During today’s White House press briefing, presidential press secretary Scott McClellan refused to “rehash” issues surrounding Harriett Miers’ tenure as chairwoman of the Texas Lottery Commission, saying President Bush’s Supreme Court nominee helped “clean up” the state agency.
As WorldNetDaily reported, Miers presided during a tumultuous time for the lottery when its prime contractor, GTECH, was embroiled in lawsuits and the target of allegations involving political influence buying extending to the governor’s office.
“On Wednesday, you encouraged me to look at news reports about scandals surrounding the Texas lottery when Harriet Miers was chairwoman of that commission. And it turns out there are hundreds of news reports from the late ’90s covering problems with contracts and kickbacks involving the company GTECH and [former Lt. Gov. and GTECH lobbyist] Ben Barnes,” stated WND.
“You and the president are aware of these hundreds of news reports, aren’t you?”
Responded McClellan: “We’re well aware of her time at the Texas Lottery Commission. There were problems that did occur there, and she helped clean up the Texas Lottery Commission. She was praised for her work as chairwoman of the Texas Lottery Commission.”
WND then asked about allegations involving Barnes:
“What is the president’s response to those allegations that he put Ms. Miers in charge of that lottery commission to be sure GTECH kept its lucrative contract, and its lobbyist, Ben Barnes, would not talk about his alleged influence concerning young George Bush and the National Guard?”
Said McClellan: “Our responses to those questions have already been addressed and disputed. And I think we don’t need to rehash those issues.”
On Wednesday, McClellan did not address the issue of lottery scandals, but referred WND to denials by then-Gov. George Bush’s office at the time.