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Today Rick Perry proudly announced his solution to the economic/ unemployment crisis facing the country. Drilling for oil was the novel solution presented by Governor Perry. His proposal was labeled “Drill Baby Drill.” Perhaps he got that idea from Sarah Palin since it was so successful in the 2008 election. Perry said he would create energy-related jobs by allowing new permits in the Gulf,
and he would encourage additional drilling to increase domestic oil production by 25 percent. Among other places, he would allow drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The reason that we tend to select potential candidates for President from those who have served as Governor of a state, is that serving as the Chief Executive of a state is supposed to educate the candidate, and give him experience upon which he may rely while serving as President. If Rick Perry should govern the United States as he has done while serving as the Governor of Texas, unemployment would likely be reduced by the killing of more Americans. This is no joke!
While Governor of Texas, the Texas City Plant owned and operated by BP, had a catastrophic explosion killing 15 people and injuring 170. The explosion was not the only thing about the event that was catastrophic. The human error, the failure of B.P. to follow safety standards, and failure to correct known safety infractions each constituted a catastrophic failure of both BP and the Government. The Texas City explosion occurred while Rick Perry was governor. This video explains the multiple failures of BP and OSHA that were specifically identified in a lengthy 2007 report.
The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in the Gulf was a well owned and operated by B.P. It flowed for three months and was the largest accidental marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry. That explosion occurred on April 20, 2010. Eleven people were killed and 17 were injured.
B.P. was determined to be solely at fault in the explosion based on 21 out of 35 specific problems, and jointly responsible for 8 other infractions. Rick Perry’s response was that the explosion was simply an “ act of God.” He also defended BP by explaining that they had a “very good safety record.”
Based upon BP’s actual record of heinous safety infractions, and long history in Texas of death and injury, Rick Perry was a)ignorant, b)oblivious, c)corrupt, or d)all three. The fact that BP paid Governor Perry $250,000.00 to help restore the Governor’s mansion after it burned would be an indication that the correct answer is “d” “all three.”
Rachel Maddow highlighted the error in reports by Governor Perry that the state of Texas, under his administration is responsible for creating jobs. Errors included:
a. For one, state lawmakers have spent much of the year grappling with a budget shortfall that left them $27 billion short of the money needed to continue current state services. In addition, while the national unemployment rate is 9.1 percent and the Texas unemployment rate is 8 percent. Twenty-three states, including New York, have lower unemployment rates, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
b. Perry often talks about the robust growth of jobs during his tenure. But jobs grew at about the same rate during Democrat Ann Richards’ four years as governor. And they grew at a much faster rate during Republican George W. Bush’s six years in the office than they have in Perry’s 10. Even before the national recession hit in 2008, jobs grew at a slower rate in Texas under Perry than under Bush.
a. The unemployment rate in Texas has risen from 7.7% to 8.0%. Texas has done worse than the rest of the country since the peak of national unemployment in October 2009: that month the U.S. rate was 10.1% and Texas was 8.2%. Texas peaked at 8.3% last December, dropping to 8.0% in April, while the national rate has dropped a point since it’s peak to 9.1%
Texas has by far the largest number of employees working at or below the federal minimum wage ($7.25 per hour in 2010) compared to any state, according to a BLS report. In 2010, about 550,000 Texans were working at or below minimum wage, or about 9.5 percent of all workers paid by the hour in the state. Texas tied with Mississippi for the greatest percentage of minimum wage workers, while California had among the fewest (less than 2 percent). Even Mitt Romney reported that Perry’s “own state’s unemployment rate has doubled on his watch.”
Perry has repeatedly criticized the federal government for intervening in business by attempting to impose regulations designed to protect the safety of the environment and human life. He has even filed suit against the federal government for the efforts of the EPA to regulate greenhouse gases.
Perry has cut funding for education and protection from fires that have taken the lives of Texans. He has ignored the extremely dangerous practices associated with drilling for oil, and when confronted with the loss of life caused by infractions, he declares the explosion to be an “Act of God.” Now he advocates more of this dangerous drilling.
Under the guidance of Rick Perry, Texas is the “killingest” state in the entire union, having executed more than four times as many prisoners as the next state. It seems that in Rick Perry’s Texas his idea for reduction of unemployment is characterized by reducing the work force. Given his lack of respect for the environment, health care, and safety considerations in business, it is clear that he is not a proponent of regulation or life.
The following is NOT true. Sarah is in South Korea speaking to people who don’t speak English, and Rick Perry is speaking, but nobody knows what he said. If they were both available, and if either had thought about this, they probably would do it.
SARAH & RICK’S
PRAYER VIGIL TO RESTORE COMMON SENSE
AUCTION, AND CORNY DOG EATING CONTEST
Sarah Palin and Rick Perry have teamed up to raise money for themselves by sponsoring a never-before combination of Auction, Prayer Vigil, and Corny-Dog Eating Contest.
Date: October 31, 2011
Place: Deep in the Heart of Texas
Time: All Day
Price of Admission: 10% of all the money you have, excluding any money spent on the auction items, corny dogs, or gambling.
Entertainment to be provided by Sarah’s Friends from Korea,
and Rick Perry’s friends from Oklahoma.
PRAYER VIGIL TO RESTORE COMMON SENSE- Participants will pray for an end to global warming until God tells Rick and Sarah that the earth has cooled, and that the Republican Party doesn’t disappear until Rick and Sarah have spent all their money.
