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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Rick Perry Shady Donor Deals Exposed


Gov. Rick Perry's big donors fare well in Texas

Many of the GOP presidential candidate's mega-donors have won hefty contracts or appointments. Perry's aides vigorously dispute that any got special perks.

By Matea Gold and Melanie Mason, Washington Bureau - latimes.com - August 16, 2011

Texas Gov. Rick Perry has powered his political career on the largesse of donors likeDallas billionaire Harold Simmons, who gave the governor $1.12 million in recent years. And donors like Simmons have found the rewards to be mutual, reaping benefits from Texas during Perry's tenure.

Perry has received a total of $37 million over the last decade from just 150 individuals and couples, who are likely to form the backbone of his new effort to win the Republican presidential nomination. The tally represented more than a third of the $102 million he had raised as governor through December, according to data compiled by the watchdog group Texans for Public Justice.

Nearly half of those mega-donors received hefty business contracts, tax breaks or appointments under Perry, according to a Los Angeles Times analysis.

Perry, campaigning Monday at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, declined to comment when asked how he separated the interests of his donors from the needs of his state. His aides vigorously dispute that his contributors received any perks.

"They get the same thing that all Texans get," said spokesman Mark Miner.

Along with Simmons — who won permission to build a low-level radioactive waste disposal site in Texas, a project that promises to generate hundreds of millions of dollars — The Times found dozens of examples in which major donors to Perry have benefited during his tenure.

Auto magnate B.J. "Red" McCombs, who contributed nearly $400,000 to the governor, is the primary financial backer for a Formula One racetrack to be built near Austin. The state has pledged $25 million a year in subsidies to support the project.

The Houston-based engineering firm of James Dannenbaum, who gave more than $320,000 to Perry, received multiple transportation contracts from the state. In 2007, Perry appointed Dannenbaum to a coveted post on the University of Texas' board of regents.

A Mississippi-based poultry company run by Joe Sanderson, who gave $165,000 to Perry, received a $500,000 grant from a state business incentive fund championed by Perry to open a chicken hatchery and processing plant in Waco.

With its mix of big-money industries like oil and campaign finance rules that allow unlimited political donations, Texas has a reputation for monied campaigns. And its elected officials have long sought to elevate their political patrons.

Cal Jillson, a professor of political science at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, said donors had benefited more under Perry's administration than they did under recent governors such as Democrat Ann Richards and Republican George W. Bush, Perry's predecessor.

"It's not unprecedented, but we haven't seen it in a while," he said.

In his 11 years in office, Perry has smoothed the path for corporate interests by stocking state agencies with pro-business appointees, said Jim Henson, who directs the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas at Austin.

"The achievement is not a favor here or there," Henson said. "It's to create a regulatory apparatus that favors business."

Simmons, the second largest individual contributor to Perry, is poised to gain perhaps the most as his firm constructs the first new low-level radioactive waste disposal site in the country in three decades. The venture could not have happened without the backing of Perry, who early in his administration signed a controversial law allowing a private company to build such a facility in Texas.

Simmons' company, Waste Control Specialists, or WCS, lobbied fiercely for the measure and eventually got its license approved by Perry-appointed state regulators despite objections from some state environmental agency staff.

WCS is spending more than $500 million to build the facility in Andrews County, an isolated patch of West Texas near a hazardous waste dump the company has operated since the 1990s. When it is finished late this year, it will be able to house 2.3 million cubic feet of waste from nuclear power plants, hospitals and research facilities.

Simmons is a corporate investor who specializes in leveraged buyouts and runs a network of companies that produce chemicals and metals. With a net worth estimated by Forbes in April at $5.7 billion, he is a loyal supporter of conservative causes. In 2004, he donated $3 million to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, which ran ads attacking Democratic presidential nominee John F. Kerry.

In a rare interview with the Dallas Business Journal in 2006, Simmons said that WCS was then losing several million dollars a year but had "a fantastic future" once its low-level radioactive waste license was approved.

"We first had to change the law to where a private company can own a license, and we did that. Then we got another law passed that said they can only issue one license. Of course, we were the only ones that applied," he told the Journal.

