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2010 Elections

Dallas County: A Blue Pixel in Texas


by: CoolOnion

Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 00:07 PM CDT

(x-posted at Daily Kos)

On Election Day, I turned down the offer to make calls to out of state voters on behalf of Organizing for America.  I didn't even make any calls to Bill White supporters reminding them to vote.  I figured that if they didn't know by now from all my previous block walks and phone calls that November 2 was Election Day, they were pretty hopeless and it was time to give up on them and concentrate on our important local races.

My husband and I spent Election Day at our precinct's  polling place, standing in the cold rain handing out push cards for a candidate you've never heard of, Judge Jeff Rosenfield, Dallas County Criminal Court of Appeals No. 2, reminding people to vote for him and all the Democratic incumbent judges that we worked so hard to sweep into office in 2006.

Would a bunch of Rethuglican't trolls come out from under bridges all over Dallas County in large enough numbers to vote out some excellent incumbents as part of some misguided slap at "Obama Pelosi?"   Not if I could help it...

There's More... :: (1 Comments, 609 words in story)

Rick Perry's Cover-Up and Corruption: A Ten Part Series


by: Phillip Martin

Sun Oct 31, 2010 at 09:00 PM CDT

(If Governor Perry really wants to run on the national stage, he's also going to have to think about how to answer for a lot of things, including all of this. - promoted by Phillip Martin)

Rick Perry is a corrupt career politician who will say and do anything to get elected. He is, without question, in it for himself. The ten-part series below focuses on some of the worst examples of his cover-ups and corruption.

If you have more to add, please leave them in the comments below. You can also see the full list of these articles here: Rick Perry's Cover-Up and Corruption:

Discuss :: (19 Comments)

Rick Perry's Cover-Up and Corruption: Texas' $25 Billion Budget Shortfall


by: Phillip Martin

Sun Oct 31, 2010 at 08:15 PM CDT

(It was true before the election. It is still true today. - promoted by Phillip Martin)

Ed. Note: This is the tenth and final part of a ten-part wrap-up of Rick Perry's history of cover-up and corruption that will run on Burnt Orange Report today.

There has not been a bigger or more important cover-up this election cycle, and perhaps for decades in Texas, than Rick Perry's refusal to come to grips and be honest about the $25 billion budget shortfall facing the state of Texas. Our state's budget crisis is going to devastate the future of our economy for years, if not longer, unless Texans do something about it immediately.

For months, Rick Perry has done his best to cover-up the state’s $25 billion budget shortfall, which is now “proportionately larger” than California’s. From the Dallas Morning News, "Legislature likely to cut deep to meet possible $25 billion budget gap."

Texas faces a budget crisis of truly daunting proportions, with lawmakers likely to cut sacrosanct programs such as education for the first time in memory and to lay off hundreds if not thousands of state workers and public university employees.

Texas' GOP leaders, their eyes on the Nov. 2 election, have played down the problem's size, even as the hole in the next two-year cycle has grown in recent weeks to as much as $24 billion to $25 billion. That's about 25 percent of current spending.

The gap is now proportionately larger than the deficit California recently closed with cuts and fee increases, its fourth dose of budget misery since September 2008.

In recent months, Perry has been wildly erratic about the amount of the budget shortfall, at times saying it is nothing to worry about and only $10 billion large, and other times suggesting it is a major financial crisis that could be $21 billion large. When Bill White and Texas lawmakers requested the Comptroller to provide updated revenue estimates, Perry insisted on covering-up the budget projections and called the simple request for taxpayer transparency “bizarre.”

Perry has been quick to blame Washington and the national economic environment for the state’s budget shortfall. The Austin American-Statesman, however, has pointed out repeatedly that such a claim is highly disingenuous, in a column, "Budget mess got going with 2006 property tax cuts":

The economic downturn isn't helping the shortfall, but it's not driving it, either. The driving factor is a decision by Gov. Rick Perry and the Legislature in 2006 to reduce property taxes by $14 billion every two years and raise only about $9 billion to replace that money. In other words, the Legislature committed $5 billion every two years to holding down property taxes instead of spending that money on education, public safety or other priorities. Then the state's new business tax brought in drastically less than projected, and that $5 billion gap turned into a nearly $9 billion gap.

Additional Sources - Austin American-Statesman

Additional Sources
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Rick Perry's Cover-Up and Corruption: Texas' Dropout Crisis


by: Phillip Martin

Sun Oct 31, 2010 at 07:30 PM CDT

Ed. Note: This is the ninth part of a ten-part wrap-up of Rick Perry's history of cover-up and corruption that will run on Burnt Orange Report today.