AUCTION: Rick and Sarah have teamed up to raise money and have put together a list of much sought after items. Here are just a few:
1. Palin’s panties.
2. An autographed basketball by Glen Rice.
3. Rick Perry’s Boy Scout Uniform
4. A famous picture of Rick Perry
5. A lock of hair from Rick Perry
6. A hair piece from Sarah Palin
7. A push-up bra of Sarah Palin
8. A pair of Rick Perry’s boxers
9. A pair of shoes from Sarah Palin’s closet
10. A pair of shoes from Rick Perry’s closet
11. A wolf paw from Sarah Palin’s Alaska
12. A coyote paw from Rick Perry’s Texas
CORNY-DOG EATING CONTEST
Events will include:
1. All You Can Eat- Who Can Eat the Most in 1 Hour
2. All You Can Eat- Who Can eat the Longest Corny Dog in One Mouthful
3. All You Can Eat- Who Can eat the fattest Corny Dog in One Mouthful
Michele Bachman and Her Husband will be the judges, and Rick Perry will be excluded from the competition.
Your first guess to this age-old question might be … corny dogs?
Your second guess might be photo-shopped pictures.
Perry as Palin
Perry as Jesus
Perry with Bachmann’s Hair
Michele Bachman and husband Marcus
Palin and Bachmann
Dumb and Dumber
Your Third Guess should be that they each failed American History in 8th grade. Even though all three seem to be clueless about American history , but are each stupid enough to make public statements, proving that they are clueless about American history. Who could forget Michelle Bachmann’s claim that the Shot heard around the world was fired in New Hampshire, rather than in Massachusetts?
Then there was the video of Sarah Palin sharing her version of Paul Revere’s ride gallantly attempting to warn the British that the Americans were coming.
Rick Perry has now demonstrated he has a lot in common with both Bachmann and Palin. He thought the American Revolutionary war was fought in the 16th century. I wonder if he thinks Paul Revere was riding a T-Rex through New Hampshire, ringing bells, warning the British that the Americans were coming, and shooting his gun which was loud enough to be heard around the world?
This article is Part III of the discussion of the Texas Emerging Technology Fund (TETF). The previous articles are here. In these articles the unequivocal facts indicate that Rick Perry, through the Texas Technology Fund has diverted tax payer money to his supporters. The State has produced virtually no accounting, and state auditors have cited over 20 infractions of common accounting practices regarding the fund. The Governor’s office hung up on me when I tried to get basic information relating to any revenue paid to the state by recipients of millions of dollars in state funds. E-mails were not returned. It has been one week since I made phone calls and placed e-mail inquiries to the Office of the Governor, the Emerging Technology Fund, and to the Governor’s press office. No information has been provided, no return calls have been placed, no return e-mails have been forthcoming.
This final article documents just a few of the outrageous payments of money to specific donors of Rick Perry. Undoubtedly there are many more examples, but it is difficult to connect the donors and recipients of the money, as the recipients are companies, and it is difficult or impossible to determine the identity of all the people associated with the recipients of the millions of dollars given out by the Texas Emerging Technology fund.
1. Charles Tate has donated a total of $424,000 to Perry. Tate had investments in ThromboVision, which was awarded $1.5 million from ETF on 4/20/07. ThromboVision declared bankruptcy on 9/2/10. Shortly before the declaration of bankruptcy, Charles Tate donated $100,000 to Perry’s campaign on 5-25-10. ETF did not know about bankruptcy filing until it was reported in the news. .
Tate also had investments in OrthoAccel Technologies, which was awarded $750,000 on 2/2008 from the ETF.
Mr. Tate also started the Texas Life Sciences Center for Innovation and Commercialization which vets applicants for ETF. Hence Mr. Tate himself, has become an integral part of the process of approving companies who are awarded millions of dollars of tax payer monies. Perhaps Governor Perry thought it would be convenient to consolidate the process of applying for state money and the awarding of state money in the same person to limit the expense associated with reviewing an application. After all, who better to know whether Mr. Tate’s companies should be awarded tax dollars, than Mr. Tate himself?
Adams has also employed Perry’s children, given Perry Big 12 tickets, and provided transportation and lodging for games.
4. James Leininger has donated $265,000 to Perry and is investor in Gradalis, which was awarded $1.75 million from ETF on 2/2009.
Leininger has also taken Perry on hunting trips, paid for Perry’s airfare, room and board and given Perry tickets to Spurs game.
5. John McHale has donated $50,000 to Perry and is an investor in Gradalis.
Austin Ventures was invested in, and had board members on, NanoCoolers, which received $3 million on 3/2009 from ETF. The company closed 8 months later on 11/2009.
7. William McMinn has donated $152,000 to Rick Perry. McMinn had investments in Carbon Nanotechnologies, which was awarded $975,000 from ETF.
The regional panel that reviewed Convergen’s application turned down the company’s $4.5 million request when it presented its proposal on Oct. 7, 2009. But Mr. Nance appealed that decision directly to a statewide advisory committee (of which Mr. Nance was once a member) appointed by Mr. Perry. Just eight days later, on Oct. 15, a subcommittee unanimously recommended approval by the full statewide committee. On Oct. 29, the full advisory committee unanimously recommended the approval of Convergen’s application. When asked why the advisory committee felt comfortable recommending Convergen’s grant, Lucy Nashed, a spokesperson for Mr. Perry, said that the committee “thoroughly vetted the company.” “Lucy” was one of the people in Governor Perry’s office that did not return my calls or e-mails, even though the Director of the ETF sent me an e-mail confirming that she would be calling me back.
9. Charles Amato has donated $32,000 to Perry. He had investments in Seno Medical Instruments, which received $2 million in ETF money.
