This year, every presidential candidate -- especially on the GOP side -- wants to be an outsider. But the blog Political Wire points to a recent piece in The American Lawyer looks at Rudy Giuliani's tenure as a named partner in the Houston-based law firm, Bracewell and Giuliani, with very close ties to President Bush and Karl Rove.


Giuliani is a presidential candidate whose campaign story masks some rough edges in his personal and professional life. The Bracewell chapter of this candidate's tale likewise has some awkward angles. Giuliani, the quintessential New Yorker, could walk into practically any major law office in Manhattan and shake hands with a partner he's known for years. Yet he chose a 332-lawyer Texas firm where he had known no one longer than a few months and that was barely visible in New York.

Some of Bracewell and Giuliani's more notable clients and activities in recent years, as revealed in American Lawyer:

* "Bracewell has also come to the defense of one of the most controversial Republicans in recent years. Beginning in 2000, the firm defended former Republican House majority leader Tom DeLay against various ethics charges. (It is not currently representing Delay in a criminal money laundering case brought by the Travis County, Texas, district attorney.) As of 2004, DeLay's legal defense fund had paid Bracewell more than $800,000 and owed the firm between $100,000 and $250,000."

* "Like most Houston firms, Bracewell represents a lot of oil and energy companies ... Among the firm's clients are: Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Kinder Morgan (a successor to some of Enron Corp.'s operations), Valero Energy Corporation, the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association, and the Gas Processors Association. In early May the firm came under fire in a New York Times front-page article as a foe of environmental groups."

* "The poster child for disgraced clients, Enron, was not long ago Bracewell's biggest client ... The firm had to give back $5 million in preference payments after the company went bankrupt."

* "In March, Giuliani and Bracewell had to defend the firm's Texas lobbying for the Citgo, a U.S. subsidiary of Venezuela's state-owned oil company. Giuliani's campaign quickly distanced its candidate from that country's anti-American president, Hugo Chavez, saying that Giuliani did not work on this lobbying and that Chavez was 'no friend of the United States.'"

Read the whole story here.