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Bush Aide Lobbied Her Former Dept. for Client : Bush Aide Sought Funds From Former Department

June 28, 1989|From Associated Press

WASHINGTON — U.S. Trade Representative Carla Anderson Hills, a former secretary of Housing and Urban Development, lobbied her old department on behalf of a real estate firm trying to win federal subsidies, her spokeswoman confirmed.

"They hired her because of her expertise. I don't see a story in it," Clair Buchan said Tuesday night.

Hills represented Swezy Realty in 1987 and 1988 when she was in private practice as a lawyer in Washington.

The two projects were in Florida's Dade and Broward counties.

Buchan said she believed that one project won funds and one was not approved, and she did not know their names or which was successful. She also said she did not know how much money was sought, or what Hills' fee was.

The New York Times reported in its editions today that Hills reported a fee of at least $5,000 from Swezy in her January financial disclosure form.

Hills is the first prominent Republican in the Bush Administration known to have acted as a lobbyist for developers seeking HUD "moderate rehabilitation" funds under the Reagan Administration. The program is being investigated by Congress after revelations that well-connected developers won tens of millions of dollars in aid.

Many Republican campaign advisers and former officials out of office, such as former Interior Secretary James G. Watt and former Massachusetts Sen. Edward Brooke, won six-figure fees for telephone calls to HUD officials on behalf of their clients.

Many of these consultants had no particular expertise in housing.

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