This detailed analysis demonstrates a pattern or routine of Rick Perry and the Texas Emerging Technology Fund of giving away taxpayer money to supporters of Rick Perry. Thus Rick Perry used tax payer money to support his campaign for Governor, and now President. No wonder Rick Perry has so much money for his campaign. No wonder Rick Perry has been elected Governor of Texas for three terms. In Texas we have the best government that money can buy, and that’s a pathetic government.
As applicants to the Texas Emerging Technology Fund present their applications to Rick Perry, they likely feel like they are watching an excerpt of Jerry McGuire.
The only difference between Rick Perry and Cuba Gooding Jr. is hair.
This is the second in the series of articles on the Texas Emerging Technology Fund. The background of this fund is set out in this article. The entirety of the following post is based on the report from John Keel, CPA, of the State of Texas State Auditor’s Office. It was completed April 2011, and is know as “An Audit Report on The Emerging Technology Fund” Report No. 11-029. This report was compiled by a Certified Public Accountant from the State Auditor’s Office. It was not the result of a political adversary of Rick Perry, but an official state audit of a fund promoted and “overseen” by Rick Perry. The following are the Overall Conclusions of the Auditor:
“The Emerging Technology Fund (ETF) should make significant improvements to promote greater transparency and accountability.
Issues in a number of areas impair the ability to administer the ETF in the best interests of the State. It is important to hold recipients of funds accountable. Auditors identified the following weaknesses:
Decision making related to the ETF and recipients of funds is not open to the public.
The ETF conducts limited monitoring of recipient’s performance and expenditures of funds.
The Office of the Governor does not report the value of the State’s investments through the ETF on its financial statements.
The ETF does not administer its contracts with the seven Regional Centers for Innovation Commercialization (RCICS) and the Texas Life Science Center for Innovation and Commercialization…”
As of Aug. 31, 2010 a total of 153 grants and awards totaling $342,336,567 had been awarded to recipients.
The ETF application is considered confidential while an application for an award or grant. Ten other states with similar programs that auditors surveyed allowed significantly more public access to meetings and documents related to the award of public funds. (pg. ii)
The code of ethics policy for the Advisory Committee does not prohibit Advisory Committee members from accepting compensation from or investing in ETF recipients. (pg iii) ( This means that a person on the Advisory committee who recommends a company receive millions of dollars from the EMT could be the CEO of the company.)
The majority of annual reports required in 2007, 2008, and 2009 were NOT submitted.(pg iii)
The office of the Governor did not report the value of all investments held by the ETF on its annual financial report or on its annual report to the Legislature; the only investment that was reported was from the single award from which the ETF has profited. (pg. iii)
The ETF has not developed substantive criteria for the RCICs and the Texas Life Science Center to use when receiving and evaluating applications. (pg 3)(This means there are no standards to determine which companies receive grants, or any guidelines to determine how much money will be awarded.)
Because there is a lack of consistent documentation of votes and recusals, it can’t be determined whether board members appropriately addressed conflicts of interest. (pg. 3) (This means that there is no way to determine if the very people considering an application had a financial interest in the approval of the grant.)
RCICS and Texas Life Science Center do not follow consistent processes for evaluating and receiving applications. (pg 5)(This means that there is no uniformity in how an application is evaluated.)
Meetings of the Advisory Committee of the ETF are not open to the public, and the Advisory Committee does not even document its decisions in meeting minutes.
The Advisory Committee has been inconsistent in terms of which applications it will accept for review. (pg 7)
There is no documentation of how members voted, which members recused themselves, or any disclosures made. (pg 8)(This means that there can be no accountability for any action taken.)
The advisory committee has no written policies and procedures for how it receives, reviews, or recommends funding. (pg9)
While others may nominate people to serve on the Advisory Committee, it is the Governor who make the final determination regarding all appointments to the Advisory Committee.(pg 11)
There are no policies for the ETF application process. This has led to uncertainty in various areas. (pg 13)
The ETF doesn’t perform a credit check on award recipients, or a criminal background check. (pg 13)
Auditors were unable to determine from the documents available for the 21 applications tested whether the ETF Office performed any due diligence or independently verified the information provided by the applicant, such as intellectual property or financial information. (pg 15)
The ETF has not ensured that ETF recipients comply with requirements to submit reports. (pg 18) (This means there is no accountability by the recipients of the millions of dollare given by Texas.)
Three recipients declared bankruptcy or ceased operations in 2010 but failed to submit even one annual report. (Pg. 18)
In 2007 60% of recipients didn’t submit reports due.
In 2008 67% of recipients didn’t submit reports due.
In 2009 59% of recipients didn’t submit reports due.(pg 18)
The ETF does not require recipients to submit (1) financial information in their annual reports or (2) supporting documentation for expenditure of funds. Thus the ETF can’t verify whether recipients make expenditures only for authorized purposes. (pg 20)
The Office of the Governor is not reporting the value of the ETF investments as assets, and it is not reporting the net increase or decrease in the value of these investments on its annual financial reports.
One RCIC reported to the ETF that it spent $59,731 on “Meals and Entertainment” in fiscal year 2010. RCIC is not required to separate funds for the ETF and its operating funds. (pg 28).
Several conclusions are evident from this audit:
1. There is no criteria for the award of money from the ETF, and therefore Rick Perry is able to give state money to any company he chooses.
2. There is no documentation of any value received by Texas for any of the companies who received state money through the ETF, with the exception of a single company.
3. There is no attempt to independently assess the financial viability of a company receiving an award from the ETF, and thus a shell company could receive a gift of money from the ETF and immediately declare bankruptcy after the funds from the state are disbursed. Supporters of Rick Perry could be in a position to receive payment directly from the award of money by the state to their company through the ETF with the only benefit to the individual and/or Rick Perry, and the State of Texas might not realize any benefit!
