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State Pooling Board

Fri., Jan. 17, 1997

Created in 1979 while Billy Clayton was Speaker of the House, the State Aircraft Pooling Board (SAPB) controls the state's airplanes. Now chaired by Clayton, one of the highest-paid lobbyists at the Capitol, the agency, which has an annual budget of $2.6 million, employs 39 people who fly and maintain 56 aircraft. Of those planes, 16 small Cessnas are used for pilot training at the Texas State Technical College in Waco. The rest are spread among nine other cities. The Pooling Board's Austin location on Old Manor Road has three hangars which usually hold 13 airplanes owned by the agency as well as eight aircraft and one helicopter owned by other state agencies.

The Pooling Board is controlled by a three-member board, headed by Clayton, who was appointed by House Speaker Pete Laney. But he isn't the only lobbyist on the board. The other is former state senator Don Adams, who counts the City of Austin among his 23 lobby clients, and was appointed to the board by Lt. Governor Bob Bullock. Adams' lobby firm, Adams and Zottarelli, won a lucrative contract from the City of Austin in 1995 to represent the city's interests at the Lege; it will pay the firm $445,000 over a three-year period. According to filings with the Texas Ethics Commission, Adams' clients paid him a minimum of $695,000 last year. The third member of the board is Joe D. McShane of Midland, who was appointed by Gov. George W. Bush. -- R.B.

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