Skip to main content

United States Congressman Lamar Smith's FEC reports show that he has received thousands of dollars in contributions from Kinetic Concepts, Inc. (KCI) PAC, a medical device company owned by Republican mega-donor James Leininger.

Leininger made nearly $100 million from selling off KCI stock, while Texas Employees Retirement System (ERS) purchased 80,000 shares of this risky stock.  Within a year of the purchase a jury ruled against the company in a high-profile patent infringement lawsuit. 

Despite KCI's stock dropping consistently in the months leading up to the ruling and warnings from the company that investing in its stock involved a high degree of risk, ERS continued to purchase KCI stock aggressively at this time. The fact that Bill Ceverha, a paid lobbyist for a Leininger-funded entity called Texans for Educational Excellence, is an ERS board member makes this situation seem particularly dubious.

Texas employees and retirees lost millions of dollars, as KCI's stock lost 40% of its value after the lawsuit on Friday, August 4.  State Representative Lon Burnam has questioned Leininger's "pump and dump" tactics and the coincidental connection between Leininger and former Leininger lobbyist and current ERS board member Ceverha.

John Courage, Smith's opponent in TX-21, challenged him to return Leininger's money.

"Smith needs to send a message to Texans that his loyalties lie with them, rather than with dishonest, corporate donors who line his pockets," Courage said. "Smith needs to stop giving into the influence of incumbency and show Texans it is time to end the culture of corruption."

Lamar Smith, who serves as the chairman of the House Judiciary subcommittee that deals with intellectual property and patent law, has been associated with Leininger and KCI for nearly a decade. 

The people with whom one associates speak volumes about who that person is, and John Courage stands with Texans.

Texans deserve to know the truth about the deal that took place between Leininger and ERS that caused the retirement system to lose millions of dollars, and to rest assured that their congressman will not be indebted to Leininger.

Meredith Adams, John Courage for Congress

Originally posted to Meredith Adams with John Courage for Congress on Mon Aug 14, 2006 at 02:45 PM PDT.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  I'm shocked, SHOCKED.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    roses, bustacap

    ...to find sleazy corporate dealings among republicans. Last republican to not engage in corporate-donation circle-jerking, please turn out the lights.

    "I told them on Inauguration Day. I said look into my eyes: no new enhancements." - President Johnny Gentle (Famous Crooner)

    by Johnny Gentle Famous Crooner on Mon Aug 14, 2006 at 02:38:43 PM PDT

  •  Why am I not surprised? As a former 'constituent' (4+ / 0-)

    of Lamar Smith's--and totally unrepresented by him--until the recent re-re-redistricting, I can say that the citizens of District 21 need a true representative in Congress. That would of course be John Courage. Texans couldn't ask for a finer man to represent them.

  •  Strong campaign finance laws & reporting (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    roses

    This is precisely why you need strong campaign finance laws and reporting. Smith, Leininger and Ceverha don't want you to see the connection. They would prefer getting away with their little scams with no one  knowing about them.  This is a disgrace! Lamar Smith should be calling for an SEC investigation into the stock sale scam perpetrated on the people of Texas and the hardworking Texas State employees who have lost value in their pension.  All so that Leininger could make off like a bandit with their money.

    Smith should absolutely give the Leininger money to charity and disavow himself from it.  Or otherwise he's just as guilty as Leininger.

Click here for the mobile view of the site