4. There is no accounting required of a recipient of ETF funds, and thus any misuse of state money would likely never be reported.
5. Members of the Advisory Committee which recommend approval of an award may be financially connected to the applicant company and they are not required to disclose or report the conflict.
6. Rick Perry has ultimate control over any and all funds awarded by the ETF.
7. There is no expectation by the ETF that any funds will ever be paid back to the State of Texas.
8. Because Rick Perry is given the power to appoint every member of the Advisory Committee, “at his pleasure” Rick Perry controls the recommendations of the Advisory Committee “at his pleasure.”
9. There is a complete lack of accounting to the citizens of Texas, and the country, for the monies given to companies.
10. While Texans are deprived of basic services of Government, including education and fire fighting services, the State of Texas is giving away millions of dollars to Rick Perry supporters. This year alone Texas cut funding for public schools in Texas by 2 Billion Dollars. Dallas alone will suffer cuts to its education budget of 87 Million Dollars, which is less than half of the funds given away to Rick Perry supporters through the ETF
It is no wonder that Rick Perry is serving in his tenth year as governor and is the longest-serving chief executive in Texas history. Given the financial backing Perry has achieved using taxpayer money, he will likely continue to be re-elected for as long as he desires. Now the entire country is saddled with the effects of Rick Perry’s corruption.
He is among the top political fund-raisers in the country through his “vast network of wealthy supporters eager to bankroll his presidential ambitions.” In three campaigns for governor, Mr. Perry has raised $102 million, including more than $39 million during his successful 2010 bid for re-election. The Republican Governors Association, of which Mr. Perry is chairman, raised a record $22.1 million during the first half of this year. If allowed to occupy the White House, imagine the wealth he could transfer to his supporters at the expense of U.S. taxpayers.
“H” provided this link tonight which is an article about the lengths the Texas agencies will go to hide the facts that document the effects of global warming in Texas. It should come as no surprise that it is an agency that ultimately reports to Governor Perry that is trying to hide the truth. Thanks “H” for the link!
This is first in a series of posts dedicated to revealing the truth behind the Texas Emerging Technology Fund. The breadth of the corruption facilitated by Rick Perry is so extensive that multiple articles will be necessary.
“The Emerging Technology Fund (TETF) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2005 at the urging of Gov. Perry to provide Texas with an unparalleled advantage in the research, development, and commercialization of emerging technologies.”
TETF grants are awarded in the following three areas:
• Research Superiority Acquisition — funds for Texas higher education institutions to recruit the best research talent in the world.
• Commercialization Awards — funds to help companies take ideas from concept to development to ready for the marketplace.
• Matching Awards — funds create public-private partnerships which leverage the unique strengths of universities, federal government grant programs, and industry.
In order to receive a TETF payment, the first step is to contact one of seven Regional Centers of Innovation and Commercialization (RCIC). RCICs receive applications for TETF awards each calendar quarter from companies within their regions and help guide companies through the application process. Applications are reviewed quarterly and TETF awards are granted throughout the year. Companies across the state have won TETF awards.
During the three fiscal years from Sept 1, 2007 through August 31, 2010 the TETF made 113 awards in the total amount of $259, 543,000.00. During the same time period, while Texas was giving away over $259,000,000 to companies employing supporters and donors of and to Rick Perry, Texas received $6.4 billion in federal funds from the Recovery Act money allowing Texas to retain $9.1 billion in its Rainy Day Fund. During this same time period Rick Perry advocated secession of Texas from the U.S. He also advocates less involvement of the federal government in state affairs, unless of course he is asking for money. Texas was the state most dependent upon stimulus funds to plug nearly 97% of its shortfall for fiscal 2010, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. On the very same day Governor Perry asked for the funds, he set up a petition titled “No Government Bailouts.”
During that same period, Texas was also unable to financially sustain much of its volunteer fire departments. During the same time frame Texas was ravaged by 21,000 deadly and devastating wild fires which have burned 3.6 million acres.
II. MAKE UP OF THE TETF
Section 490 of the Government Code of Texas establishes the method for appointment to the TETF Committee. Section 490.051 provides that a committee of 17 people will be appointed by the GOVERNOR. The Governor appoints the presiding member of the committee. (Sec. 490.053). The length of service for each member is at the “pleasure of the governor.” (Sec. 490.540). The Committee only makes recommendations ( 490.056). The final approval of any money to be paid from the fund is made by the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives (Sec. 490.056)
III. EQUITY POSITION OF TEXAS
Texas Government Code Section 490.005 requires the Governor to provide “a brief description of the equity position that the Governor, on behalf of the state, may take in companies receiving awards.” It was obvious that each of the companies receiving the award of money from the TETF would not be successful. The majority of new businesses fail in the first four years. However the express provisions of Section 490.000 contemplate the sharing of profit if it should occur, and repayment of the monies awarded by the state, creating the relationship between the state and recipient, of an investor in a business enterprise. If other investors realize profit from the company, then the state of Texas should likewise be a beneficiary of the success of that company. The TETF was clearly formulated with the expectation that the fund would be used to support companies that had a very promising future, and would likely result in a return on investment to Texas. Section 490.203 expressly states:
“An entity receiving funding or another incentive under this subchapter shall guarantee by contract with the governor’s office that the entity will perform specific actions that are expected to provide benefits to this state.”
“If an entity fails to perform an action guaranteed by contract under subsection (a) before a time specified by the contract, the entity shall return the funding received by the entity under this subchapter.”
