Top Perry Political Consultant Linked to Green Party Petition Scam

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The more we hear about the GOP-funded Green Party petition drive, the more it's clear that Republicans are engaging in dirty tricks to try and prevent Democrats from winning in November. I guess they don't think they can win on the merits, and need to cheat. How else would you explain the news that Governor Rick Perry's top political operative is clearly connected with the Republican-funded petition drive benefiting the Green Party of Texas?

Dave Carney, a top Perry political consultant, engaged in identical petition efforts to get Ralph Nader on the ballot in swing states in 2004, working with the same individual behind the 2010 Green Party signature drive here in Texas. Carney was already working for Perry–he's been on board since 2000–when he worked to make Nader a spoiler for Democrats in 2004.

From the Lone Star Project:

Top Perry Operative linked to Head of Green Party/GOP Ballot Scam

Dave Carney worked with Tim Mooney in New Hampshire to get Ralph Nader on the ballot

Documents obtained by the Lone Star Project reveal that Rick Perry's top political adviser Dave Carney has a long and direct link to the manager of the Texas Green Party/GOP ballot scam. In 2004, Carney teamed-up with Texas ballot scam leader Tim Mooney to gather signatures to put Ralph Nader on the ballot in order to assist the George W. Bush Presidential campaign.

In 2004, Carney worked with a group called “Choices for America, LLC” which was “run” by Mooney – the same Republican operative who collected signatures for the Green Party of Texas in 2010. (Dallas Morning News, August 12, 2004) Both Choices for America, LLC, the shell group used in 2004, and Take Initiative America, LLC the shell group used in 2010, are registered to Charles Hurth III. (Missouri SOS)

According to the Dallas Morning News, “Perry campaign spokesman Mark Miner said the governor's campaign had nothing to do with the petition-gathering effort.” It now appears that statement is likely not true.

Furthermore, Carney and Mooney were co-named in a 2004 FEC complaint about their Nader petition drive, which was termed an illegal corporate contribution. Carney, Mooney and cohort ended up having to pay for the drive personally, and report it as an official in-kind to Nader. Don't worry, though — Carney could afford the fine. Carney has been with Perry since 2000 and Perry's campaign has paid Carney's firm more than $2 million dollars.

Let's recap:

  • Texas Republican operatives engage in petition drive for Green Party to put a candidate on the ballot that will most likely draw from Democratic Bill White's vote total.
  • The Perry Campaign denied they had anything to do with the effort.
  • Top Perry political staffer Dave Carney was found to be deeply involved in identical efforts to help Ralph Nader get on the ballot in 2004, working with the same exact individuals who conducted the current petition drive in Texas.

Refusing to debate, engaging in dirty tricks, openly lying about Bill White… Just more ugly politics as usual from the Rick Perry campaign. I just wonder when we'll find out that Rick Perry had specific knowledge of the Green Party signature drive, and whether any of this constitutes illegal coordination.  


About Author

Katherine Haenschen

Katherine Haenschen is a PhD candidate at the University of Texas, where she studies political participation on digital media. She previously managed successful candidate, issue, voter registration, and GOTV campaigns in Central Texas. She is also a fan of UCONN women's basketball and breakfast tacos.


  1. “dirty tricks”?
    Dems accusing the Reps of using “dirty tricks to try and prevent Democrats from winning in November”.

    That is rich coming from the Dems. What about the institutional dirty tricks by both majority parties via passing Texas election laws that are universally recognized as the most restrictive in the nation to prevent alternative voices, ideas and candidates to have a viable opportunity to be presented to voters on general ballots.

    Sounds like the Dems are pretty scared of the Greens…not the Reps scared of the Dems possibly winning in November.  

    • Spot-on
      Other than Dems not being that, that scared of Greens, I totally agree. Having voted Green for Prez by write-in the last two elections (I saw through Obama before then end of 2007), and as an independent left-liberal voter, I will gladly take any and all opportunities to vote outside of the duoply box.

      And, it's not just in Texas. The last time, in 2007, IIRC, Congress discussed Congressional campaign finance regulation, it was targeted to benefit only the duopoly.

      • Oh
        but truly that decision makes you a subsidiary of the Texas Republican Party.

