Wednesday, September 10, 2008

HEATHER WILSON & KEVIN RING


My story about U.S. Rep. Heather Wilson popping up in the indictment of former Jack Abramoff lobbyist Kevin Ring can be found HERE.

Here's the complete text of Wilson's response:

I'm proud of the work that I did with Senator Bingaman and Senator Domenici to settle the Sandia Land Claim.

I worked on the issue since I was elected to the Congress in 1998 and the T'uf Bien Shur Preservation Act of 2003 was a major accomplishment for the Pueblo, neighboring cities, Sandia Tram, homeowners at the base of the mountain and nearby farmers and ranchers who all deserve credit for the agreement.

As my constituents and a federal Indian tribe, I have maintained direct relationships with Sandia Pueblo leaders on a wide range of matters important to them for a decade and I continue to do so. Greenberg Traurig was retained by Sandia Pueblo to represent the Pueblo concerning the land claim in 2002-2003. We have worked with whomever the Pueblo has chosen as its representatives and with tribal leaders directly on matters of concern to the Pueblo.

I was completely unaware until today of any former staffer's e-mails -- which appear to have been sent after Congress passed the final legislation on the Sandia Land Claim on February 13, 2003. I have not been contacted by the Department of Justice about this matter at any time.

Regarding the March 2003 e-mails between two rogue lobbyists concerning whether they would continue to be retained by the Pueblo, I am not sure whether to be amused or offended that they were operating under the delusion that I would help them retain their contract, or that losing their contract would hurt the Pueblo's longstanding relationship with me. As my constituents, I represent the Pueblo regardless of who they hire to represent them. At no time did I take any action on behalf of Greenberg Traurig with Sandia Pueblo.

We have very strict rules in our office on gifts -- including tickets to events. We train our staff about House ethics rules and we enforce those rules up to and including dismissal.

Mr. Kevin Ring hosted a fundraising lunch at Signatures Restaurant to benefit my campaign for re-election in May 2003 and contributed $1,000 to my campaign on June 2, 2003. When we discovered that Mr. Ring had not submitted a bill for the cost of the fundraiser to my fundraising consultant, our consultant sought to pay the bill and, when unsuccessful because the restaurant was no longer in business, my campaign made an equivalent contribution to charity as required by Federal Election Commission (FEC) rules.



WACKY WEDNESDAY: Happy Birthday, Lee Harvey!

Lee & Marina: I can't remember if I cried when I read about his widowed bride ... Seventy eight years ago today, in the city of ...