No company in the history of the fund has ever returned the money given by the state, and the state has never demanded the refund of any funds.
IV. ONLY ONE COMPANY, CARDIOSPECTRA, INC. HAS RETURNED ANY MONEY TO TEXAS.
The January 2011 Annual Report to the Texas Legislature covers a period of three years. This report identifies 120 different companies that received millions of dollars from the TETF. The amount of money awarded to the 120 different companies varied between $500,000 to $ 50,000,000 which was awarded to TAMU. The average amount awarded was $1,000,000. The total amount of all awards was $259,543,000.00.
For each of the 120 companies identified in the annual report there is a reference to the “intended outcome,” and the “actual outcome.” Of all the companies listed that received money from the TETF only one company is reported to have paid any money back to Texas. At pg 26 of the report, “CardioSpectra, Inc.” is reported to have been bought by another company for $25,000,000 in cash, and a promise to pay an additional $38 million upon the achievement of certain milestones. The state of Texas was paid $2,277,792 in cash upon the sale, and stock “valued at $1,984,749.” Thus Texas received only 9% of the proceeds from the sale of CardioSpectra Inc. More importantly, less than 1%, or .008% of the companies funded by Texas paid back ANY of the monies given to them. This would be an indication of, at best, gross incompetence on the part of Texas employees running the TETF, or more likely, corruption.
V. LACK OF TRANSPARENCY FROM THE TETF FUND
The TETF identifies itself as having 7 employees. They are:
1. Jonathan W. Taylor, Director
2. Yvette Sanchez-Ramirez, Executive Assistant
3. Patrick Boswell, Investments Manager
4. Bryan Poe, Investment Analyst
5. Ashley Randall, Investment Analyst
6. Emily Vorlant, Investment Analyst
7. Laurie Rich, Special Advisor
On Oct. 6th, 2011 I called each of these people. The purpose of the call was to simply confirm that CardioSpectra Inc. is the ONLY company that received money from the TETF to ever pay any money back to Texas. I spoke with Jonathan Taylor and he said he didn’t know the answer. I asked him as the Director of the fund, who would be in a better position to know. He responded by defiantly saying that any such information would have to come from the press office. When I asked him if that wasn’t part of his job description, he hung up the phone on me. I have spoken to two different people in the press office for the Governor’s office ” Lucy” and “Veronica”, and each explained that they didn’t know the information and would get back to me. I then followed up with Ms. Ramirez, Mr. Boswell, and Mr. Poe to ask the same question, and each were unwilling to discuss the matter with me. I left voice mail messages for Ms. Randall, Ms. Vorlant, and Ms. Rich, none of which have been returned three days later. I have sent an e-mail to each of the people listed above, setting out my request for confirmation that CardioSpectra Inc. is the only company in the history of the TETF to return any money to the state. The only response I have received to those simple e-mail requests is to advise me to talk with the Governor’s press office.
The inevitable conclusion is that there is only one company in the history of the TETF to pay any money back to the state in the history of the fund. In the span of over 5 years only one company returning money on the state’s investment is pathetic. In articles that will follow, there is clear lack of accountability of the TETF for over $200,000,000.00 of tax payer money that has been given away. It is criminal that at a time when Texas is in desperate need of funds for public education and basic services, like fire fighting, that the state of Texas, under the guidance of Rick Perry is GIVING away money. Later posts will also establish that the TETF has been used to give money to companies associated with donations to Rick Perry. The obvious conflict of interest and corruption is transparent, blatant, and inexcusable.
It appears that Rick Perry adheres to the philosophy that he can tell a lie, and nobody will notice. How stupid does he think we are? Recognizing that education is critically important to the future of the country, he has told a bold faced lie about education in Texas. The Governor’s web site, under the tab “the Governor” says:
“On the education front, Governor Perry has worked to improve the quality of Texas schools from top to bottom by increasing accountability, raising expectations and funding programs that work. In addition to introducing the largest teacher incentive pay program in the country, Governor Perry has overseen a 43 percent increase in total spending on public education in Texas. He also signed a school finance reform package that provided a 33 percent school property tax reduction, a $2,000 pay raise for teachers, record funding for classrooms and a reformed business tax.” Based on the self promotion, I would love to be a teacher in Texas and send my kids to public schools in Texas. Unfortunately for the teachers and students in Texas, Rick Perry lies.
Reality is far from the declaration of the Governor of Texas.
1. Perry’s education “standards” are exemplified by $4 billion in budget cuts to education for the upcoming budget cycle.
2. Because of the budget cuts by Perry’s administration schools in Texas will have to lay off an estimated 49,000 teachers.
3. Due to budget cuts by the Perry administration in the education budget Texas is estimated to have at least 43,000 college students without financial aid. Indeed, scholarships for 29,000 low-income college students will be completely eliminated. What’s more, Perry’s axe to the education budget has forced local school districts to impose fees on school programs and services for students and families, universities to find outside money to continue high-level research, and some universities to consider imposing higher tuition or fees on students
Here are the facts which statistically demonstrate just how bad the schools are in Texas.
• Public School Enrollment – 2nd ( very high)
• Average Salary of Public School Teachers (2009-2010) – 31st (low)
• Percent Change in Average Salaries of Public School Teachers, 1999-2000 to 2009-2010 – 38th (low)
• Current Expenditures per Student – 38th (low)
• Percentage of Revenue for K-12 Schools from Local Governments, 2009-2010 – 24th (average)
• Percentage of Revenue for K-12 Schools from Federal Government, 2009-2010 – 3rd (very high)
• State & Local Expenditures per Pupil in Public Schools – 44th(very low)
• Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) Scores – 45th (very low)
• Percent of Population 25 and Older with a High School Diploma – 50th (worst in the country)
• High School Graduation Rate – 43rd (very low)
• Percent of Adults with at Least a Bachelor’s Degree – 31st
• Percentage of Higher Education Enrollment – 9th
If Rick Perry had the audacity to lie about something so well known and obvious in Texas, consider what he might lie about on a national scale.
