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Mercedes Benz

HD-105: Linda Harper-Brown Admits She Directs Her Husband's Work, Under Investigation


by: Phillip Martin

Tue Jun 29, 2010 at 03:17 PM CDT

Republican State Representative Linda Harper-Brown admitted she is involved in her husband's business and that she may be under criminal investigation today in the Dallas Morning News. The story -- "Rep. Linda Harper-Brown says she's given up company's Mercedes" -- lays out the following:

Harper-Brown told The Dallas Morning News that she was directing her husband to rework his compensation package from the company to exclude the cars. In theory, Brown would instead receive cash and then buy vehicles on his own. He said he could end up with the cars, but they would be in his name.

[...]

The Texas Values in Action Coalition, a group that pushes Democratic Party causes, has turned over information about Harper-Brown and Bryan’s companies to the Travis County District Attorney and the U.S. Attorney’s office in Dallas.

Harper-Brown fought back tears when she discussed dealing with perceptions that she was acting unethically by driving the car.

And she conceded that there could be a criminal investigation or one by the state ethics commision and that she would cooperate with authorities. 

The Texas Values in Action Committee (TEXVAC), who initially filed the complaints, issued the following statement:

“This is clearly an admission of guilt by Linda Harper Brown that she illegally took a Mercedes from a company that benefitted from her role as a state legislator and has over 10 million dollars in state contracts. She can’t un-ring the bell, un-drive the Mercedes, or un-accept a bribe.”

“Once again, Linda Harper Brown is failing to address the serious issues at hand here, she can’t un-drive the car and think that the taking of it in the first place was ethical or legal. That’s like trying to give back the money after you’ve been caught robbing the bank."

More as it develops...

Previously on BOR:

In the News

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Rick Perry Drives a Mercedes Benz, Lives in a $1.85 Million Mansion


by: Phillip Martin

Thu Apr 15, 2010 at 04:39 PM CDT

No, you didn't read that headline wrong. You also probably won't read that headline in any of the news articles about "Tea Party Tax Day" but that doesn't make it any less true. And you have to wonder -- if more people knew about Rick Perry's extravagant lifestyle, do you really think they'd still think of him as such a grassroots kind of guy?

Since 2007, Rick Perry has had a lease agreement with Mercedes-Benz financial. The loan for his vehicle is the $10,000 to $24,999 range. Here are links to the records for the leases in 2007 and 2008:

(My thanks to the Houston Chronicle's Texas Politics blog for providing the original links to those documents).

What's interesting is that Rick Perry never mentions what kind of car he drives. In an interview he did for the Texas Motor Speedway website -- in anticipation for this Sunday's race, where Perry has sponsored a $225,000 vehicle and blatantly stolen the "Moving Texas Forward" slogan from both the TDP and Bill White -- Perry talks fondly of how he loves driving fast cars, yet never mentions that he drives a Benz. (Source: "Governor Rick Perry Shares His Favorite Cars").

Meanwhile, in addition to the Benz he drives, Perry lives in a $1.85 million mansion. From the AP news story, as reported by CBS-11 in Dallas, "State To Pay $9,900/Month For Perry's Rent House":

Gov. Rick Perry and wife, Anita, will move out of the 150-year-old Governor's Mansion next month and into a three-story, limestone home with five bedrooms, a heated pool and an outdoor cabana.

The state will pony up $9,900-a-month in rent for at least a year while the Governor's Mansion undergoes renovations starting next month. The 6,386 square foot home in a posh west Austin neighborhood has been listed on the market for more than a year, with the most recent asking price $1.85 million.

Which Rick Perry will Texas' Tea Partiers know about, come November? Will it be the good ole boy from Paint Creek who loves NASCAR and feels their pain? Or the wealthy, out-of-touch Governor whose history of crony capitalism has led to Texas doubling its state debt and more unemployed Texans than any other time in history.

Time will tell...

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