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OUTS AL INTELLIGENCE 0> There Is Always a Bright Side LWI: LOBBYING WHILE INDICTED John Colyandro’s criminal indictments have not prevented the ex-director of Tom DeLay’s Texans for a Republican contracts to lobby the government that he is accused of illegally helping to elect. Rather, a Travis County grand jury’s criminal charges against Colyandro last fall for allegedly breaking a state prohibition on corporate contributions may have actually boosted his lobby stature. An alternative explanation is that Team DeLay is taking care of a man who knows too much. Colyandro is receiving up to $150,000 so far this year to lobby for four out-ofstate corporations, according to initial 2005 Texas lobby filings. The value of these contracts already equal what Colyandro reported by the close of the last legislative session in 2003. Colyandro’s current clients are all government contractors. The state of Texas previously awarded contracts to at least two of them: investment bank SBK-Brooks and highway contractor VMS, Inc. The third client, Louis Berger Group, is a construction giant with L.S. contracts in Iraq. The last client, 3SG Corp., digitizes and manages documents. Colyandro and TRMPAC board member Jim Ellis both lobbied for highway contractor VMS a year before their indictments. Both men are affiliated with a Virginia consulting firm called Performance and Results InternationEllis still has a voicemail box at PRISM’s headquarters located outside Washington and Colyandro’s current lobby filings list “PRISM” as his lobby firm. Ellisa close aide to Tom DeLaycould be providing for Colyandro through PRISM. Colyandro could connect a lot of dots for the prosecutors who have charged him with 14 felonies, including a first-degree felony that carries a maximum prison sentence of 99 years. When contacted, a PRISM spokesperson said that CEO David Sanders was the only one who could comment on Colyandro but he was not available to do so. PRISM referred calls for Ellis to DeLay’s Americans for a Republican Majority PAC, TRMPAC’s federal cousin. Ellis did not return messages seeking comment, left at ARMPAC and PRISM. The Texas Education Agency signed a $15,000 contract with PRISM in November 2004 to provide management-training services, according to an agency spokesperson. Colyandro is also executive director of the Texas Conservative Coalition, which wields considerable clout with state Republican leaders. Calls to the phone Colyandro lists in lobby filings went unanswered and he did not reply to a message left at the Conservative Coalition. The two Colyandro clients that returned the Observer’s calls confirmed that they were interested in doing business with the state of Texas but said that they had no direct dealings with Colyandro. Louis Berger Group President Nicholas Masucci said his firm had contracted with PRISM’s CEO. 3SG President Nanda Nair acknowledged PRISM may have done some lobbying for his company. Lobbying while indicted puts Colyandro in elite company. A computerized search for the phrase “indicted lobbyist” in major U.S. newspapers published over the past decade yields reports of just seven other indicted lobbyists. The Observer could document only three cases like Colyandro’s in which a lobbyist continued lobbying in the year following his or her indictment. Two of these indicted lobbyists were John Colyandro’s Lobby Clients Year Client Location Max. Value of Contract Min. Value of Contract 2005 Louis Berger Group East Orange, NJ $50,000 $25,000 VMS, Inc. Richmond, VA $50,000 $25,000 3SG Corp. Dublin, OH $25,000 $10,000 SBK-Brooks Cleveland, OH $25,000 $10,000 2004 TX Cable & Telecom. Assn. Austin, TX $50,000 $25,000 2003 American Collectors Assn. of TX Austin, TX $50,000 $25,000 Securing Texas Advisory Roundtable McLean, VA $50,000 $25,000 *Swidler Berlin Shereff Friedman Washington, DC $25,000 $10,000 *VMS, Inc. Richmond, VA $25,000 $10,000 TOTALS: $350,000 $165,000 *Co-indictee James Ellis also lobbied for this client in 2003. 4 THE TEXAS OBSERVER MARCH 4, 2005