The only other contender for the license, Utah-based Envirocare, dropped its bid in 2001 after litigation with WCS over the competing plans.

After a five-year review process, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, a board appointed by Perry, decided in a 2-1 vote to issue WCS two disposal licenses, one for waste from uranium mills and the other for low-level radioactive waste.

Initially, the site was to handle only waste from Texas, Vermont and federal sources. This year, another state commission largely made up of Perry appointees voted to open the site to nuclear waste from 34 other states, a measure codified by the Legislature in May. Shortly after Perry signed the legislation, Simmons donated $100,000 to Americans for Rick Perry, an independent group backing Perry's presidential bid.

WCS spokesman Chuck McDonald said that Simmons' connections to Perry did not work to his company's advantage and in fact made him "an easy target."

"It made the state redouble its efforts to be thorough," he said. Simmons declined to comment.

But some former state environmental staff members and officials say they believe Simmons' political clout outweighed concerns about public safety.

After spending three years reviewing WCS' proposal, a team of geologists and engineers concluded in 2007 that a water table was as close as 14 feet to the bottom of the proposed site and that groundwater was likely to intrude into the disposal units. The team recommended that the license be denied.

Glenn Shankle, then the agency's executive director, ordered the team to draft a license. Shankle said he did not recall being made aware of the staff's opposition. Concerns were raised in one meeting about water saturation, he said, but the footprint of the site was shrunk to address that issue.

"I never got a recommendation from staff to not to proceed," he said.

Glenn Lewis, a former state environmental staff member who worked on the WCS application for four years, disputed that recollection, saying Shankle acknowledged the staff's concerns in a meeting.

Shankle has since left the environmental agency and now works as a lobbyist for WCS. He maintains that he never felt any political influence to give WCS a green light.

"I look at all the science and the law and just go by that," he said.

McDonald, the WCS spokesman, said concerns about the potential of water seepage were thoroughly addressed. "Ensuing data revealed the site was more dry and more stable than we originally thought," he said.

But Lewis was so disgusted with the outcome that he took an early retirement and left the agency. Two other staffers also quit.

"This is a stunningly horrible public policy to grant a license to this company for that site," Lewis said in an interview. "Something had to happen to overcome the quite blatant shortcoming of that application. … The only thing I know in Texas that has the potential to do that is money in politics."

The sole commissioner to oppose the license did so after unsuccessfully seeking a hearing to evaluate the scientific evidence about the groundwater location.

"I think there was a lot of pressure on everyone to basically keep that train steaming ahead," said Larry Soward, who was not reappointed when his term ended in August 2009. "I think the other two commissioners knew full well it was a very important matter to the governor's office."

Those commissioners, Bryan Shaw and Buddy Garcia, voted for the licenses. They declined to comment through a spokesman, who said only that "the commissioners make their decisions based on science and the law."

As the commission was considering WCS' licenses in 2007 and 2008, Simmons met twice with Perry, according to details of the governor's calendar obtained by The Times through a Texas public records law request.

Perry spokesman Miner noted that local residents supported the facility. He called suggestions that the commissioners were pressured to give the license to WCS "political attacks that have never been substantiated.

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-0816-perry-donors-20110816,0,7718310.story
Why Rick Perry Would Be A Really, Really Bad President


Supporters of Texas Governor Rick Perry are not going to like this article at all. 
Right now, Republicans all over the United States are touting Rick Perry as the "Republican messiah" that is going to come charging in to save America from the presidency of Barack Obama.
He said people object to an administration “that sees its role as spending our children’s inheritance on failed economic theories that have given us record debt and left far too many unemployed, threatening not only our economy, but our security. Our reliance on foreign creditors and sources of energy not only compromises our national sovereignty, but jeopardizes our national future.


COLUMBIA, S.C. — Texas Gov. Rick Perry joined the 2012 GOP race for president Saturday with an announcement sure to reverberate halfway across the country as his rivals competed in Iowa for the support of party activists.

“I full well believe I’m going to win,” Perry told South Carolina voters on a conference call about an hour before he planned to kick off the campaign with a speech in Charleston.

