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PR clients may be seen as hurdles for J.C. Watts

BY CHRIS CASTEEL Published: May 23, 2009
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WASHINGTON — When some lawmakers started to challenge the legitimacy of the Bowl Championship Series in 2003, the college football organization turned to J.C. Watts — a former congressman and college football player — for help on Capitol Hill.

The BCS is still a client of J.C. Watts Partners, a Washington public relations and consulting firm, and has paid $620,000 in fees since 2003.

Watts is currently a registered lobbyist for more than a dozen entities. And, according to his Web site, he sits on a number of corporate boards.

Watts said Friday he won’t run for the GOP nomination for governor next year.

Some of his clients may have presented political hurdles for him.

He’s a registered lobbyist for the Tarrant Regional Water District in Texas, which is suing Oklahoma to get access to water.

He represented the American Civil Liberties Union — an unpopular organization in many Republican circles — on "criminal reform” issues.