        Doing it this way can only hurt your party going forward. Thinking outside of this other box is more important.

        I will gladly take any and all opportunities to vote outside of the duoply box.

  2. uh
    Carney is a political consultant – of course he's going to be involved with lots of different political activities, not exclusively Perry's. What Carney did wasn't a scam, it was strategy. He's perfectly free to work for whomever he wants to – that's the nature of political consultants. He isn't answering to constituents, he's answering to his clients.

    Carney works for Perry as well as other people. Saying that Perry had something to do with one of Carney's other projects is such a stretch that I'm surprised you're seriously writing about it at all.

    Of course, if I were a democrat I guess I'd be pretty desperate, too.  

  3. Perry must be desperate
    He's lying about Bill White and he apparently believes he needs a third party candidate to possibly beat White.  Mr. 39% won in 2006 only b/c there were 4-5 candidates on the ballot.    

    • Yes he needs all those liberal Democratic votes…
      Perry certainly doesn't need the Hutchison votes since they have been “delivered” by Hutchison herself. Medina will deliver hers. In the end, Republicans vote for Republicans.

      There seems to be a pattern of the Democrats filing lawsuits every time there's an election as if filing it “proves” the Democrats are more ethical. And yet the Democratic candidates keep losing. So apparently all it does is ensure some attorneys in Austin a nice income.

      Chris Bell got 31% of the vote. If it had been just him and Perry, he probably still would have gotten 31% of the vote.

      Just reading his “tax returns” and wondering where all the money comes from probably is indicative of what Bill White will manage to get.  Probably not even 31% of the vote. And that's if the race is just between him and Perry.

      Follow the money trail as I like to say. And this money trail is leading Bill White to the political graveyard.  

  4. I would like to invite Rick Perry to join us in Houston
    during our next big mother of a hurricane.  Warning.  Rick needs to know that firing his laser focused gun into the devastating winds and rain will do squat to kill the hurricane.  Hurricanes ain't coyotes, Rick.  Maybe King Rick will be screaming and begging for a power enabling generator given Houston's heat and humidity.  

    By the way, I do not live next door to Bush the Father and Mother.

    Houston is far more diverse than Republican operatives would like to admit. The notion that KBH and DM can “deliver” votes to Rick Perry is laughable.  

    • For the sake of honest discussion

      Perry political chief: May I amend my remarks?

      Rick Perry's   chief political strategist now acknowledges that the consultant who spearheaded the petition drive for the Green Party   in Texas is somebody he's worked with in the past. But Dave Carney says he didn't work with him to put the Greens on the state ballot this year. The effort could benefit Perry if the Greens' candidate for governor draws votes from Democrat   Bill White. Who paid for the Green Party petition drive is a mystery. An outside group hired paid petition-gatherers, then delivered the signatures to the Green Party free of charge. Democrats say the Perry campaign is behind it. The Perry camp denies it.

      Republican out-of-state consultant Tim Mooney, who launched the petition drive for the Greens in Texas, directed a similar drive in 2004 to put Ralph Nader on the ballot in New Hampshire. Carney was also involved in that Nader petition effort in New Hampshire. Carney initially told us he didn't know Mooney. “I honestly don't think I've ever met the guy or talked with him on the phone,” he said in an interview last week with the Dallas Morning News.

      But Ross Ramsey at the Texas Tribune got a different reaction when he caught up with Carney at the state GOP convention this weekend in Dallas. Carney said he and Mooney had worked together in the past after all, but are no longer in contact: “I couldn't pick him out of a lineup, and I haven't seen him, emailed him or talked to him on the phone in years.”

  5. What happened to competition and more chocies?
    There are always a few Democrats that I think are no better than their republican opponents and I end up not voting for anyone for that position on the ballot. However if there is a Green candidate that could possibly do a better job I'll consider voting for him or her. As always the more choices the better for everyone. Also there are many republican incumbents that never have a Democratic challenger on the ballot. If there is going to be a Green or Libertarian on the ballot that at least will attempt to challenge them to clarify their positions, then I'll consider voting for a third party candidate.

    Also a slot of Green candidates on the ballot could force the Democratic candidates to take a more progressive approach on many issues which will benefit a lot of Democratic grassroots organizers.  

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