this behind-the-scenes stuff and hide
it from everybody.”17
11 Editorial: It’s Time Gov. Rick Snyder Tried Transparency Himself, Detroit Free Press, June 6, 2013.
12 Id. The NERD fund’s tax filings do not disclose the $100,000 paid to Mr. Baird’s MI Partners LLC. See New
Energy to Reinvent and Diversify, IRS Form 990, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax 2011, August
13 Chad Livengood, Judge Orders Snyder Aide to Produce Detroit EM Candidate Names, Detroit News, June 12,
2013; Jonathan Oosting, Critics Challenge Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder on Transparency as Court Orders Disclosure
from Aide, M Live, June 12, 2013; Paul Egan, Snyder Recruited Orr as EM Before Financial Emergency Declared in
Detroit, Detroit Free Press, June 5, 2013. The emergency manager (EM) law has been the subject of controversy
throughout Gov. Snyder’s tenure. In March 2011, Gov. Snyder signed an EM bill granting EMs new and augmented
powers. Under the law, the governor has the authority to designate emergency management jurisdictions and to
appoint EMs, whom are tasked with taking control of financially distressed cities and school districts and have broad
powers to cut costs, overrule local governments, and amend or terminate contracts. Civil rights groups challenged
the law, saying it violated the Voting Rights Act by disenfranchising minority voters. In addition, civil rights and
progressive groups said Gov. Snyder’s process for determining which jurisdictions required emergency management
lacked transparency and accountability. In November 2012, Michigan voters repealed the EM law by referendum.
One month later, in December 2012, the legislature passed a new EM law by tacking it onto an appropriations bill,
meaning it cannot be repealed by voter referendum. Gov. Snyder signed the new bill. In May 2013, the NAACP
filed suit against Gov. Snyder claiming that emergency management was unconstitutionally enacted in
predominately minority jurisdictions. See Chris Savage, The Scandal of Michigan's Emergency Managers, The
Nation, February 15, 2012; Paul Abowd, Michigan’s Hostile Takeover, Mother Jones, February 15, 2012; Chris
Christoff, Michigan Lawmakers Approve New Emergency Manager Law, Bloomberg, December 14, 2012; Marilisa
Sachteleban, Sharpton Group Sues Against Michigan Emergency Management, Yahoo! News, April 2, 2013; Khalil
AlHajal, NAACP Lawsuit Claims Emergency Manager Law Violates Voting Rights of Half Michigan's African
Americans, M Live, May 13, 2013.
14 Livengood, Detroit News, June 12, 2013; Oosting, M Live, June 12, 2013; Egan, Detroit Free Press, June 5, 2013.
15 Livengood, Detroit News, June 12, 2013.