Rick Perry's Political Machine Is Selling State Government

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It doesn't get any clearer than this. From the Dallas Morning News, “Gov. Rick Perry approved $4.5 million for donor's start-up firm without regional board's OK“:

Gov. Rick Perry approved a $4.5 million award from the state's technology fund to a company founded by a major campaign donor despite the company's failure to win the endorsement of a regional screening board, The Dallas Morning News has learned.

The money was awarded in August to Convergen Lifesciences Inc., founded by Perry contributor David G. Nance. Convergen was allowed to bypass a key part of the Texas Emerging Technology Fund's extensive process for vetting applications, and to proceed for approval to a statewide advisory board appointed by Perry.

A spokeswoman for Perry said Tuesday that the money was properly awarded to Convergen because the law establishing the tech fund allows applicants to appeal decisions by regional reviewers.

However, the law makes no mention of such appeals.

The chairman of the regional board in Houston, one of the state's largest, told The News he had never heard of an appeals process. Walter Ulrich, also a former member of the tech fund's statewide advisory committee, said approval by regional boards is mandatory.

“It cannot go to the state without our board's approval,” he said. “I've never seen that happen.”

Walt Trybula, a nanotechnology expert at Texas State University who reviews tech fund applications for the Austin regional board, said the ability to appeal would undermine the process.

“If you've got a way to go around a review committee,” he said, “why do you have a review committee?”

And the chairman of the state House committee that oversees the tech fund said the “extraordinary” process that awarded the money to Nance's firm shows that reforms are needed. “This is the most troubling case that I've seen come through” on the fund, said Rep. Mark Strama, D-Austin.

 

Bill White, taking the gloves off, is hitting back extremely hard. From his statement:

 

“Rick Perry uses the governor's office to benefit his friends, his contributors and himself. The only way to end Perry's abuses is to elect a new governor. In the meantime the appropriate authorities need to investigate the corruption in the governor's office right away,” said Bill White. 

“I demanded last week that Perry disclose all personal and state financial ties with Mr. Nance and Perry refused. Now we see why. This is a bombshell,” said White.

The campaign released the following video to highlight the corrpution of Perry's political machine:

 

Previously on BOR:

 

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About Author

Phillip Martin

Currently the Research and Policy Director for Progress Texas and the Texas Research Institute, Phillip Martin writes occasional long-form pieces for BOR that promote focused analysis and insight into Texas politics. Born and raised in Austin, Phillip started working in politics in 2003 and started writing on BOR in the summer of 2005. Phillip has worked for the Texas Democratic Trust, the Texas Legislative Study Group, and now the Progress Texas family. He is a lifelong Houston Astros fan, a loyal Longhorn, and loves swimming at Barton Springs Pool.

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