Rick Perry's $6,000,000 Quid Pro Quo


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.  

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