Rick Perry has done his best to cover-up Texas’ dropout crisis, pushing false dropout numbers to hide the fact that at least 3 in 10 Texas high school students do not graduate from high school or get a GED in four years.Perry has spent months arguing about statistics instead of focusing on the true consequences of Texas’ dropout crisis, whatever the size.

  • Dropouts earn thousands of dollars less than high school graduates each year, and hundreds of thousands of dollars less over a lifetime.

  • Dropouts are more likely to be unemployed, pay less in taxes and be incarcerated -- all factors that hurt the Texas economy to the tune of $5 billion to $9 billion annually.

As the Houston Chronicle reported in their story, "Poverty, dropout rates bode grim future for state", the dropout crisis will have serious long-term damage to our state’s economy if Rick Perry continues to cover-up the problem:

If nothing changes, average Texas household incomes will be about $6,500 lower in 30 years than they were in 2000, according to Murdock's projections. That number is not adjusted for inflation, so it would be worse than it appears.

The Houston Chronicle also went on to tackle Perry's lies about the dropout crisis in a column, "Falkenberg: Whopper is too big to let pass"

In the face of years of research showing the rate upwards of 30 percent, and as high as 50 percent in some large urban districts, Perry's camp insisted it was only about 10 percent.

"The percent of students who enter high school and eventually earn a diploma or equivalent, or who remain in pursuit of a diploma or equivalent, is 90 percent," Perry spokesman Mark Miner told the Chronicle's Gary Scharrer.

The number prompted laughter from a few, including Republican state Rep. Rob Eissler, chair of the House public education committee.

"Yeah. That's not what I base my stuff on," said The Woodlands lawmaker, who believes the figure is about 30 percent. "You've got to categorize that as a bit campaign rhetoric. If our dropout rate were just 10 percent, I'd be feeling a lot better."

Additional Sources

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Rick Perry's Cover-Up and Corruption: Texas Forensic Science Commission


by: Phillip Martin

Sun Oct 31, 2010 at 06:45 PM CDT

Ed. Note: This is the eighth part of a ten-part wrap-up of Rick Perry's history of cover-up and corruption that will run on Burnt Orange Report today.

Days before an expert was to give testimony, Rick Perry rearranged the board at the Texas Forensic Science Commission to appoint one of his top lieutenants, John Bradley, as the new Chair. Bradley immediately canceled a hearing on the death of Cameron Todd Willingham, a man who could possibly have been executed without having committed the crime he was accused of.

The Houston Chronicle describes the actions of the cover-up in the Rick Casey column, "The revolt of the scientists":

This was the first meeting of the commission under Bradley, who was appointed last September. His first official act was to cancel a meeting three days later at which the commission was scheduled to receive a report from a nationally renowned arson expert hired by the commission in its first high-profile case.

The meeting had drawn national attention because the expert found that the arson investigation that helped lead to the 2004 execution of Cameron Todd Willingham for the murder of his children was badly flawed. It was especially controversial because Perry had rejected a request to delay Willingham's execution based on similar expert analysis.

Bradley unilaterally wrote the agenda for Friday's meeting to focus on new policies and procedures, omitting the Willingham report. He also unilaterally chose Harlingen (which is as close to Mexico City as to Fort Worth, where three of the nine uncompensated and busy commission members live), making wrong my snide prediction that he would hold the meeting in Presidio to discourage reporters.

Much, much more about this in the stories below.

Additional Sources - The Latest

Coverage on BOR - The Cover-Up
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Rick Perry's Cover-Up and Corruption: Ethics Complaints


by: Phillip Martin

Sun Oct 31, 2010 at 06:00 PM CDT

Ed. Note: This is the seventh part of a ten-part wrap-up of Rick Perry's history of cover-up and corruption that will run on Burnt Orange Report today.

Rick Perry has covered-up and refused to answer ethics complaints involving more than $1 million in potentially illegal expenditures. Perry was named as one of the worst governors in the nation for his history of ethical problems by the group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

One complaint zeroed in on the $816,000 in campaign dollars, reported in lump sums, for what Perry calls "mansion expenses." For months, Perry reported a flat monthly expense ranging from $3,000 or $6,500 as "mansion expenses" without any supporting detail -- a violation of campaign disclosure laws. The expenses were for Perry’s $10,000-a-month taxpayer funded rental mansion. Additionally, Perry failed to disclose $204,400 in debt on his College Station home from 2007-2009.

A story from the Texas Tribune highlighted the mansion fund scandal, "TPJ Files Ethics Grievance Against Perry":

TPJ alleges that Perry violated campaign disclosure laws by not itemizing how it spent more than $800,000 for such items as food, beverages and flowers. Instead of itemizing the spending, the campaign routinely reports lump sums as much as $63,000 as simply "Mansion Fund." Since 2001, the campaign reported 145 “Mansion Fund” expenditures totaling more than $816,000, according to TPJ.

Additional Sources

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Rick Perry's Cover-Up and Corruption: Emerging Technology Fund


by: Phillip Martin

Sun Oct 31, 2010 at 05:15 PM CDT

Ed. Note: This is the sixth part of a ten-part wrap-up of Rick Perry's history of cover-up and corruption that will run on Burnt Orange Report today.

The Dallas Morning News broke the story that Rick Perry has handed out $16 million in taxpayer dollars from the Texas Emerging Technology Fund to companies tied to his top political contributors. Perry’s public corruption scandal showed that he gave his “close friend” and campaign contributor David Nance $4.5 million handout, despite the fact that Nance side-stepped two review boards to receive the handout

According to the Austin American-Statesman, "New questions raised about $4.5 million state grant to Austin company":

Gov. Rick Perry and the state's legislative leaders awarded a $4.5 million grant to a cancer treatment company launched by David Nance, a close Perry friend and campaign donor, after the company sidestepped two review committees, including a statewide board created specifically to evaluate and make recommendations on life-science companies.

Additional Sources

From the Dallas Morning News:

Other Sources:

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Rick Perry's Cover-Up and Corruption: Political Appointees


by: Phillip Martin

Sun Oct 31, 2010 at 04:30 PM CDT

Ed. Note: This is the fifth part of a ten-part wrap-up of Rick Perry's history of cover-up and corruption that will run on Burnt Orange Report today.

Rick Perry sells state government and public office to his campaign donors. His use of political appointees as arms of his campaign re-election team is one of the easiest and most thoroughly documented examples of his unending corruption. Overall, Perry’s pay-to-play public corruption practices have rewarded him with $17 million in campaign cash from his political appointees and their spouses. From a report based on contributions through the July 30 reporting periods by Texans for Public Justice:

From 2001 through June 2010 Perry’s campaign received $17,115,865 from 921 of these appointees or their spouses. Gubernatorial appointees accounted for an impressive 21 percent of the $83.2 million that Perry’s campaign has raised since 2001.

An analysis by the Texas Tribune showed that Perry collected $5.8 million from people who he appointed to influential positions at the state's colleges and universities.

Additional Sources

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Rick Perry's Cover-Up and Corruption: Secret Schedules


by: Phillip Martin

Sun Oct 31, 2010 at 03:45 PM CDT

Ed. Note: This is the fourth part of a ten-part wrap-up of Rick Perry's history of cover-up and corruption that will run on Burnt Orange Report today.

According to state schedules, Perry has used taxpayer-funded staff and other state resources for his campaign purposes, a clear violation of the law. Perry has covered-up his secret state schedules to avoid being held accountable, and for years has maintained a practice of deleting all e-mails after one week. Perry’s office has admitted they keep two calendars.

From the Texas Tribune, "White Campaign Alleges Perry Keeps Secret Schedule":

When Perry was questioned about his spare schedule in an interview with WFAA-TV last month, he estimated he works “12 to 14 hours” a day, and further said, “I consider everything I’m doing state business.” His Sept. 15 schedule shows governor’s staff was tasked with briefing Perry on tort reform in advance of a political endorsement, and that two former gubernatorial appointees were listed as point persons at a roundtable and a dinner hosted for Perry at a Houston couple’s residence.

Additional Sources

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Rick Perry's Cover-Up and Corruption: The $500,000 Land Deal


by: Phillip Martin

Sun Oct 31, 2010 at 03:00 PM CDT

Ed. Note: This is the third part of a ten-part wrap-up of Rick Perry's history of cover-up and corruption that will run on Burnt Orange Report today.

An investigative report by the Dallas Morning News showed that Rick Perry coordinated with two business partners to flip land he purchased and sold in order to profit more than $500,000. Perry covered-up this scandal by refusing to release the public listing agreement, attempting to hide the identity of the land buyer and hiding the fact that the buyer was a business partner with the original seller.

From the Dallas Morning News, "Murky land deals mark Gov. Rick Perry's past":

The Dallas Morning News found evidence that Perry's investment was enhanced by a series of professional courtesies and personal favors from friends, campaign donors and the head of a Texas family with a rich history of political power-brokering. Together they may have enriched Perry by almost $500,000, according to an independent real estate appraisal commissioned by The News.

When it is all added up, Perry made at least $573,238 in profit from the land deal.

Additional Sources

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