photo: Bell Helicopter Textron The V-22 Ann Richards photo: Patricia Moore George H.W. Bush by making it clear that he supported the V-22 project. So, in early 1993, Richards flew to Washington to meet with Pentagon officials to make sure that they were going to continue funding the program. After meeting with new Defense Secretary Les Aspin in February of 1993, Richards told reporters that she was “sure glad to have someone in that office who is a friend of the V-22.” Richards made another trip to Washington a year later, to make sure that the V-22 was still on schedule. She met with the new defense secretary, William Perry, for more than three hours to talk about the project. She also met with Navy Secretary John Dalton, a man Richards described as “an enthusiastic supporter of the V-22.” Throughout the latter part of the 1990s, with Richards’ pal Clinton in the White House, the V-22 was able to avoid most of the budget fights that had plagued it during the tenure of George H. W. Bush. Part of that was due to the fact that one of Bell’s lobbyists during that time was a certain former governor from Texas. Shortly after the 1994 election, in which she was defeated by George W. Bush, Richards decided to follow the pavedwith-gold revolving door and become yet-another-politicianturned-lobbyist. In 1996, Bell’s parent company Textron paid her $80,000 to work on its behalf. For the next few years, work 6/18/04 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 9
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