Sunday, August 21, 2011


Who unabashedly believes in pork, certain forms of big government, and open corruption? Why, the tea party's dream candidate, that's who:

...a review of Mr. Perry's years in office reveals that one of his most potent fund-raising tools is the very government he heads.

Over three terms in office, Mr. Perry's administration has doled out grants, tax breaks, contracts and appointments to hundreds of his most generous supporters and their businesses. And they have helped Mr. Perry raise more money than any politician in Texas history....

Mr. Perry has also drawn scrutiny for two of his signature economic development efforts, the Texas Enterprise Fund and the Texas Emerging Technology Fund. The enterprise fund, which is intended to be a deal-closing tool for the state as it competes for jobs, has dispensed $435 million in grants to businesses since 2003. The technology fund, which has doled out nearly $200 million to companies since 2005, has a similar job creation mandate.

More than a quarter of the companies that have received grants from the enterprise fund in the most recent fiscal year, or their chief executives, made contributions to either Mr. Perry's campaign dating back to 2001 or to the Republican Governors Association since 2008, when Mr. Perry became its chairman, according to an analysis by The New York Times....

In 2003, after a rash of mold-related lawsuits against home construction companies, Mr. Perry championed the creation of a state board, the Texas Residential Construction Commission. The new commission was a priority of Mr. Perry's most generous contributor: Bob Perry, a homebuilder who has contributed more than $2 million to the governor over his career. (The two men are not related.)

The legislation creating the board also sharply limited the rights of homeowners to sue contractors for faulty construction, shunting most disputes to the commission. After its passage, Bob Perry and his wife sent two $50,000 checks to the governor's campaign....

Creating new bureaucracies? Using government to pick winners and losers in Texas economy? Going far beyond the limited-government vision of the Founding Fathers? The teabaggers say no problem, if it's all done the Perry way!

I know, I know -- the real vision of the teabaggers involves nothing more than bashing liberals and Democrats while, in a Randian way, treating CEOs and entrepreneurs as adolescent crush objects. But it's still appropriate to recall that other view of the teabaggers because that's the way they portray themselves, and many in the mainstream press still don't realize that it's a fraudulent self-portrait.

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