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MANNING & ASSOCIATES FINANCIAL SERVICES A homegrown Texas firm, Manning & Associates is a fee-only financial planning and investment management firm that specializes in socially responsible investments Our advice is tailored to meet your needs and your values. Wealth Management Asset Allocation Gifting Strategies Estate Planning Miscellaneous Issues 1200 Smith Street, Suite 1600 Houston, Texas 77002 tel. 713.621.6646 I toll free 877.309.8248 [email protected] holds onto power. Communications between Wilson and the Texas Lottery Commissionwhich the Observer obtained under the Texas Public Information Actreveal that GTECH and Wilson recently explored other risky steps to ingratiate the lottery contractor with top state leaders. Although GTECH’s contract prohibits it from making direct or indirect gifts to state officials, Wilson got the Lottery Commission and Office of the Attorney General to agree to let GTECH pay Mary Wilson of the Supremes to perform at the gubernatorial inaugural in January. After securing regulatory approval for this legally slippery gift, the company opted not to go through with it. But the incident underscores Wilson’s cozy relationship with GTECH since the abrupt 2004 end of his legislative career. Wilson came to the House in the early 1970s after serving as an aide to Mickey Leland. With a penchant for fine clothes and fast cars, Wilson was best known for selling his colleagues on the lottery. The downfall of his quarter-century legislative career was the 2002 Republican takeover of the House. Far from resisting the new GOP leadership, Wilson embraced it. As Craddick’s powerful House Ways and Means Committee chair in 2003, Wilson pushed a bill to induct the Texas Lottery into Powerballa multistate lottery game with a massive purse. The Lamborghini-driving legislator finally had overreached. His Powerball bill crapped out, and Wilson’s constituents used the 2004 Democratic primary to elect challenger Alma Allenwho pledged to serve the district rather than Craddick. Wilson resigned in August 2004, six months before his term ended. Two months later, Lottery Commission records reveal, Wilson sent an e-mail to commission Governmental Affairs Director Nelda Trevino. “I am enjoying semi-anonymity,” the flamboyant ex-lawmaker wrote. “My entire adult life has been spent in some type of public service. It is nice to be out of the bubble?’ In a sign that he might not remain outside the bubble long, Wilson added that he had moved to Austin and would like to get together with the commission’s top staff lobbyist. “It looks like I’ll be doing some lobby work,” Wilson’s message to Trevino concludes, “so I’ll still be around the process?’ Though Wilson never registered as a lobbyist, he did get back in “the process?’ He told thenLottery Commission Executive Director Reagan Greer in April 2005 that he had been hired as a lawyer by GTECH. \(Greer resigned under fire three months later for approving misleading ads about Commission records suggest that Wilson’s main job has been contesting penalties that the commission has imposed on GTECH for allegedly not meeting the terms of its contract. A month before learning that GTECH had hired Wilson, for example, the commission deducted $750,000 from a GTECH invoice to penalize the company for a computer glitch that erroneously listed 13 winning lottery tickets as duds. Once on GTECH’s retainer, Wilson made numerous formal and informal efforts to get the agency to reverse or lower such sanctions. He filed exhaustive Public Information Act requests for commission documents about sanctions and the agency’s negotiation of its current GTECH contract. As a result, a request for recent agency documents mentioning Wilson produced 5,364 pages of stuffeven though the agency withheld voluminous materials it claimed are exempt from disclosure. Wilson’s name also surfaced at the Lottery Commission late last year in conjunction with two ethics issues involving pop music. In a trivial one, Trevino wrote Wilson last October that agency rules prevented her from keeping a recording that he had given her of himself playing bass with other members of the David Spann Band. The rocking attorney triggered louder ethical alarms in December, when he asked the commission if GTECH could foot the bill for Mary Wilson to perform at the inaugural bash for Gov. Rick Perry and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst. GTECH’s contract expressly prohibits the company from making direct or indirect gifts, loans, or political contributions to Texas officials. There is a history to this prohibition. Ex-GTECH JULY 27, 2007 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 21