Beck and Palin held the rally in D.C. which was given the title “Restoring Honor.” Rick Perry, the Governor or Texas, was noticeably absent from this rally. This was particularly offensive to Rick, since his book, On My Honor, was all about the Honor of the Boy Scouts. Maybe Rick’s Boy Scout Uniform no longer fit him. I don’t know if Sarah or Glenn ever had a Boy Scout or Girl Scout Uniform to wear, but I know they didn’t wear it this weekend. I was a girl scout and worked hard to earn many merit badges. I know Sarah is younger than I am, so if she was ever a girl scout (which I have never heard her mention), she would be able to take advantage of some of the new merit badges that are now available.
- Cinematography: This badge has been introduced for celebrities who used to be politicians, and wish they had a talent for something. B.S. (Beautiful Sarah) has demonstrated her flute playing ability in the Miss Wasilla contest, but since that time talent scouts have been frantically searching for another option. B.S. made her acting debut in Sleeping Beauty II, but since that time she seems to have difficulty remembering her lines without use of her hands.
- Fingerprinting: This badge involves taking prints and identifying the unique characteristics of each. B.S. has an unfair advantage with regard to this badge as she has a lot of friends and relatives who have had personal experience with fingerprinting. Diana made her mark when she was arrested for burglary, and Todd had personal experience when he was arrested for DWI. Star Parker has committed armed robbery and shop lifting but it is unclear if she was ever caught, so B.S. may not be unfairly advantaged by her association with Star Parker, at least with regard to merit badges.
- Couch Potato: The badge involves an in-depth analysis of gender portrayals in the media, or by Senators from Arizona. The badge is awarded to the scout who demonstrates her mastery of waving and winking to get what she wants. This was one of the first badges B.S. earned.
- Sew Glam: This badge introduces girls to the world of creative solutions when you don’t have time to sew on the campaign trail, and you have to buy clothes when you have limited time to shop. B.S. earned the equivalent of two of these badges by spending $150,000 in two short months. She epitomizes all the honor is about.
- Fun with Money: This badge was designed with B.S. in mind. Never before has any Girl Scout demonstrated an aptitude to having fun with money. B.S. is a role model for all scouts! She honors the scouting tradition by making so much money.
- The Choice is Yours: This badge is awarded to the scout who is willing to make choices that may not be popular, but are in the financial best interest of the Girl Scout. This merit badge was created in honor of B.S.’s announcement of her resignation as the Governor of Alaska.
- Art in 3-D: B.S. believes in 3-D art as exemplified by the animal heads in her office.
- Books: This badge is awarded to the scout who writes books. Note there is a separate badge for reading, but B.S. has not yet earned that book.
- Earth Connections: Many people think of the environment and conservation when they think of “earth connections”. However this badge was designed to be awarded to the scouts who understand that the earth is only here to serve mankind. Girl Scouts can receive this merit badge by exterminating species of animals, shooting animals from helicopters, initiating a program of financial reward for killing animals, and/or polluting the environment. B.S. is thus far the only scout to achieve excellence in each of these areas. She has been awarded 4 Earth Connection Badges, which has resulting in receipt of the Black Star Award.
- Global Awareness: Girl Scouts appreciate the importance of neighbors, whether living next door or in Africa. B.S. has demonstrated her kinship to her next door neighbor, by respecting his privacy and building a really large fence for him. Likewise she had demonstrated her fondness for people around the world by waiving to them.
- Science Discovery: B.S. earned this award the day she was searching for fossils and discovered the human footprint inside the dinosaur footprint.
- Oil Up: B.S. has demonstrated her commitment to getting oil out of the ground, regardless of where it may go after it comes out of the ground. Across this great country, B.S. has become associated with sludge and muck.
- Dentistry: B.S. has honored and respected dentists around the country by chanting “drill baby drill”. No one would dispute the fact that B.S. has earned this merit badge.
Given the numerous merit badges B.S. has earned, it is now clear why she was chosen to speak at the Restoring Honor Rally. She and Glenn Beck, the “lying sack of dog mess” were the perfect combination of people who personify honor.
Sarah Palin spoke this weekend at the Oil Palace in Tyler, Texas, a small town in East Texas. She was introduced at the event by Texas Governor Rick Perry, who referred to half-term-ex-Governor Palin as one of the “great Americans of our time.” Certainly Perry and Palin have many things in common, not the least of which is a total lack of respect for the truth.
Consider the similarity in the willingness of Palin and Perry to lie. While many examples of the lies of Palin have filled pages of this blog for months, I have worked hard to limit my comments to Palin. I have intentionally refrained from sharing my feelings about Rick Perry. Perry’s description of Palin at the Tyler event has come close to putting me into a coma. My doctor has indicated that the only potentially therapeutic treatment for my condition is to write. Thus I ask you to consider the similarities between Palin and Perry:
1. Both Have Been On the Cover of Newsweek Magazine
Palin: “Saint Sarah” graced the cover in June.
Perry: Perry was featured with the title “Don’t Mess with Texas”.