In a posting on his new campaign website explaining why he wanted to take on President Barack Obama, Perry contended that “America’s place in the world is in peril, not only because of disastrous economic policies, but from the incoherent muddle known as our foreign policy.”

Americans, he said, “will not sit back and accept our current misery.” He said “a great country requires a better direction” and “a renewed nation requires a new president.”

He said people object to an administration “that sees its role as spending our children’s inheritance on failed economic theories that have given us record debt and left far too many unemployed, threatening not only our economy, but our security. Our reliance on foreign creditors and sources of energy not only compromises our national sovereignty, but jeopardizes our national future.”

His campaign intends to take back the country “from the grips of central planners who would control our health care, spend our treasure and micromanage our businesses.”

Perry’s speech was set for 1 p.m. EDT at a conservative conference, only a few hours before the release of results from the straw poll in Iowa, the nation’s first caucus state. Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota are hoping for a boost.

“I have never seen this landslide of emotion for a candidacy. I cannot literally keep up with the emails and messages coming into my cellphone,” said Katon Dawson, a former GOP chairman in South Carolina who’s a Perry supporter.

“There is an excitement for Gov. Perry that there just isn’t around the other candidates.”

Perry, 61, was to visit New Hampshire, the first-in-the-nation primary state, later Saturday before stepping onto Iowa soil Sunday.

The leading GOP candidate so far has been Mitt Romney, a former Massachusetts governor making his second run for the nomination. But no one in the field has managed to raise the kind of enthusiasm among conservatives that seems to surround Perry.

Among the others in the race are former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and businessman Herman Cain.

Through three terms as governor, Perry has overseen significant job growth in his state while working to keep taxes low. He was an early backer of the tea party movement. He enjoys the support of social conservatives because of his opposition to abortion and gay rights. He is also an evangelical Christian who organized a well-attended prayer rally in Houston last week.

Perry is a prodigious fundraiser who has begun laying the groundwork for a national finance network that supporters say would rival President Barack Obama’s. Obama is expected to exceed his record $750 million haul from 2008.

But some Republicans worry that Perry’s hard-core conservatism and Texas style may not play well in a 50-state contest, particularly so soon after another Texas governor, George W. Bush, served in the White House.

Bush had record low approval ratings when he left office in 2009.

Perry’s visit to New Hampshire was to be his first of the year, on the heels of a visit by some state activists to Texas to encourage him to run.

Romney has dominated early polling in New Hampshire, where he has a summer home and has devoted much of his campaigning so far.


Now Some Back Ground Of Rick Perry That You May Not Know!

Rick Perry's College Transcript: A Lot Of Cs And Ds

First Posted: 8/5/11 11:57 AM ET Updated: 8/5/11 04:18 PM ET - huffingtonpost.com


WASHINGTON -- As governor of Texas, Rick Perry has pursued a controversial agenda  that would gut Texas' vaunted public university system in favor of something that more closely resembles a business.
As the Washington Post reported  on Thursday, professors have been ranked according to how profitable they were to the university. Previous reports suggested Perry wanted to treat students as "customers" and tie teacher bonuses to anonymous student evaluations .
One reason that might explain his hostility toward the system: He didn't do very well in it. A source in Texas passed The Huffington Post Perry's transcripts from his years at Texas A&M University. The future politician did not distinguish himself much in the classroom. While he later became a student leader, he had to get out of academic probation to do so. He rarely earned anything above a C in his courses -- earning a C in U.S. History, a D in Shakespeare, and a D in the principles of economics. Perry got a C in gym.
Perry also did poorly on classes within his animal science major. In fall semester 1970, he received a D in veterinary anatomy, a F in a second course on organic chemistry and a C in animal breeding. He did get an A in world military systems and “Improv. of Learning” -- his only two As while at A&M.
"A&M wasn't exactly Harvard on the Brazos River," recalled a Perry classmate in an interview with The Huffington Post. "This was not the brightest guy around. We always kind of laughed. He was always kind of a joke."
A spokesperson for the governor recently told  the Texas Tribune that the university "helped shape who he is today." The governor’s office did not return a request for comment from The Huffington Post.
You can read Perry's transcript below:
http://www.huffingtonpost.​com/2011/08/05/rick-perry-​college-transcript_n_91935​7.html

