Rick Perry's Texas Begs Big Daddy Fed for Bucks. Again

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Rick Perry and the Texas Republican Party will find every opportunity possible in an effort to bash and vilify the big bad federal government whenever opportunity knocks.  This imperative becomes especially loud and shrill during an election cycle.

But when no one is paying much attention Rick Perry and the Texas GOP will predictably grovel, beg and crawl all the way to Washington on their knees, if necessary, in a desperate effort to find bucks to cover up Perry Co.'s fiscal incompetence, its aversion to taxes, its tax scheming and history of ignoring the interests and needs of the people of Texas.

The self-serving, pocket stuffing and desperate Texas state officials and politicians, called upon their loathed Big Daddy the Fed to pay for a project that Perry's busted and broke state cannot possibly fund.

The effort to fix a dangerous and congested rail intersection near downtown Fort Worth known as Tower 55 may finally be on track.

Texas Department of Transportation officials said Thursday that they will formally endorse an application for federal funding for the Tower 55 project, a $93.7 million proposal to modernize crossings often used by children on the way to school.

What would the Republican lawmakers do were it not for Big Daddy the Fed?   Who would bail them out of their self-imposed messes?Inaction.  Screw ups. Poor judgment.

It will be the second time in a year that the federal funding has been pursued for Tower 55. Last year the state decided not to endorse specific projects, leaving it to local officials to apply for federal dollars. The so-called TIGER funds were awarded in a nationwide competition to projects considered crucial for economic recovery.

But the state's inaction proved to be a strategic error as the Tower 55 project — which was listed as the state's highest-priority rail need and seemed to meet all the federal criteria for TIGER dollars — did not receive funding when grants were announced in February.

“Tower 55 will re-emerge as the top priority rail project in the state, and this time the state of Texas is the applicant for the funds,” said Texas Transportation Commissioner Bill Meadows of Fort Worth.

The commission, which oversees the Transportation Department, is expected to officially endorse Tower 55 and a handful of other projects during a special meeting June 8 in Austin.

Read more: http://www.star-telegram.com/2…

The state could not pay for the project because state officials and lawmakers were too busy fighting over funding issues.

Efforts to secure funds for Tower 55 improvements have been unfruitful at the state level as well.

Last year, the Legislature took steps to infuse a voter-created rail relocation fund with up to $182 million to initiate a decades-long process of moving busy freight corridors out of populated cities such as Fort Worth.

But that effort remains stalled because of a dispute among officials from the state Transportation Department, the comptroller's office and lawmakers about whether budgetary requirements to transfer the funds have been met.

A Texas attorney general's opinion about how the funds should be accounted for in the state's budget was released this week and is still being studied.

The Tower 55 project would include construction of a pedestrian underpass at Peach Street, just east of Samuels Avenue, where students at nearby Nash Elementary often cross the busy BNSF tracks.

Read more: http://www.star-telegram.com/2…

It seems that George W. Bush left a lot of dithering, irresponsible and reckless cronies behind when he moved to Washington nine years ago. I'd say that it is too bad W. did not take all of his buddies to Washington with him but God forbid had that happened the federal government would have been more devastated, raped and pillaged than it was when W. left office.

Sadly for us, Rick Perry stayed behind in Texas and did to this state what W. did to the rest of the U.S.  

The Governor surely has his self-promoting priorities lined up and education is certainly not one of them.  Neither is fiscal responsibility.

Governor Rick Perry's most important goals that occupy him much of the time is his self-serving book writing and his fund raising activities that include his loyal and blind support for big oil.  

In other words, the interests and needs of Texas voters are nowhere to be found on Governor Perry's radar screen.

To make matters worse for Texans, our esteemed governor is also a slacker.

The Bill White campaign requested the governor's official work calendar for this year and the open records request showed that Perry performed no scheduled state work on 24 of 72 business days. That's one-third of the work week without phone calls or meetings. The calendar covered January, March, April and most of May. The February record has not yet been released.

Wow.  What a plum of a dream job. Governor Perry receives a full-time salary and $10,000 per month for living accommodations in a mansion.  All for part-time work.

Democratic candidate Bill White has an excellent suggestion.  Pay the Governor by the hour for services rendered.

Maybe the Legislature should start paying Perry on an hourly basis to encourage him to stop ignoring the budget crisis and get things done,” Katy Bacon, a spokeswoman for the White campaign, told the Trail Blazers blog.

Why are taxpayers paying full-time wages for part-time work?  Why are we paying for a $10,000 rental mansion when the governor could live in more modest accommodations?  Given the state's budget shortfall one would think the Governor would feel obligated to tighten his belt just a notch or two.

It would be far more likely, in my view, for pigs to grow wings and fly before Texas Republicans do any belt tightening that would personally impact them.  

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