2. Both Claim to be “Fiscal Conservatives”
Palin: Palin has described herself as a “fiscal conservative”. Palin said she was opposed to federal earmarks for Alaska, but she hired a lobbyist for Wasilla and received millions of dollars in federal funding. Palin said she opposed to the Bridge to Nowhere, but she originally favored it. She said she opposed to earmarks, but the truth is that she accepted millions of dollars to study the genetics of harbor seals and the mating habits of crabs.
Perry: Before Palin quit her job as Governor of Alaska, she endorsed Rick Perry. Palin described Perry as a “true conservative”. She cited one of Perry’s top campaign issues as his opposition to federal financial bailouts. The truth is that Texas, under Perry’s fiscal conservative leadership, has accepted $16 billion in federal stimulus funds. The state of Texas is in the throws of a financial crisis, with approximately $18 billion in debt. Given the financial crisis in Texas, and given the identification of the financial crisis as a “top issue”, one would expect the Governor to be devoting extra time to his job, and to solving the financial problems of the state. In 21 weeks of work, Perry enjoyed 16 long weekends and worked an average of seven hours per week. Do you think he has solved the financial crisis yet?
“How long will the folks in Washington keep spending money that they don’t have, for solutions they haven’t thought through, for problems they really don’t understand?” Perry asked.
The Wall Street Journal noted that the stimulus is the reason that Texas has a balanced budget. State debt has doubled during Perry’s term as Governor, but fortunately for him he has had time to write a book by the title, “Fed Up.” His publisher described the book as describing federal policies as a “legitimate threat to America’s continued leadership in the free world.”
Rick Perry, the true fiscal conservative, has spent taxpayer’s money for items including:
- Over $130,000 for parties, food, drinks and cable TV.
- At least $18,000 for “consumables” such as household supplies and cleaning products.
- A $1,000 “emergency repair” of the Governor’s filtered ice machine.
- A $700 clothes rack.
- A little over $70 for a two year subscription to Food & Wine Magazine (probably to give him ideas on throwing all of those lavish parties at our expense!).
- Maintenance on the heated pool has cost taxpayers at least $8,400.
- Grounds and lawn maintenance has topped $44,000.
- A 6,386-square-foot rental home located on three acres of land and which was advertised in 2007 for sale at $1.85 million. The Governor’s mansion only had 2,750 square feet.
- He has only one housekeeper, on full-time chef, one part-time chef, a mansion administrator, and a steward. The salary for these servants is $195,770.00.
3. Both SAY They Advocate Transparency in Government
Palin: Sarah Palin has explained the importance in making the financial matters of public record.
Perry: Perry also says he demands transparency in government, but ignored state law, and his own executive order, that required all state agencies to be “accountable and transparent.” It was the stimulus spending information that he conveniently failed to post. Perhaps “opaque” would have been a better choice of words for Rick Perry’s budget.
4. Both Sued the Federal Government on Environmental Matters
Palin: Before Palin resigned as Governor of Alaska she sued the Federal Government seeking to remove polar bears from the endangered species list.
Perry: Rick Perry sued the EPA over its regulation of greenhouse gas emissions.
5. Both Shoot Animals for Pleasure
Palin: Palin and her parents have a long history of killing animals. Both Palin and her parents surround themselves with proof of the animals they have killed.
Perry: Perry has been known to jog with a laser cited pistol, and shoot animals during his morning run. Even Fox “News” reporters found this story a little frightening.
6. Both Have Been Associated with Seceding from the U.S.
Palin: Todd, Sarah husband, was a member of the Alaska Independence Party for 6 years. The primary focus of the party was secession from the United States. The Alaska Independence Party was founded by the “rabidly violent” anti-American Joe Vogler, who is quoted as saying, “I’m an Alaskan, not an American.” “I’ve got no use for America or her damned institutions,” Palin herself provided the opening remarks to the Alaskan Independent Party Convention of 2008, saying:
“I am delighted to welcome you to the 2008 Alaskan Independence Party Convention….I share your party’s vision of upholding the Constitution of the State…Your Party plays an important role in the State’s Politics… We have a great promise to be a self-sufficient state…Keep up the good work, and God Bless You.”
Perry: Rick Perry made national headlines when he said:
“We’ve got a great union. There’s absolutely no reason to dissolve it. But if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, you know who knows what might come out of that. But Texas is a very unique place, and we’re a pretty independent lot to boot.”
7. Both Sound More Like Preachers than Politicians
Palin: Of course Palin is no longer a politician. In an interview she was asked:
“Do you think the mainstream media and the left understands your religious faith, Governor Palin?” Her answer: “I think that there’s a lot of mocking of my personal faith,” she said. “And my personal faith is very, very simple. I don’t belong to any church”.
Palin has repeatedly advocated prayer as a solution to the countries many challenges. Her solution is to seek divine intervention. In religious gatherings she has asked the congregation to pray that the war in Iraq is “God’s plan”, and she has asked the congregants to pray for a $30 billion national gas pipeline. Sometimes with Palin it’s hard to remember if you are in a prayer meeting or a legislative session.
Perry: Perry has been compared to a “tent revival preacher.” Perry has said:
“We are in a struggle for the heart and soul of our nation…Do we believe in the primacy of an unrestrained federal government? Or do we worship the God of the universe, placing our trust in his eternal, natural laws, and defending his children?”
8. Both Are In Bed With BP
Palin: In spite of the many examples of the violations of safety standards by BP in Alaska, Palin has blamed the environmentalists for the Gulf Oil spill. In her Facebook post Palin made reference to the “extreme greenies,” and used the BP spill as a reason to justify drilling in ANWR.
Palin’s history with BP is extensive. Of course her husband worked 18 years for BP. As early as 1995 Palin was aware that BP admitted to felony charges for environmental crimes on the North Slope (Palin 95). She was also aware that BP had actually injected illegal and hazardous substances into wells to save money (95). Palin’s history of knowledge of the atrocities committed by BP is long and colorful.