Many believe that if Rick Perry enters the race, he will instantly become the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012. Perry certainly looks the part and he knows how to give a good speech, but when ordinary Americans all over the country take a hard look at his record, they may not like what they see. The truth is that Rick Perry is a big-time globalist, he has raised taxes and fees in Texas numerous times, he has massively increased the size of government spending and government debt in Texas, he has been trying to ram the Trans-Texas Corridor down the throats of the Texas people and he tried to force young women all over Texas to be injected with the Gardasil vaccine. No, Rick Perry is not going to save America. In fact, he would likely be very, very similar to both Bush and Obama in a lot of ways.

Right now, Rick Perry is trying to portray himself as a "good conservative" so that if he enters the race he will be accepted by Christian conservatives. If Rick Perry did win the Republican nomination, he would have a great chance of winning the general election because he would very much be an "establishment" candidate.

But before Republicans get too excited about Rick Perry, there are a whole lot of things that they should know about him.

14 Reasons Why Rick Perry Would Be A Really, Really Bad President


The following are 14 reasons why Rick Perry would be a really, really bad president....

#1 Rick Perry is a "big government" politician. When Rick Perry became the governor of Texas in 2000, the total spending by the Texas state government was approximately $49 billion. Ten years later it was approximately $90 billion. That is not exactly reducing the size of government.

#2 The debt of the state of Texas is out of control. According to usdebtclock.org, the debt to GDP ratio in Texas is 22.9% and the debt per citizen is $10,645. In California (a total financial basket case), the debt to GDP ratio is just 18.7% and the debt per citizen is only $9932. If Rick Perry runs for president these are numbers he will want to keep well hidden.

#3 The total debt of the Texas government has more than doubled since Rick Perry became governor. So what would the U.S. national debt look like after four (or eight) years of Rick Perry?

#4 Rick Perry has spearheaded the effort to lease roads in Texas to foreign companies, to turn roads that are already free to drive on into toll roads, and to develop the Trans-Texas Corridor which would be part of the planned NAFTA superhighway system. If you really do deep research on this whole Trans-Texas Corridor nonsense you will see why no American should ever cast a single vote for Rick Perry.

#5 Rick Perry claims that he has a "track record" of not raising taxes. That is a false claim. Rick Perry has repeatedly raised taxes and fees while he has been governor. Today, Texans are faced with significantly higher taxes and fees than they were before Rick Perry was elected.

#6 Even with the oil boom in Texas, 23 states have a lower unemployment rate than Texas does.

#7 Back in 1988, Rick Perry supported Al Gore for president. In fact, Rick Perry actually served as Al Gore's campaign chairman in the state of Texas that year.

#8 Between December 2007 and April 2011, weekly wages in the U.S. increased by about 5 percent. In the state of Texas they increased by just 0.6% over that same time period.

#9 Texas now has one of the worst education systems in the nation. The following is from an opinion piece that was actually authored by Barbara Bush earlier this year....

#10 Rick Perry attended the Bilderberg Group meetings in 2007. Associating himself with that organization should be a red flag for all American voters.

#11 Texas has the highest percentage of workers making minimum wage out of all 50 states.

#12 Rick Perry often gives speeches about illegal immigration, but when you look at the facts, he has been incredibly soft on the issue. If Rick Perry does not plan to secure the border, then he should not be president because illegal immigration is absolutely devastating many areas of the southwest United States.

#13 In 2007, 221,000 residents of Texas were making minimum wage or less. By 2010, that number had risen to 550,000.

#14 Rick Perry actually issued an executive order in 2007 that would have forced almost every single girl in the state of Texas to receive the Gardasil vaccine before entering the sixth grade. Perry would have put parents in a position where they would have had to fill out an application and beg the government not to inject their child with a highly controversial vaccine. Since then, very serious safety issues regarding this vaccine have come to light. Fortunately, lawmakers in Texas blocked what Perry was trying to do. According to Wikipedia, many were troubled when "apparent financial connections between Merck and Perry were reported by news outlets, such as a $6,000 campaign contribution and Merck's hiring of former Perry Chief of Staff Mike Toomey to handle its Texas lobbying work."

