Sunday, March 27, 2011

Meet Bill Teator: The Corrupt Lobbyist Who Chairs Chris Gibson's New Energy Panel

Anybody wondering more about the lobbyist who Chris Gibson selected to lead his new energy panel?

Meet William R. "Bill" Teator of Capital Advocates, LLC, who has worked on several stints in behalf of former Republican congressmen Gerald Solomon, John Sweeney, as well as current Representative Chris Gibson.

Remember former Congressman John Sweeney's "Lake Placid Challenge" lobbyist trips that now-Senator Kirsten Gillibrand criticized so frequently back in 2006? Apparently, Teator was the man who organized these events for Sweeney using state taxpayer money, taking advantage of a loophole in House ethics rules, which allows for the payments of trips with congressional officials using public money. In this case, the New York State Power Authority, an entity of the State of New York, funded these trips. 

Interestingly enough, at the trip, Sweeney was found skiing alongside Bill Teator, as well as Ian Paul Steff of the American Semiconductor Association. Another notable figure at the trip was Lisi Kaufman of Untied Technologies, which had until recently, been involved in the construction of nuclear devices and equipment.


Teator has also lobbied on behalf on numerous energy corporations, including Iberdrola, which is one of the largest operators of nuclear power plants in Europe.


Also of interest are Bill Teator's activities in helping to fund J. Felix Strevell's scandal plagued Institute for Entrpreneurship, which received $618,000 in federal grants from the U.S. Small Business Administration. In 1999, Teator lobbied for these grants while working for The Solomon Group, the former lobbying firm led by the late Rep. Gerald B.H. Solomon. 

Strevell was a major ally of Republicans John Sweeney, Joe Bruno, Sandy Treadwell, and George Pataki, all of which appear to have connections with Mr. Teator. According to sources, it looks as though Strevell used his connections with Teator and the New York State Republican Party to help set up a bogus patronage mill which eventually fleeced the state of over $100,000. (Some are claiming that the estimated amount may actually be closer to $200,000) A January 2002 article from The Times Union revealed that Strevell's organization paid $90,000 annually to The Solomon Group, which had employed Solomon and Teator.

In 2001, when Teator spoke on behalf of The Solomon Group in an interview to The Times Union regarding Strevell's activities, he commented, "It's a good concept...we have no qualms about what they do."


The new energy committee is not the first occasion where Teator has performed extensive services on behalf of Chris Gibson. In August of 2010, Teator was appointed executive director of Chris Gibson's congressional campaign, replacing local Tea Party organizer Patrick Ziegler, after Gibson spent months of trailing behind former Rep. Scott Murphy (D - Glens Falls) in the polls.

To a great degree, it seems quite surprising that Chris Gibson would want to associate himself with an individual carrying so much baggage, as well as a long documented history of corruption and questionable activities. However, what may be even more perplexing is how a man who was never elected to public office has been able to exert so much influence over the region's representation for the past 15 years...

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