Michael Quinn Sullivan's Lawyer Thinks His Lobbyist Client Isn't a Lobbyist

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Some of you might or might not be familiar with Joe Nixon, former state representative that authored the lawsuit reform bill through the Texas House of Representatives in 2003.  

He has also gained notoriety by representing State Representative Larry Taylor in the Texas Windstorm Insurance case back in 2009. The TWIA insures property owners who have damaged homes from natural disasters when their regular insurance refuses to pay.  

Nixon, now counsel to Michael Quinn Sullivan, wrote a letter regarding the investigation of Michael Quinn Sullivan by the Texas Ethics Commission.

Click below the jump to see what MQS's lawyer had to say about regulating lobbyists in Texas.  In quite the egregious claim Nixon states that Texans lost their power to special interests in 1957 when lobbyist rules were created. Turns out this law didn't just create lobbyists out of thin air, it simply began to regulate what lobbyists can do so they can be on a level playing field.

Nixon writes:

“As long as common citizens have to register as lobbyists, pay the state a $750 yearly fee, and fill out monthly forms before they may contact their representatives on issues facing the state, only the lobby of special interests will be empowered in the Legislature¬†not the voters. “

Claiming that an active lobbyist is behind all of these accusations and that these accusations are simply from an email is not the case. Michael Quinn Sullivan is a man who runs not one but two multi-million dollar political action committees (Empower Texas and Texans for Fiscal Responsibility). To simply state that he is just a common man and a citizen lobbyist insults actual citizen lobbyists (of which anyone can send an email and shockingly enough, and not be in threat of violating any ethics laws).

Michael Quinn Sullivan has been a registered lobbyist since 2005 and then suddenly without changing his duties around the capitol, did not register in 2010 and 2011 as a lobbyist.

After the Texas Ethics Commission investigated the claim and offered a settlement to avoid a public hearing for Sullivan, Sullivan instead of simply declining the settlement, or you know settling, wrote a press release comparing himself to a WW II hero and the Texas Ethics Commission to the Third Reich (seriously).

Even more ridiculous is that the author of this letter, Joe Nixon has been referred to a lobbyist lap-dog himself when he authored the lawsuit reform bill in 2003 while his campaign was highly funded by Texans for Lawsuit Reform at the time.

Rules for lobbyists exist so as to prevent lobbyists from wielding too much power. The fact that Michael Quinn Sullivan and his lawyer don't want to be under these same rules is essentially asking for a special exception for themselves, while claiming to be common citizen lobbyists, yet running multi-million dollar PACs and threatening every Republican legislator with a primary challenger who doesn't meet their scorecard credentials.

Not sure who Michael Quinn Sullivan and Joe Nixon think they are fooling, because right now it's not anyone who comes close the capitol dome. The Texas Ethics Commission investigation is still pending.  

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About Author

Chaille Jolink

Chaille Jolink was born and raised in Austin, Texas and has more than a decade of experience working in Texas politics. Her interest began when she was a Senate Messenger in 2003, and she's since worked for several different legislators and candidates. She started reporting in 2007 for GalleryWatch.com, and has been a contributor to several different publications. Chaille is a graduate of the University of Texas and enjoys fashion, baseball, and playing any team sport. Chaille tweets @ChailleMcCann.

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