One of the powers of being Governor is the ability to appoint individuals to key agencies, commissions, and institutions with little say from the legislature. Rick Perry has appointed a lot of people since taking control of the Governor's mansion in 2000. According to Texans for Public Justice (TPJ), he has made it a lucrative practice for his campaign.
According to TPJ's new report, “No Donor Left Behind: Gov. Perry Reaps $6 Million from Regent Appointees”, Rick Perry has collected almost $6.1 million from the 155 people whom he has appointed to be non-student regents since becoming governor in late 2000. Over the past decade, 97 regent appointees gave to Perry's campaign-or 63 percent of Perry's regent appointees.
The average Perry-appointed regent overseeing a public university contributed $39,251 to the campaign of the Regent-In-Chief. Regents at the elite University of Texas and A&M University contributed average amounts approaching $100,000. Just the regents whom Perry appointed to UT, A&M and Texas Tech dumped $4.1 million into Perry's campaign coffers. At the other end of the spectrum, Texas Woman's University regents contributed an average of $234 to Perry's campaign.
Complaints about politicized regent appointments surfaced last fall after two Texas Tech appointees told the Austin American-Statesman that Perry campaign intermediaries pressured them to resign their posts after they endorsed Kay Bailey Hutchison's campaign to unseat the governor. Ex-Texas Tech Regents Mark Griffin and Windy Sitton previously had contributed to Perry's campaign, though their donations fell well below the average Texas Tech regent contribution of $88,092.2
Michele “Mica” Mosbacher was the top overall regent donor. This appointee to the University of Houston Board of Regents has contributed $440,400 to Governor Perry's campaigns. Paul Foster, vice chair of the University of Texas System Board of Regents, contributed $370,157. There are 21 regent appointees who contributed more than $100,000 apiece to Perry's campaign.
Looking at the TPJ report, it is terrifying to see Regent Appointees from the University of Texas, A&M University, Texas Tech University, University of Houston, and Texas State University all had more than 80% of the regents donate to the Perry campaign between 2001 and February 2010.
The totals from these schools range from ~$250,000 to over $1.5 million.
Perry is using institutions of higher education and the power of appointment to pressure individuals to donate to his campaign.
To see the full report and a complete list of who donated visit the TPJ website.