Thomas G. Loeffler
From 1989 until 2001, Tom Loeffler served as UT regent, serving the last few months as board chairman. He served twelve years as the state representative of the 21st district before running for and losing the 1986 gubernatorial race. A few years later, he was first appointed as Regent by then-Governor Bill Clements, husband of current regent Rita Clements, amid scrutiny over Loeffler's educational record in Congress. He repeatedly voted against federal funding for educational programs such as higher education, vocational education, bilingual education and math and science education.1
In 1995, he helped Tom Hicks form UTIMCO by giving $45,000 to Governor George W. Bush's campaign. In return, not only was UTIMCO signed into law, but Loeffler also got another term as regent. Loeffler was later assigned to the UTIMCO board, securing two of the most powerful positions in the UT System. He served on the UTIMCO board from 1995-1999, funneling public money into companies run by friends and big GOP donors. He voted for all investments in the Bass Family, major GOP player Henry Kravis, and the initial $96 million for the Maverick Capital Fund. Symbolically, the vote for Maverick was at an office at the newly constructed Ballpark at Arlington, home of the Texas Rangers.
Loeffler is currently a trustee of the Law School Foundation and has "pledged to contribute an annual major gift over a 10-year period."2
In 1994, Loeffler and the regents decided to grant a licensing agreement to Introgen Therapeutics, a local company looking to capitalize off research by UT's M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Loeffler took a larger role in the company's creation by joining their board of directors in 1997 and was given 10,000 shares of the company stock valued around $120,000 when the company went public. In 1999, when questions arose over the blatant conflict of interest, Loeffler resigned from the Introgen board of directors but maintained his stock options. When the connection between Introgen and the regents was back in the news in October of 2000, he donated the earnings from his stocks to charity. UT is still involved with Introgen since the school continues to receive around 1.5 percent of the profit, and not coincidentally UTIMCO has $6,529,089 invested in the company as of June 2003.
When Charles Miller joined the regents in 1999, he brought with him 10,000 stocks in the therapeutics company, worth at least $112,500.3
Over the years, Tom Loeffler has used two law firms to do his lobbying. Cleveland-based Arter & Hadden gave him experience, and in May 2001, he founded Loeffler, Jonas & Tuggey in San Antonio. He has represented the chemical powerhouse Monsanto, and over the years he has collected $340,000 from Hicks, Muse, Tate, & Furst, the firm of Tom Hicks.4 One of the biggest areas for Loeffler, Jonas & Tuggey is the herbal supplement trade groups and ephedrine industry. Metabolife International, the ephedrine industry leader, report 28 contracts worth between $870,000 and $1.3 lobbying in Texas alone. Loeffler, Jonas & Tuggey have been some of the most active ephedrine lobbyists. Between 1997 and 2002, they have donated almost 3.5 times more to political campaigns for the ephedrine campaign than the next firm, Arter & Hadden. Combined, the two firms have donated more than $785,000, with roughly $608,000 coming from Loeffler's current firm.
Also from San Antonio hails TX State Senator Jeff Wentworth, who has worked with former Bexar County judge Cyndi Krier on various issues. San Antonio is home to the Metabolife Texas lobbyists, such as Loeffler and Wentworth himself. The Friends of Jeff Wentworth PAC have doled out close to $8,000 in political contributions related to the ephedrine fight. Wentworth represents San Antonio in the State Senate and oversaw the budget of the Texas Department of Health, initially some of the biggest opponents of the ephedrine drug. Although Bush returned the $10,000 he received, Wentworth has kept $55,000 in donations from Michael Ellis and the wife of Michael Blevins, the Metabolife president and another company official, following reports that they were busted as a result of a 1988 raid on a speed lab.5
On October 20, 1998, William "Reyn" Archer held a task force meeting to discuss stricter standards of the drug. On the same day, Loeffler donated $25,000 to then-Governor Bush. The task force eventually loosened its rules, and eight deaths have linked to the drug. The state once fought the industry but in response to the money and connections, eventually caved in to the $1 billion industry.6
As a congressman, Loeffler was the top of five members of Congress who received illegal donations from Vernon Savings & Loan. The S&L was eventually bailed out by $1.3 billion in taxpayers money. Loeffler also tried to set up a meeting with then-US Secretary of Treasury James Baker III to discuss the S&L paying off the debt accumulated from his failed 1986 gubernatorial race.
Loeffler has also used his two law firms to donate to Bush and Rick Perry. Loeffler himself is number ten on Bush's career patron list by moving $495,424 to Bush's campaigns. During Bush's gubernatorial campaigns, Loeffler and Arter & Hadden gave Bush a combined $210,700; $141,000 came from Loeffler himself. As for Perry, Loeffler, Jonas & Tuggey had donated $107,872 to Perry for his 2002 gubernatorial campaign.
Former positions by Tom Loeffler
-taken from Loeffler's bio page on his firm's website
Loeffler served numerous positions such as Special Assistant for Legislative Affairs to President Gerald R. Ford, and Legislative Counsel to the late Senator John Tower. His other contributions include service as a senior advisor to both Presidents Reagan and Bush; Texas Co-Chairman, Bush for President (1988); National advisor to the 1992 Bush-Quayle Campaign; Co-Chairman, President's Dinner (1992, 2001); and Texas delegate to the Republican National Convention (1984, 1988, and 1992). Loeffler also served as Texas Finance Co-Chairman, George W. Bush for Governor (1994); National Finance Chairman, Phil Gramm for President (1996); National Deputy Finance Chairman, Dole for President (1996); National Co-Chairman, Republican National Committee's Team 100 (1997-1998); and National Finance Co-Chairman, George W. Bush for President (1999-2000). He has advised candidates in local, state and national elections.