Monday, October 03, 2005

Harriet Meirs' Past

It didn't take long, researching into Harriet Meirs' background to uncover some interesting tidbits:

1)In Money Magazine (8/1/87), Harriet Meirs' name comes up in her role as a lawyer, representing a Dallas mortgage firm, charged with fraud. The report yielded the following:

"Regulators in a handful of states have filed lawsuits and lobbied for legislation designed to keep lenders from slipping Houdini-like out of lock-in agreements. Last summer Pennsylvania imposed emergency lock-in guidelines for mortgage brokers. Pennsylvania attorney general LeRoy S. Zimmerman also sued two brokers for alleged misrepresentations; the suit is still pending, but about 75 borrowers have come to acceptable settlements. This spring Zimmerman sued the nation's second largest mortgage banker, Dallas-based Lomas & Nettleton, charging that the company led borrowers to believe that quoted rates on Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans were locked solid when they actually moved in tandem with the Veterans Administration (VA) loan rate. According to Harriet Miers, a Dallas lawyer representing Lomas & Nettleton, the company is cooperating with the Pennsylvania attorney general but denies wrongdoing and contends that the link between the FHA and VA rates was clearly stated in a clause on the back of its loan agreements. Miers adds, however: 'We have suspended use of the clause nationwide until the confusion is cleared up.'"

2) In 1996, as head of the Texas Lottery commission, The Washington Times (12/23/96) reported that, "As U.S. grand juries in Austin and Greenwich, R.I., sifted through contracts involving this and other Gtech projects, Miss Linares last week filed suit in Austin against her bosses - the state Lottery Commission - charging that the group had illegally silenced her and had improperly taken control of the day-to-day operation of the lottery.

"Harriet Miers, a Dallas lawyer who chairs the Lottery Commission, had angered Miss Linares and other lottery officials last week by getting permission from Gov. George W. Bush to send in a contingent of Texas Rangers to guard against what Mrs. Miers claimed were improprieties involving the agency's investigative files.

"More than 180 such files were "missing," Mrs. Miers claimed."

3) La Prensa de San Antonio (2/16/97) had the following to write, regarding an apparent conflict-of-interest, concerning Miers:

"As stated in a previous column, the State Lottery Commission announced that lottery profits over the next year are estimated at $2.7 billion. Lt. Gov. Bullock favors turning lottery profits over to public education. Most people agree that's how the lottery profits should be spent. However, the commission and some of its contractors believe in spending money on lobbyists' contributions to public officials and other questionable pursuits.

"Recently the press discovered and reported that GTECH, the lottery's main contractor, was contributing up to Ten Thousand to favored legislators.

"GTECH has a lobbyist contract with former Lt. Gov. Ben Barnes. GTECH pays Barnes 4 percent of the money it earns from the lottery. That's a lot of money for lobbyists.

"GSD&M does most of the lottery's advertising and received $40.2 million from its lottery work last year. In the past two years, it has paid Texas Lottery Chairman Harriet Miers' law firm $38,500. This is not only obscene; it's illegal.

"All of these shenanigans are only the tip of the lottery iceberg. Why doesn't Gov. George Bush demand a complete investigation and audit of the State Lottery Commission before its too late? Instead of Lottery profits going to lobbyist, questionable legal fees etc., it should be used for the education of our children."

And these 3 tidbits are just for starters. Hey, maybe in a Bush/DeLay/Frist/Rove dynasty, Ms. Miers may be the perfect choice after all.

No comments: