Rick Perry and TexasOne: A Crony Capitalist Romance

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Imagine you can travel anywhere in the world you want. Imagine all these trips are paid for by a bunch of rich people who really want you to like them. Imagine that it's impossible not to after you've traveled around the world on their dime.

Welcome to Rick Perry's world. Unbeknownst to most Texans, there is an organization named TexasOne overseen by the Texas governor's office and outside of the legislature's purview. The sole purpose of the organization is to organize financing for Perry's trips around the world, which are ostensibly for Texas's economic development. This allows “major corporate sponsors – who legally cannot give to his campaign accounts – to underwrite an operation that advances Perry's political career and lifestyle as much as it promotes the state's business climate,” as the Houston Chronicle characterizes critics' concerns.

Yeah, we're worried when our governor is getting bought out by massive corporations.No one in their right mind thinks corporations pay literally millions of dollars for a governor's travel without expecting serious kickbacks. On top of these romantic trips for Perry and big business, Perry charges taxpayers millions for security on these trips and others.

The Houston Chronicle explains:

And while the governor consistently claims that no tax money is used to finance his travel, records obtained by the Houston Chronicle show that some 45 percent – more than $2 million of the $4.7 million raised in the last three years – came from local governments or their economic development corporations, which are funded entirely through sales taxes.

Do you like your sales taxes going to Rick Perry's hotel room? Republicans, I'm talking to you. Seriously. How is this cronyism good for you?

Look at how much corporations are paying for Perry to travel and where he's going as he claims credit for every job created in Texas.

The 10 most expensive recent destinations – ?with total tabs over $65,000:

Date/Place/Cost

1. 2010 World Expo Shanghai $500,480

2. 2012 U.S. Open Tennis Championships New York $163,224

3. 2012 Formula One race Austin $159, 220

4. 2010 U.S. Open New York $118,786

5. 2011 U.S Open New York $109,022

6. June 2012 – European trip Germany, Italy, Switzerland $101,410

7. Feb. 2010 NBA All-Star Game Arlington $97,112

8. March 2010 South American trip Argentina, Brazil and Chile $80,463

9. March 2012 South American tour Brazil and Argentina  $76,149

10. April 2011 European trip Netherlands and Spain $65,683

SOURCE: TexasOne financial records and annual reports from September 2009-January.

It's really no wonder that Rick Perry is America's biggest crony capitalist governor. He regularly assigns millions in taxpayer money as grants to his favorite corporations to pay them back for their treatment of his lifestyle and his campaigns. It's disgusting. It's completely disgusting. There is no silver lining.

About Author

Ben Sherman

Ben Sherman has been a BOR staff writer since 2011. A graduate of the University of Texas, Ben has worked on campaigns, in political consulting, and has written for other news outlets like Think Progress. Ben considers campaign finance reform the fundamental challenge of our time because it affects every other issue in American politics. He is currently on leave for the election season.

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