Don’t Believe the Hype. Meet the Real Rick Perry
Republican Liberty Caucus of Texas Sends Warning to Republicans Nationwide About Perry’s Tax and Spend Record
AUSTIN, TX – Texas Governor Rick Perry may be the flavor of the day for a lot of Republicans, but Texas Republicans who are familiar with his record are a lot less enthusiastic about his presidential run. “Perry has a unique talent for finding new ways to raise taxes and loves to use taxpayer money to subsidize his business cronies,” says Secretary Dave Nalle of the Republican Liberty Caucus of Texas. “His supposed belief in limited government and states rights conveniently disappears whenever it conflicts with the demands of the special interests and corporate cronies who he serves.”
Governor Perry’s record of big government, big spending, big taxing and attacks on the fundamental rights of Texas citizens is a familiar to Texans, but seems to be much less well known to Republicans outside of the state, which may explain his high initial showing in the polls. The Republican Liberty Caucus of Texas is compiling a complete dossier on Perry to share with fellow Republicans outside their state so that they can be informed about what they are being sold in a Perry presidential candidacy.
The file on Perry’s abuses of power, insider deals with cronies and tax and spend policies is thick, but for a start here are what Texas RLC members voted as the top five Perry scandals which GOP primary voters need to know more about:
- 1. Business Slush Funds: Perry made heavy use of business incentive “slush funds” which used taxpayer dollars to subsidize selected businesses, many of them run by his major campaign contributors. Just two of these funds, the Texas Enterprise Fund and the Texas Emerging Growth fund, spent over $700 million to subsidize businesses to move to Texas or expand operations in Texas, with little evidence that these handouts of taxpayer money produced job or revenue growth anywhere near sufficient to justify the expense. In fact, many of these businesses eventually downsized or relocated long before they had earned the money Perry gave them, or even went bankrupt with $25 million fund dollars like Contrywide Financial. source
- 2. Toll Roads and Land Seizures Perry has never met a toll road project he wasn’t willing to seize huge amounts of private land for and then give the exclusive management contracts to foreign corporations. Perry’s time in office has set records for eminent domain land seizures – over a million acres have been seized. His toll road projects have confiscated family farms and torn communities apart. Toll roads have been used as a massive off-the-books tax program, taking money from Texas drivers and feeding it to foreign financial interests and management groups which lobbied the governor for special deals which produce much higher tolls and higher profits than are typical in other states. source
- 3. Forced Vaccinations: In 2007 Perry issued an executive order which would have forcibly vaccinated every girl in Texas entering the sixth grade with Merck’s Gardasil vaccine for Human Papilloma Virus. This massive violation of the privacy rights of Texas teenagers and their parents would have come at a cost of $360 in taxpayer money per shot. It would have been a huge windfall for Merck, which had paid Perry’s former Chief of Staff $250,000 to lobby the governor and legislature to promote the forced vaccination program. source
- 4. The Job-Killing Franchise Tax: Knowing that it would be impossible to pass an income tax against popular opposition in Texas, Perry promoted the idea of a special business tax called the “Franchise Tax” which taxes businesses at different arbitrary rates set by the government. This tax expands business taxes to types of businesses which are not taxed in most states and in many cases taxes small businesses more than large corporations they compete with. For example it taxes small car repair shops at double the rate it taxes large dealerships for car repairs. It’s a small business and job killer. source
- 5. Scuttled the Ant-TSA Bill When Rep. David Simpson led the Texas legislature towards passage of an enormously popular bill (HB1938) to hold the TSA accountable for intrusive searches of airline passengers, Perry played a key role in making sure that the bill was not passed. When the TSA and the Justice Department began pressuring him, although Perry had promised to submit the bill to the special legislative session, he delayed submitting the bill until it was so late in the session that it was virtually impossible to hold the constitutionally mandated votes necessary for passage. That way he could score points with the public for submitting the popular bill while at the same time making sure that it wouldn’t pass. It’s a classic example of Perry’s insincere pandering. source
Don’t be fooled by campaign hype. If Perry says he’ll cut taxes or get government off our back, look up his real record. Look up his past statements. He supported TARP. He supported the bailouts. He was even Al Gore’s Texas campaign manager back in 1980. A vote for Perry in the Republican primary is a vote for more big government and more taxes and more of the the same deficits and irresponsibility we had for 12 years under Bush and Obama. The Republican Party and the nation need real leadership, not more of the same with a nicer head of hair.
RLC of Texas Chairman Judson Vandiver asks, “Let’s hope Republicans outside Texas see through all the hype. Let’s all say to to Perry what he said to a Texas state trooper when he tried to bully her after she pulled him over for speeding YouTube: ‘Why don’t you just let us get on down the road?’”