Friday, 26 August 2011

Texas Republican Liberty Caucus Compiling Perry Dossier

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As the newest entrant into the GOP presidential race, Texas Governor Rick Perry is finding some tough sledding in the early going — from a group of Republicans in his own state. Dave Nalle (picture at left), secretary of  the Republican Liberty Caucus (RLC) of Texas, wrote an article earlier this month on the RLC website, outlining the group’s warnings about the Lone Star State Governor, entitled “Meet the Real Rick Perry."

Nalle observed that even though Perry “may be the flavor of the day” for a lot of Republicans, Texas Republicans more familiar with his record “are a lot less enthusiastic” about his run for the presidency.

The RLC, a nationwide group, was founded in 1991 to, in their words, "restore the principles of individual liberty, limited government and free market economics to America through the Republican Party.” The group's values — personal responsibility and small government — are not only reminiscent of those of the Republican Party of bygone years, but seem to have been lifted right out of Rick Perry’s book Fed Up.

Nalle noted, “Perry has a unique talent for finding new ways to raise taxes and loves to use taxpayer money to subsidize his business cronies. His supposed belief in limited government and states['] rights conveniently disappears whenever it conflicts with the demands of the special interests and corporate cronies ... he serves.” Nalle reported that the RLC is compiling a dossier on Perry to show Republicans outside the state the real Rick Perry.

As an example of how Perry’s rhetoric doesn't match his record, Nalle pointed to his “business slush funds.” Naming the Texas Enterprise Fund and the Texas Emerging Growth Fund, Nalle observed that although over $700 million has been used to incentivize businesses to move to Texas, many of those companies have not delivered the number of jobs promised. Perry even worked to craft amendments to the contracts of those not meeting the terms, so that they would not be in violation. Notably, some 18 recipient corporations — including giant Hewlett Packard — have been donors to Perry’s campaigns.

Perry’s record on business is also skewed in favor of big business, despite his rhetoric praising free market economics. For instance, critics have roundly criticized the Governor for the controversial Texas Business Margin Tax, which penalizes small businesses. It has been called the “largest tax hike in Texas.”

Also disturbing for Texas conservatives (and underreported) is Perry’s courtship of foreign dollars, particularly from China. For years, the Communist giant has been steadily acquiring U.S. assets, spending more money in Texas than in any other state.

And most recently, followers of the popular anti-TSA groping bill in Texas (the Traveler Dignity Act), which gained nationwide attention, remember that, as Nalle put it, Perry “scuttled the bill.” Reports the RLC,

When Rep. David Simpson led the Texas legislature towards passage of an enormously popular bill ... 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.

Nalle also echoed the thoughts of most Texans when Perry issued an executive order in 2007 forcing all public schoolgirls in the sixth grade and above to be vaccinated against the Human Papillomavirus. Nalle called it a "massive violation of the privacy rights of Texas teenagers and their parents." The State Legislature revoked the decision after an enormous outcry from parents and other concerned citizens. Nalle also noted the fact that the vaccinations "would have been a huge windfall for Merck [maker of the Gardasil vaccine], which had paid Perry's former chief of staff $250,000 to lobby the governor and the legislature to promote the ... program."

And no discussion of Rick Perry can be complete without his record on the Trans-Texas Corridor (TTC) — the supranational highway to run from Mexico through Texas to Canada, championed by the Governor. The proposal has been widely resisted by Texans, who have fought it since Perry introduced it a decade ago. The massive land grab (including the transfer of Texas assets to a foreign company) featured so much government overreach that conservative Texans find it hard to take seriously Perry’s campaign platform of small government, individual responsibility, and lower taxes.

The Republican Liberty Caucus' Dave Nalle concludes his article with a warning to voters:

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 support TARP. He supported the bailouts. He was even Al Gore's Texas campaign manager back in 1988. A vote for Perry ... is a vote for more big government and more taxes and more of 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. 

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