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With Governor Bush Alan Pogue MONEY, COMING AND GOING Bullock’s power over legislation attracts money. While earning just $7,200 per year from the state, Bullock easily raises millions of dollars from individuals and political action committees in support of his political machine. That machine is headed by Tony Proffitta former journalist and aide to Congressman Jake Pickleto whom Bullock pays $4,500 per month to act as gatekeeper, adviser, and chief political operator. Like many other Bullock employees, Proffitt has been fired several times. “We have had disagreements on policy,” says Proffitt. “It’s never affected our friendship.” Proffitt, Dede Keith, and Leslie Vilas, another longtime Bullock operative, work full time at Bullock’s campaign office. In addition to his pittance as an elected official, Bullock collects a handsome salary$156,500 in 1993, the last year he filed his income tax return at the Texas Ethics Commissionfrom the law firm of Scott Douglass Luton & McConnico. The Austin firm represents dozens of .oil and insurance companies, who often have business before state agencies. The firm hired Bullock in February of 1992 to be “of counsel,” although Bullock had not practiced law on a regular basis since leaving the attorney general’s office in 1968. Neither Bullock nor members of the firm will reveal how much Bullock is currently being paid. “It’s none of your business,” says Bullock. For many years, Bullock filed his personal income tax return with the Ethics Commission, even though it wasn’t required. After he took the job with Scott Douglass, he stopped. When asked why, he said, “I filed it for years and other public officials weren’t filing [theirs], so I just kind of quit filing.” Tom Albright, the managing partner of the firm, declined to pro vide any specifics about Bullock’s duties other than to say he “advises other lawyers on the staff. Our lawyers look to him for advice and counsel and we find him to be a very valuable resource in that regard. Beyond that, I don’t want to get into specifics.” Albright would not say if Bullock has brought clients to the firm, if he has clients of his own, or how much time Bullock actually spends at the firm. When asked if Bullock has made calls to state agencies on behalf of the firm’s clients, Albright said, “I am not aware that he calls any state agencies on our behalf, and I don’t know if anyone here asks him to. We have made every effort to avoid conflicts of interest of any kind. We don’t ever ask the lieutenant governor to do anything that would be improper.” The salary from the firm helps support a lifestyle that, while not extravagant, is certainly comfortable. Bullock and his wife live in a west Austin home he bought in 1987, currently valued by the Travis County Appraisal District at $244,000. He also owns a 200acre ranch in Llano County. While his connections to the law firm raise some questions about his finances, in recent years Bullock has scrupulously avoided any potential legal questions with regard to state travel funds. Whenever Bullock travels, he uses one of the two airplanes he and his wife own. Even if the trip is for state business, he pays for it out of his political campaign account. Over the past two years, Bullock has spent more than $660,000 in political campaign money on the planes. But according to records obtained from the comptroller’s office, Bullock has not asked the state to reimburse him for the use of his aircraft at any time over the past four years. Bullock’s campaign leases the planes from him and his wife through a corporation the couple created in January of 1993, called JANUARY 31, 1997 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 13