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Giuliani cashes in on Houston connection

By Paul Hill

HOUSTON - An article in the Houston Chronicle on May 17, 2007 reports that GOP Presidential candidate hopeful Rudolph Giuliani was paid $1.2 million by the Houston based law firm, Bracewell & Giuliani. This law firm has represented the interests of energy firms, the smokeless tobacco industry, drug companies and others in an effort to influence government policies.

Although Giuliani is not accused of lobbying in DC, he financially benefits from the firm's activities. Giuliani joined the law firm in 2005. In addition to his annual salary, Giuliani also receives 7.5 percent of the firm's New York City office. The dollar amount has not been revealed.

This is small potatoes for Giuliani. He has received $11.3 million in speaker's fees and $4.1 million from his New York based Giuliani and Company.

It has been noted that Giuliani's law firm connections have helped him with fundraising in Texas and will assist him in GOP primaries dominated by business-friendly conservative voters.

Commenting on Bracewell & Giuliani, Frank O'Donnell, president of Clean Air Watch, an environmental group, said, "They have been, by far, the most articulate advocates for some of the biggest polluters in town."

The Chronicle article notes that "Giuliani has been directly involved in another controversial case involving Perdue, the manufacturer of the painkiller OxyContin, which last week pleaded guilty to falsely marketing the drug as being less addictive than it turned out to be." OxyContin, it should be pointed out, is more commonly known as morphine and has recently been dubbed "hillbilly heroin" since it is widely distributed on the black market in rural areas.

Bracewell & Giuliani has represented Venezuelan owned Citgo Petroleum in the past, but recently ended its contract as Giuliani's Presidential campaign has become more visible.

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