8:15 a.m. KTSA Morning Edge Commentary 9/30/2002

Which is the Real Lie?

You know I have differences with attorney slash Realtor Jeff Wentworth.

He carried water for the PGA Village developers. They wrote a proposed state law sloshing major millions into their own pockets. He acted as though he had written it, and got it thru the Senate.

Express-News columnist Carlos Guerra got wind of the PGA scheme. He found stuff in there granting developers the power of eminent domain, meaning the right to take other people's land. Caught with his figurative pants down - and more about his pants in a minute - Senator Wentworth said he didn't know that was in the PGA law. That left him wide open to be accused of not even reading his "own" bills that developers wrote for him.

Now, columnist Rick Casey reports on a court case in which Wentworth will collect $337-thousand from "real estate dealmaker" Joe Mangione.

Mangione bought Wentworth to make connections with important people whom he couldn't get to on his own, trying to get big deals to happen, although they usually didn't. After work on a proposed Convention Center deal, hired hand Wentworth wrote to Mangione asking to be paid for his services which included, quote, "I got state law changed..."

Whoa, Nellie! To take money for legislation is criminal. Wentworth knows that. He now tells Casey it wasn't true. He claims, quote, "I was angry with Mr. Mangione for his complete failure to honor the bargain that we had, and I overstated my role in that."

So was Senator Wentworth lying then, or is he lying now when he says he was lying then? He's welcome to come on my program and explain whether both, or only one, was a big fat lie. If he shows up I expect his pants to be on fire.

I'm Brad Messer with commentary at 8:15 on KTSA's Morning Edge.

9/29/02 Rick Casey, San Antonio Express News: What's a Texas legislator worth?
Texas Legislature website entry for Sen. Jeff Wentworth

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