Rough Week

Dunn and his cronies had a tough week despite having become part of the Austin establishment.  The leak by Regent Hall of the impending UT President choice ( who Hall and Dunn operations lobbied hard against) let the Dunn lobbyists have a reason to work themselves up into a frenzy and work against the appointment. As with their full court press against Abbott and his Regent nominees, the board vote Friday showed they have no clout.

Events even brought Dunn lobbyists Mike Sullivan and baby lawyer Tony McDonald out to the lobby pit and testifying in committee.

Sullivan was overheard in the pit talking to members he called out from the floor, and McDonald did a masterful job parroting his clients desire to keep his operations in the dark when testifying against disclosure.

This is an interesting position for Dunn to take. And not just because they openly claim to be about transparency ( while thriving on and wallowing in dark money). Rather its because the tea party conservatives are strongly for disclosure and told Dunn so on the grassroots call last Sunday. Perhaps because Dunn is about to open his temple on Congress Avenue ( albeit 4 months behind schedule and several million over budget), has joined the Austin establishment ranks by being involved in Austin business trade groups and Patrick’s advisory group, he no longer cares to use the tea party groups to prop up his operation. By formally joining what he has for years referred to as “rent-seekers” in Austin, he hopes to protect his state subsidized businesses, particularly as the price of oil reins in his ability to solely fund his myriad lobby and media operations.

While Dunn and his cronies have never been particularly successful at their lobby or campaign operations, by hiding in the shadows and hiring legislators they have somewhat been able to create an appearance of success. As they move into the public through participating in Austin establishment groups, their lack of effectiveness is coming to light.

There are about 8 weeks left in the session. That’s about 8 more bad weeks for Dunn and his fringe beliefs.

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