Cross posted on Texas Kaos.
Guess what, Texas? Are we drop dead shocked that big city money contributes to Rick Perry's Texas One "non-profit" group? This would be the group that funds the Governor's rather lavish and hardly austere travel expenses.
When one learns what small government means to certain Republican politicians, it is no small wonder why the ilk of Rick Perry are determined to keep the government as tiny as possible. In Rick Perry's Texas small government means there are no oversight mechanisms in place to stand watch over the people's piggy bank when the Governor helps himself to more than a few pennies.
Just when we think we've heard it all with regard to Rick Perry and his sleazy crony capitalist practices as well as his adoration of corporate welfare queens," not to mention the Governor's aversion to transparency, yet one more poisonous rattlelsnake slithers into the sunlight.
The Governor's Office manages a non profit group, with no legislative oversight, naturally, to operate as a economic development tool. The group, Texas One, pays for much of Rick Perry's travel expenses. According to the Governor's Office, corporate sponsors, private donations and membership dues support Texas One.
The Governor's Office, of course, has failed to mention, that public money supports Texas One as well.
Touted as an “economic development” tool, TexasOne operates as a nonprofit corporation managed by the governor's office. Perry appoints the TexasOne board, and the group's budget receives no legislative oversight.Sales tax and other local revenues contribute to Texas One.
The arrangement long has drawn criticism from Perry foes, who say it allows major corporate sponsors, who legally cannot give to his campaign accounts, to underwrite an operation that advances Perry's political career and lifestyle as much as it promotes the state's business climate.
And while the governor consistently claims that no tax money is used to finance his travel, records obtained by the Houston Chronicle show that 45 percent — more than $2 million of the $4.7 million raised in the past three years — came from local governments or their economic development corporations, which are funded entirely through sales taxes.
In addition, TexasOne receives donations from chambers of commerce, many of which also receive significant funding from local governments. In the past three years, the largest single donor to TexasOne was the Greater Houston Partnership, which last year received more than $1 million out of its $14.2 million in revenue last year from the city of Houston, Harris County and the Port of Houston Authority.Houston is not alone in supporting Texas One.
The San Antonio Economic Development Corp., also a major TexasOne contributor, received $1 million of its $2.6 million budget from the city of San Antonio and Bexar County last year, according to foundation president Mario Hernandez.The small government loving Governor enjoys a rather lavish life style and jet set level travel accommodations. He loves his fine wines while Rick Perry prances around the globe like royalty. But like many in the royal class, the Governor of the once great state of Texas has no use for those who do not reside among the wealthy and privileged. As long as Rick Perry and his crony donors are doing swimmingly well, everyone else can go straight to hell.
Thanks to a $27 budget deficit in 2011, because of dumb and mean ideas and shrinking revenues that could not keep up with expenditures, the Party of the Dumb and Mean made every effort to save itself and its cronies from increased taxation.
And so Rick Perry and his fellow Ebenezer Scrooge colleagues, you know, the usual suspects and suck ups to Wall Street and the Oil and Gas environment killers who loath the EPA, cut funding for school budgets by billions. The government loathing Republican Taliban fired school teachers, firefighters and state workers. Rick Perry and the Texas Republican Stooges for the 1% cut budgets to fight fires in one of the worst droughts in the state's history. The Texas Republican Taliban cut operating hours of the state's libraries. For the economically disadvantaged local libraries offer access to educational tools such as computers, DVDs and books of course.
Did the Texas Party of the Dumb and Mean care? Hell no they didn't.
In a mean and crazy right wing Republican controlled Texas, one is poor because one is lazy and "shiftless."
Never mind that Rick Perry's Texas is a right to work, low wage state in which one in four residents are uninsured. Most low wage earners depend upon federal programs in order to feed their families and have access to health care.
Public K-12 schools rank second to last nationwide and Governor Oop's state has the highest number of high school drop outs. The once great state of Governor Oops ranks fourth in teen pregnancy.
How's that Texas Taliban abstinence only birth control plan working out for you, Republican voters?
Perry and the Texas Republican Taliban could have dipped into the Rainy Day Funds in 2011 to ease the brutality of the cuts but these right wing ideologues are not about easing the pain of others. When we consider the recent appalling behavior of the junior TX Senator, Ted Cruz, while participating in a U.S. Senate hearing, I think we can agree that he and Rick Perry, among other Republican snakes are dangerous and narcissistic demagogues who could care less about their constituents. It is all about them.
And so while Rick Perry and his Texas Taliban slashed and burned budgets did the Governor's jet set lifestyle grind to halt in 2011? You bet it didn't.
James Carville had a point when he said:
"The sequester, many people don't know what it is, but it sounds stupid and cruel, so they think it's a Republican thing."
Since 2009, 15 TexasOne trips carried price tags of $50,000 to $500,000, including three trips to the U.S. Open tennis championship in New York. Either the governor, first lady Anita Perry, or former Secretary of State Hope Andrade, a Perry appointee, went on the priciest excursions.Because of the uproar caused by the crony capitalist practices, conflicts of interest and potential corruption involving grant awards at the state's Cancer Institute (CPRIT) state legislators have called for more oversight of the Governor's pet projects and various agencies.
A trip to the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai, China, cost $500,480, which covered travel expenses for the Texas entourage led by Perry and his wife, and a $325,000 contribution to support the U.S.A. pavilion.
Texas joined the state of Hawaii, the city of San Antonio and many corporate sponsors in backing the United States' $60 million pavilion, which attracted 8 million of the event's 60 million visitors, according to Jose H. Villarreal, a San Antonio lawyer who served as the Expo's U.S. commissioner.
The organization might get scrutiny from a new Texas House committee reviewing “transparency” in government.As in the case of CPRIT, the Texas Enterprise Fund and the Emerging Technology Fund, Texas One appears to be yet more case of crony capitalism run amok. Small government means there aren't enough cops on the beat to guard the people's piggy bank.
“These are the type of agencies or quasi-agencies we are tasked to look at. They have very little oversight,” said Rep. Lyle Larson, R-San Antonio, a committee member. “It's the committee's will. ... But this most likely will be an issue.”