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NYT: Gov. Perry’s Cash Machine


brandymac27

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http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/25/opinion/gov-rick-perrys-cash-machine.html

The exchange of campaign contributions for government contracts, favors or positions is all too common in Washington and around the country. It has been developed to an especially high art — or more to the point, a low art — by Gov. Rick Perry in Texas. For a presidential contender who insists that big government is the country’s biggest problem, it is particularly cynical.

There are nearly 600 boards, commissions, authorities and departments in Texas, many of which are of little use to the public and should have long been shut down or consolidated. They are of great use to the governor, who more than any predecessor has created thousands of potential appointments for beneficent backers and several pro-business funds that have been generous to allies.

Since 2001, more than a fifth of the $83 million that Mr. Perry has raised for his gubernatorial campaigns has come from people he appointed to state boards and commissions, according to a study by Texans for Public Justice, a watchdog group. Just 150 individuals and couples gave him $37 million of that total, and nearly half received substantial tax breaks, business contracts or appointments from Mr. Perry, The Los Angeles Times reported.

Mr. Perry insists on unquestioned political loyalty in exchange for his patronage, no matter how inappropriate or out of place. In 2009, two members of the Board of Regents of Texas Tech University said the Perry administration pressured them to resign because they supported Mr. Perry’s challenger in the gubernatorial race, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. One regent, Windy Sitton, told The Austin American-Statesman that she was given a choice to disavow Senator Hutchison or resign; when she refused, she was replaced. Mark Griffin, the other regent, said he was told by Mr. Perry’s chief of staff that the governor “expects loyalty out of his appointees and if you can’t be loyal, it’s probably not best to be on the team.”

Money seems to talk even louder. The governor set up two state funds, intended to promote business growth, that have given tens of millions to companies that returned the favor with political contributions. An analysis by The New York Times found that more than a quarter of the companies that have received grants from the Texas Enterprise Fund in the last year, or their executives, had made contributions to Mr. Perry’s campaigns dating back to 2001 or to the Republican Governors Association since 2008, when Mr. Perry became its chairman.

The Texas Emerging Technology Fund, which has provided $200 million in seed money to high-tech start-ups since 2005, could have turned over its grant-making to independent experts, as most of the other 20 states with similar agencies do. That is not how Mr. Perry works.

His office makes the decision on which companies should receive the money, according to The Dallas Morning News, which found that more than $16 million had gone to campaign donors. Though he gets recommendations from an advisory committee he appoints, they are not binding. The committee operates in secret, and some of its members are also Perry contributors.

Mr. Perry has long maintained there is no connection between his appointments and their contributions, but the evidence is clear on board after board. He set up the Texas Residential Construction Commission, a priority of his most generous contributor, a major homebuilder, which limited the right of homeowners to sue contractors. He regularly appoints his donors or fund-raisers to the"] state teacher pension fund board, which has invested state money in companies owned by his donors. He averaged $118,000 in donations from each of his appointments to the Parks and Wildlife Commission.

On a national level, Mr. Perry says he wants to make government “inconsequential.” In Texas, he has made government very consequential — for his political career. The people of Texas have not fared nearly as well.

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more than a fifth of the $83 million that Mr. Perry has raised for his gubernatorial campaigns has come from people he appointed to state boards and commissions, according to a study by Texans for Public Justice, a watchdog group. Just 150 individuals and couples gave him $37 million of that total, and nearly half received substantial tax breaks, business contracts or appointments from Mr. Perry, The Los Angeles Times reported.

I hate our politics and politicians...

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So if he was the Republican candidate you would vote for him.

Yes, he has done nothing illegal...nor different than the others(including O)

Paul or Roemer ect might be different,,,,,and they ain't got a prayer

If ya don't like the rules then change them,but blaming the players staying within the rules is kinda useless.

I gave up tilting at windmills for the most part.

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Yes, he has done nothing illegal...nor different than the others(including O)

Paul or Roemer ect might be different,,,,,and they ain't got a prayer

If ya don't like the rules then change them,but blaming the players staying within the rules is kinda useless.

I gave up tilting at windmills for the most part.

And there you have it. The main reason corruption and cronyism thrive in our political system. Party politics rules the roost.

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And there you have it. The main reason corruption and cronyism thrive in our political system. Party politics rules the roost.

Right...it thrives because it works

Join me in not supporting them with money and calling for major rule changes,but spare me your crocodile tears and righteous indignation.

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20% of 83million is 16million over 11 years is approx. 1.xx million a year? That seems like a raindrop compared to 500million a year records being set.

is anyone even close to having only 1.3million in contributions from boards, commissions and authorities to bust him out on it?

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Actually, I have to point out that there are multiple possible explanations, here.

To pick a simple example: To the Democrats support Unions because Unions donate to the Democrats? Or do Unions donate to Democrats because the Democrats support them?

It can be real hard to tell the difference between a bribe and subsequent payback, or simply supporting a politician you agree with.

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wouldnt it make sense to support those people before the finals so they can get in them?

Sense and political reality differ........if we could level the playing field it might be a feasible option,till then it is a pipe dream

you could start best imo by removing money's influence and removing barriers to candidates

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Sense and political reality differ........if we could level the playing field it might be a feasible option,till then it is a pipe dream

you could start best imo by removing money's influence and removing barriers to candidates

sure, I agree. Though nothing you are stating here prevents an individual from supporting the good pols before they are sanctioned by a party or media.

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Actually, I have to point out that there are multiple possible explanations, here.

To pick a simple example: To the Democrats support Unions because Unions donate to the Democrats? Or do Unions donate to Democrats because the Democrats support them?

It can be real hard to tell the difference between a bribe and subsequent payback, or simply supporting a politician you agree with.

Did ya read the article?

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