Rick Perry has a record that should make all Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians and Independents cringe.
He is not the "conservative Republican" that he is trying to claim that he is. He is simply another in a long line of "RINOs" (Republicans in name only).

If Rick Perry becomes president, he will probably be very similar to George W. Bush. He will explode the size of the U.S. government and U.S. government debt, he will find sneaky ways to raise taxes, he will do nothing about the Federal Reserve or corruption in our financial system and he will push the agenda of the globalists at every turn.

Look, the truth is that another four years of Barack Obama would be a complete and total nightmare.

But so would four years of Rick Perry.

America deserves better than the "lesser of two evils".

Unfortunately, the American people have been dead asleep and have been sending incompetents, con men and charlatans to Washington D.C. for decades.. .

Rick Perry actually issued an executive order in 2007 that would have forced almost every single girl in the state of Texas to receive the Gardasil vaccine before entering the sixth grade. Perry would have put parents in a position where they would have had to fill out an application and beg the government not to inject their child with a highly controversial vaccine. Since then, very serious safety issues regarding this vaccine have come to light. Fortunately, lawmakers in Texas blocked what Perry was trying to do. According to Wikipedia, many were troubled when "apparent financial connections between Merck and Perry were reported by news outlets, such as a $6,000 campaign contribution and Merck's hiring of former Perry Chief of Staff Mike Toomey to handle its Texas lobbying work..

www.msnbc.msn.com

Gov. Rick Perry signed an order Friday making Texas the first state to require that all schoolgirls be vaccinated against the sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/i%E2%80%8Bd/16948093/ns/health-kids_%E2%80%8Band_parenting/t/texas-gove%E2%80%8Brnor-orders-std-vaccine-al%E2%80%8Bl-girls/   **** Page Removed****

Rick Perry defends mandating HPV vaccine for 6th grade girls.... 
From WOAI-TV (NBC - San Antonio) on February 21, 2007

Some 47 girls have died so far after receiving HPV vaccinations, and some 12,000 others have been adversely affected according to reports. Yet, the HPV vaccines, Gardasil (and Cervarix abroad), has not been proven to prevent cervical cancer. Crazy? It gets worse. Despite the FDA's own research, Gardasil shots are being mandated by more and more gov't agencies as a requirement for young girls to enter 6th grade. How many more will be forced to suffer, or die, before this is stopped?

The Gardasil vaccine is not a vaccine for protection against cervical cancer as the pharmaceutical company would like you to believe. It is a vaccine intended to prevent 4 types of HPV (Human Papillomavirus). According to the Gardasil package insert, there are more than 100 types of HPV! The American Cancer Institute reports HPV-16 (one of the strains the vaccine is intended to protect against) is found in approximately 50% of cervical cancer cases connected to HPV. Merck, the vaccine manufacturer, states approximately 70% of cases are connected to 2 of the 4 types of HPV the vaccine is intended to prevent.


In 90% of HPV cases, the virus is asymptomatic, will not cause disease, and goes away without treatment. Thus other factors are necessary to trigger precancerous lesions and/or cervical cancer. As an adult, if you have already been exposed to those types of HPV, which approximately 50% of people have, the vaccine is virtually useless. Thus the reason they are targeting young girls.


The vaccine has not been studied extensively and its long term effectiveness is unknown. In one study reported in the November 2002 New England Journal of Medicine, of the 1533 women left in the study (after ruling out the 859 who already had HPV and abnormal cervical issues), 41 in the placebo group developed HPV-16. Nine of these women went on to develop pre-cancerous lesions. However, 22 other women in the placebo group went on to develop pre-cancerous lesions not associated with the HPV strains in the vaccine.