Before resigning as Governor, Palin admits that she knew:
“…that BP had been trying to save money for years by cutting corners on oil pipeline maintenance on the North Slope. This was very serious: leaks and spills from corroded pipelines were all too common and harmed the environment…” (153).
The largest land spill in the country occurred at the BP Prudhoe Bay field in Alaska, in 2006. An estimated 212,252 gallons of oil leaked from a BP Oil Transit Line. Even today the consequences of that spill still linger. Palin was sworn in as Governor in December of 2006. Thus not only was she aware of BP’s history of conscious indifference to safety regulations, but she was Governor during the time of the clean up, and the suit by the EPA. In March of 2009, before resigning as Governor, the EPA sued BP for a string of violations related to the spills in Alaska. The EPA alleged federal violations related to numerous problems with BP’s operational practices at Prudhoe Bay. That suit, seeking tens of millions of dollars, alleged that the company failed to implement an acceptable spill-prevention and control plan and was delinquent in repairing pipelines which they were under federal orders to fix.
Perry: Perry has suggested that the Gulf Oil disaster was:
“…just an act of God that occurred… From time to time there are going to be things that occur that are acts of God that cannot be prevented.”
Perry’s first instinct after the explosion was not to blame people responsible, but to indicate it must have been an act of God. Rick Perry went on to say that BP has “historically had a very good safety record from my perspective.” He must have just forgotten about the largest explosion in the state of Texas, which occurred in 2005, during the time he was Governor. The families of the 15 people killed and the 170 people injured in that explosion probably wouldn’t describe the safety record of BP as “very good”.
The Texas refinery was one of two BP refineries that accounted for 97% of all “flagrant” violations in the U.S. refining industry. Not only was BP responsible for virtually ALL of the refinery violations in the country, but most of the violations cited were classified as “egregious willful,” according to a Center for Public Integrity investigation of Occupational Safety and Health Administration records.
Here’s a look at how those violations breakdown:
- 760 egregious willful
- 69 willful
- 30 serious
- 3 unclassified
Most violations came, according to the Center for Public Integrity, because BP failed to fix the problems identified as the cause of the 2005 Texas City refinery explosion. “The only thing you can conclude is that BP has a serious, systemic safety problem in their company,” Jordan Barab, deputy assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health, told the Center for Public Integrity.
As if the explosion and the people killed or injured, on the day of the Texas City tragedy were not sufficient to get Governor Perry’s attention, OSHA imposed the largest fine in history against BP as a result of its many failures at the Texas City plant. In October 2009, just six months before the Gulf Oil explosion on the Deep Water Horizon well, OSHA imposed a record $87 million fine against BP for lack of compliance with safety regulations, and for failure to make agreed-upon improvements at its Texas City refinery. The US Labor Secretary, Hilda Solis, reported that during 17 inspections since the explosions four years ago, OSHA found 270 cases where BP failed to comply with changes; BP had previously agreed to make. Additionally OSHA found 439 “willful” violations involving pressure release systems on units at the Texas City refinery.
“The fact that there are so many still outstanding, life-threatening problems at this plant indicates that they still have a systemic safety problem in this refinery,” Jordan Barab, acting assistant secretary of labor for OSHA, said.
If Perry didn’t know about the safety record of BP, then he was grossly negligent. If he knew, then he lied when he indicated the BP had a “very good” safety record. Consider these facts to help you assess whether you think he was consciously indifferent, or that he lied:
1. BP donated $250,000 to restoration of the Governor’s mansion. When Rick Perry needed to raise money to restore the Governor’s Mansion after a major fire, he turned to his friends at BP. According to the Austin American-Statesman, “The largest donation is $250,000 from energy giant BP America.” (Source: Austin American-Statesman, January 30, 2009)
2. Perry paid BP for jobs already in Texas. Perry gave BP $750,000 to create 150 jobs in League City, Texas. It was soon revealed that, “50 already work for BP and live in the area.” One expert called it, “a classic case of getting paid for doing what you’re going to do anyway.” (The Houston Chronicle, January 13, 2005)
3. Perry has been widely criticized for his Texas Enterprise Fund after a report revealed that almost half of the companies that received taxpayer dollars have, “failed or struggled to meet job goals.” The companies, including key player in the subprime mortgage market Countrywide Home Loans, have been given a total of $363 million taxpayer dollars. (Source: Austin American-Statesman, January 28, 2010)
If you still have any doubt about whether Rick Perry truly thought BP had a “very good safety record”, please watch this two minute video.
Of all the people who are, or have been, politicians, can you think of anyone who would have been in a better position to anticipate the worst environmental disaster in the history of our country than Palin and Perry?
9. Both Are Losing Popularity
Palin: By the time Palin resigned as Governor, her popularity had declined from an 89% approval rating to 54%.
Perry: Rick Perry is an unusually weak incumbent, and his opponent, Bill White is an unusually strong challenger. Only 36% of voters in Texas approve of Perry and 49% disapprove. Independent voters are particularly dissatisfied with Perry, with 55% indicating he is doing a poor job. White meanwhile is better known and better liked than most challengers running across the country this year. Thirty-seven percent of voters have a favorable opinion of him compared to 25% with an unfavorable one, and he posts positive numbers with independents at a 35/24 spread.
There is one difference between Perry and Palin. Palin resigned as Governor, and Perry is still the Governor. Surely if people know the facts, we won’t re-elect Perry. Please help me make people aware of all the facts, about both Palin and Perry.