A fundraiser held last month in the Dallas area has come under new scrutiny after a published report revealed that Texas Insurance Commissioner Eleanor Kitzman, responsible for regulating insurers in her state, used insurance executives as a fundraising source for her former employer.
Kitzman formerly served as Haley’s budget director, but quit in August to join Perry’s administration.
Kitzman’s presence at the event was publicized on invitations given to attendees, but one of those invites made it into the hands of a reporter, giving The Texas Observer all the impetus needed to file a story on Wednesday.
A spokesman for Texas Watch, a consumer group that’s called for tighter insurance regulations, told The Observer that “it is completely inappropriate for the insurance commissioner to be headlining a fundraiser hosted at an insurance company headquarters,” likening the practice to a shakedown.
Despite that observation, big political donors have done quite well in Texas under Gov. Rick Perry (R), many of whom have been given big government contracts, tax breaks and even jobs in Perry’s administration.
The Observer went on to speculate that the fundraiser may have been Perry’s way of warming up to Haley, who was elected on promises of transparency and accountability.
She has since given numerous campaign donors high level jobs in her administration and failed to note the occupations of many other contributors on her required financial disclosure forms, effectively masking which industries are sponsoring her the most.
Photo: Flickr user eschipul.