By comparison, none of the women receiving the HPV vaccine contracted this specific strain of HPV-16, but another 22 women in the vaccinated group developed precancerous lesions! How does this prove the vaccine prevents cervical cancer?! It doesn't. It simply shows it may prevent some cases of HPV. But this still leaves women vulnerable to cervical cancer! And 17 months is not enough time to determine if any of these women will then go on to develop cervical cancer later in life when it is most likely to occur.


According to Merck's website, in further studies, the efficacy of the vaccine in 9-15 year old girls is "inferred" (based on antibody production), not proven. Historically, other vaccines have shown antibody production does not prove immunity. It further states on the website, vaccination with Gardasil may not result in protection in all vaccine recipients.
http://www.homeopathyforwo​men.org/gardasil_vaccine.h​tm .
Tea Party Fraud Rick Perry is Political Herpes
POSTED BY CONTRIBUTOR | 10 AUGUST 2011
Note: Since Gov. Rick Perry(TX) declined to participate in the Iowa Straw Poll and debate events and instead wants to attempt to steal their thunder by announcing Saturday (Aug. 13, 2011) in Charleston, SC that his eminence is running for President, it's only right to hear from another Texan. Robert Morrow appears to have found some remarkable resemblances to Bill Clinton in the Bible verse spouting blowhard who appears on the surface to be more preacher than governor.  If nothing else, we may be getting a warning ahead of time concerning Rick Perry who, like Michele Bachmann, is obviously riding the tea party train without a ticket.

The article below references the FLDS, a fundamental Mormon sect whose former leader, Warren Jeffs, has been sentenced to life in prison for sexual assault.  While the crimes are reprehensible, the initial over-reactions by the Governor and Child Protective Services cited below are, unfortunately, typical throughout the country such as in the needless deaths brought on by overly aggressive government forces in Waco during the early 1990s.  The author's complaint is a valid one to that extent at least.
The links in the article are all active and check out to the extent they're referenced and provide more details.  Much of Perry's record concerning the Gardisil scam, his support of TARP, and other on-the-record issues have been out for a long time and at least have been discussed in Texas.  Perry's neocon, corporate welfare record is obvious and well documented.  Unfortunately, the habit of such big government Republicans has been to spout Bible to take out rivals and then rule pretty much the same as the openly big government party members.
While the allegations made concerning Perry's use of prostitutes, drugs, and his extra-marital affairs are not verified, they are presented in the text for what they are: just one person's allegations based on contacts in the seedy underworld of strip clubs.
There is good reason to take warning and at least be wary, however, especially considering the general lack of concern in the country regarding the rumors surrounding Bill Clinton before he was elected.  Judge for yourselves.  Not paying enough attention back to Clinton's baggage in the 1990s didn't turn out very well, did it?
In any event, the following is presented for what it is.  Consider it raw data if you will and take away whatever useful information you can get out of it.  The rest of it you can consider to be something you've been warned about--WTC

******************

UPDATE: Per a phone conversation with Robert Morrow, he has invited anyone who wants to discuss his article and the specifics of the allegations therein to call him at (512) 306-1510 between the hours of 11am and 11pm or to email him at Morrow321@aol.com for further information. Please do so if you have any doubts about anything in the article.


******************


Alleged sex scandal involving Republican Texas Governor Rick Perry 
- The Austin Chronicle 
Under the appropriate heading of "Naked City," the weekly Austin Chronicle became the first media source beyond Internet blogs and ezines to report on the alleged sex scandal involving Republican Texas Governor Rick Perry.

The Feb. 26 story by Michael King mentioned a "support rally" this week at the Governor's Mansion for Perry under the theme, "It's OK to Be Gay." The story mentions the numerous rumors that "the governor's marriage is in trouble, that his wife Anita has/will/may decide to divorce him, and that the issue is Rick's alleged infidelity, with one or another member of his administration of undetermined gender.


[Rumors of this sort, about multitudinous politicians, circulate all the time, but the current Perry rumors are indeed extraordinary in their baroque detail and remarkable persistence.]"

