When you attend the December 11 invitation-only fundraiser for Senator John Cornyn, you’re supposed to make a check out to “Texans for John Cornyn,” supporting the Republican politician in his bid for re-election in 2014. But “Texans for John Cornyn” isn’t actually a Texas organization; as this invitation obtained by the Sunlight Foundation shows, it operates out of a headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia.
Are any of the people hosting the “Texans for John Cornyn” fundraiser actually from Texas?
To confirm your attendance, you’d send an e-mail to Magda Patrick or Claire Willis of the Aristeia Group at (703) 549-5090 or email@example.com. Don’t bother looking up aristeiagroup.com online: as with most political fundraising firms, it keeps a low public profile so that its political beneficiaries can’t get hurt. But the 703 area code isn’t a Texas area code. It’s a Northern Virginia area code. As this secondary profile indicates, the Aristeia Group works in Alexandria, across the Potomac river from the White House and the Capitol Building and just a block from where suburban Washington’s elite practice their rowing.
What about individual hosts Marilyn Harris, Doyce Boesch and Jim Courtovich? They’re not really “Texans for John Cornyn” either. Marilyn Harris is the “Vice President, Federal and International Government Affairs” for Marathon Oil company. Translation: she’s a Washington, DC lobbyist who walks the halls of Congress for one of the largest oil corporations in the world and a descendant of the Standard Oil trust. Also a Washington DC lobbyist is Doyce Boesch, a lobbyist for massive health care corporations and Performant Corp., an outfit that makes its profit by squeezing poor people for every last drop of outstanding student loan and hospital bills. Doyce Boesch’s address isn’t in Texas. It’s 1120 G Street NW, Washington DC. As for Jim Courtovich, he specializes in throwing exclusive parties for Washington’s social, political and diplomatic elite when he isn’t lobbying for foreign telecommunications giants Abertis Infraestructuras and Telefonica Internacional.
The other sponsors of John Cornyn’s fundraiser can’t possibly be Texans because they aren’t even people. They’re political action committees for some more of the world’s largest, most aggressive corporations:
Koch Industries PAC
International Paper PAC
Akin Gump Civic Action PAC
DynCorp International PAC
By the look of it, there may not be a single actual Texan for John Cornyn at next week’s fundraiser, not unless you count John Cornyn himself.