Ted Delisi

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Ted Delisi, the "son of Republican state Rep. Dianne White Delisi from Temple", Texas, while working as "press spokesman for Attorney General John Cornyn," also was a partner in two companies which provided services in 1999 to then Governor George W. Bush's bid for the U.S. presidency. [1]

Conryn had promised that "the AG's office would lose its political slant when he took office. ... [In fact, one] of the main points in the policy states that 'Employees shall avoid any action that may result in or give the appearance of using their position as a public servant for private gain.'" [2]

The Austin Chronicle reported on November 5, 1999, "While Delisi's work for the Bush campaign may not violate state ethics laws or Cornyn's policy, the amount of money involved in his consulting business is substantial enough to raise eyebrows. In July, the campaign reported that it paid the two companies in which Delisi is a partner -- Praxis List Company and Olsen & Delisi -- over $206,000 for direct mail and consulting work between April 1 and June 30. During the most recent reporting period, the Bush campaign reported 62 different expenditures to the companies totaling $766,458 -- $340,326 to Olsen & Delisi and $426,132 to Praxis. The most commonly listed reasons for the expenditures included 'consultant expense-fundraising,' 'list expense,' and 'direct mail expense.'" [3]

Former employees of Karl Rove, Delisi and his partner, registered lobbyist Todd Olsen, were described by the Chronicle as being "fairly new to the political consulting game." However, in March 1999, they had "bought the political consulting portion of Karl Rove & Company, the consulting firm formerly owned by Rove, the chief political strategist in Bush's presidential campaign." [4]

As reported in the November 26, 1999 BushFiles, Austin reporter Robert Bryce "turned up an odd confluence of money that has the Bush campaign paying almost $1 million to two political consulting firms owned by Ted Delisi -- the Attorney General's press spokesperson -- and a business partner." According to Bryce, the "relationships [got] pretty incestuous, as the money has moved first from the Bush campaign to what had been Karl Rove & Co., the direct-mail and consulting service owned by Rove." [5]

When Bryce called Conryn's "press office to see if Delisi's focus might be diluted by the political jobs he was holding while working for Cornyn," he was told that "'It would not be appropriate for me to comment on this while I'm here,' he told Bryce. 'I'll have to call you back later from my cell phone.'" Reportedly, Delisi never called back. [6]

On January 14, 2000, the Austin Chronicle announced that Delisi had left Conryn's office. [7]

Delisi had "served as communications director for then Texas Attorney General John Cornyn, and was Cornyn's chief consultant during his successful run for the United States Senate in 2002 .... [and had] directed grassroots and mail campaigns in more than a dozen states." [8]

The Austin Business Journal on Februry 20, 2003, carried the press release that "Austin-based public relations and lobbying firm HillCo Partners LLC and Texas political consultant Ted Delisi [had] formed a company (HillCo Direct LLP) [9][10] to promote grassroots political campaigns," with Delisi serving as CEO. [11]

Bill Miller, "a principal at HillCo Partners," said that the "firm will focus exclusively on grassroots campaigns, including using direct mail and telephone banks." Miller reported that Delisi had "ended involvement with his former company, Austin-based consulting firm Olsen Delisi & Shuvalov LLC, ... the successor to the consulting firm formerly owned by White House adviser Karl Rove." [12]

Appropriately, on September 24, 1999, the Austin Chronicle remarked "Pretty soon, you'll need a program to tell where all of the Texas Republican strategists and press aides are working." This statement definitely applies to Rove, Delisi, Olsen, et al. [13]

Ted Delisi's wife, Deidre Delisi, served as Special Assistant to then-Lieutenant Governor Rick Perry (November 1998 to August 1999) and then "held the same post for Governor Perry from December 2000 to July 2001." [14]

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