Republican Troy Eid’s nomination to be the next U.S. Attorney for Colorado appears to have hit a little hiccup.
As we previously reported here at Colorado Pols, Senator Wayne Allard only nominated Eid, a confidant of Governor Bill Owens, because of political pressure. Allard preferred to nominate only his friend Stu VanMeveren, the outgoing Larimer County District Attorney, but caved in and nominated Eid as well (in addition to outgoing Arapahoe County D.A. Jim Peters, who was only nominated as a smoke screen) after Owens and other national Republicans pressured him to do so. Including Eid in the list that Allard submitted to the White House for approval basically ensured the selection of the big GOP attorney, whose immigrant success story (Eid’s father immigrated from Egypt with little money) sits well with national Republicans.
But now the mandatory background check on Eid has hit a few snags, with the FBI asking around about some questionable lobbying decisions he may have been a part of. Eid left his job as Governor Owens’ counsel to become a shareholder at the national law firm of Greenberg Traurig, for which he was an aggressive rainmaker. In recent days and weeks, former partners of the firm’s Denver office, clients, rivals, and state agency employees have all been questioned about Eid, and now word is that the FBI may even be contemplating the rare move of asking Governor Owens for an interview regarding Eid’s lobbying activities. One of the questions they might ask: Was Eid making lobbying deals at the same time he was drawing a state paycheck?
The Greenberg Traurig firm is known nationally for bare-knuckled lobbying tactics, and a recent scandal over shake downs over an Indian casino forced the firm to get rid of their top earner in Washington D.C., Jack Abramoff, also dubbed “Casino Jack.” Take a gander at some of those stories by the Washington Post, The Hill, Indianz.com, and Obligation, Inc.
Those revelations and subsequent press coverage got the FBI interested in digging a little deeper than normal with Eid, to make sure his background doesn’t have the same sticky warts. The implications, however, are interesting, and Eid has dealt with Indian lobbying clients before.
All of this probably angers Allard to no end. The Senator has pulled many a string as a favor to Owens and other GOP bigwigs on Eid’s behalf, including work to get Troy selected Regional Administrator of the EPA, one of the great plum jobs in the area. While Allard was working for Eid’s job at the EPA, the slippery attorney was talking to the big law firms in town about joining and bringing his Owens connection along with him. Greenberg Traurig eventually won the Eid bidding contest with a salary slightly higher than other suitors, and Allard, who cherishes his good relationship with the Bush administration, was embarrassed when the EPA job came through and Eid turned it down.
The bet here is that Eid will still make it through the process and become the next U.S. Attorney for Colorado when all is said and done, but he may now be wishing he had chosen the Colorado Attorney General appointment instead, where he could have been facing softball questions from Democrats like Dan Grossman (by some accounts Eid had first dibs on which job he wanted, and picked the higher-paying, and more powerful, U.S. Attorney post). As it is, it looks like there might be some dicey confirmation discussions about Eid on the way.