King said he looked into the Perry rumors when they first surfaced some weeks ago and "found no evidence of any truth to any of them, whatsoever." He lamented that "nobody will go on the record." Did anyone involved in the story "go on the record" when everyone from Saturday Night Live to Reuters published the alleged affair rumor against John Kerry a few weeks ago? No, but of course, Kerry is a Democrat so the media and people in general believe the myth that Democrats are more likely to have extramarital affairs than Republicans.

King had this comment from Perry spokesperson Kathy Walt: "These are false, malicious, and hurtful rumors, and the Chronicle's own investigation acknowledges that fact."
http://www.opednews.com/th​oreau022704_texas_governor​.htm


Naked City- The Austin Chronicle 

The Real Sins of Gov. Perry

BY MICHAEL KINGFRI., FEB. 27, 2004

On Tuesday morning, a small group of protesters (almost outnumbered by reporters and photographers) gathered at the Governor's Mansion for what was disingenuously billed as a "support rally" for Gov. Rick Perry, under the theme, "It's OK to Be Gay." As any Austinite with access to e-mail or a cell phone knows by now, for a couple of months rumors concerning the governor's personal life have been flying furiously around the Capitol, the capital city, the state, and indeed most of the Western Hemisphere. The variations are multiple and quite inventive – we won't recount them here – but at their core is the tale that the governor's marriage is in trouble, that his wife Anita has/will/may decide to divorce him, and that the issue is Rick's alleged infidelity, with one or another member of his administration of undetermined gender. (Rumors of this sort, about multitudinous politicians, circulate all the time, but the current Perry rumors are indeed extraordinary in their baroque detail and remarkable persistence.)
Hence the dubious demonstration – which just happened to coincide with President George W. Bush's declaration of war against same-sex marriage, which poses a threat to "the sanctity of marriage" so terrible it requires a constitutional ban. Last spring, readers will recall, Perry endorsed and signed the odious "Defense of Marriage Act," the Lege's latest gratuitous demonstration that it believes gay and lesbian Texans deserve fewer rights than other citizens.
For the record, Naked City looked into the Perry rumors when they first surfaced some weeks ago – inevitably accompanied by the warning, "The divorce papers are being filed today!" – and found no evidence of any truth to any of them, whatsoever. Amid much finger-pointing about who was the original source (and which political party he or she belongs to), nobody will go on the record. The governor's office (perhaps understandably) refuses any and all comment beyond a one-sentence statement from Perry spokesperson Kathy Walt: "These are false, malicious, and hurtful rumors, and the Chronicle's own investigation acknowledges that fact."
We also know that numerous other reporters, from here to New York, have looked into the rumors, with, as far as we know, an identical lack of results. Nor do we expect anything we say here to have any effect on the rumors, which have become entirely self-replicating as they echo through the blogosphere.
Meanwhile, Gov. Perry and his wife spent Presidents Day weekend in the Bahamas, accompanied by major political sponsors James and Cecelia Leininger and John and Bobbi Nau, who together have donated more than $175,000 to the governor's campaigns. Also on the trip to the Abaco Islands were Perry's political adviser Dave Carney; Chief of Staff Mike Toomey; Deputy Chief of Staff Deirdre Delisi and her husband, GOP political consultant Ted Delisi; Perry's budget director, Mike Morrissey; Texas Public Policy Foundation President Brooke Rollins and her husband, Mark; and GOP anti-tax fanatic Grover Norquist.
When public interest groups complained about the unseemliness of the governor vacationing with deep-pocketed donors, spokesman Robert Black described the cruise as a "working trip" paid for by "campaign funds" and devoted to a discussion of "public school finance." That is, during a luxury retreat in the Bahamas, the governor discussed "public school finance" with a group of wealthy right-wing activists who have done everything in their power to undermine, or even abolish, public education. But we should be reassured by the knowledge that foxes paid for the chicken feed.
Rick Perry Hates Social Security, Medicare & Rules For Wall Street
2012 Republican presidential candidate and Texas governor Rick Perry has said he believes social security and Medicare are unconstitutional, as are financial regulations. Do we need metaphorical cops on Wall Street? He also thinks global warming is a hoax. Cenk Uygur breaks it down. 



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