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Rick Perry

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott Says, 'YOLO', Comes Out In Support Of Gay Marriage

by: Omar Araiza

Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 00:00 PM CDT

Ed Note: Check the date on this post...
Attorney General Greg Abbott has been one of the state's most adamant opponents of LGBT rights, going as far as promising to continue to uphold Texas' now ruled-unconstitutional marriage ban despite his long-time friend being one of the gay plaintiffs in the lawsuit. This same friend flew to be by Abbott's bedside when Abbott suffered the horrible accident that left him paralyzed below the waist.

But it seems Abbott has now experienced a change of heart.

"I had an epiphany this morning when I looked at myself in the mirror," Abbott admitted to the Associated Press. "I thought, "Gosh, Mark (Phariss) and Victor (Holmes) make such a cute couple. They've been happily in love for over sixteen years now. It'd be such a shame if I were the person standing between their love and the true happiness of all other LGBT couples in Texas."

"Look, this whole governor gig thing may not play out as smoothly as I thought it would, with me seriously offending someone new every week. I just don't want to be forever known as that guy who stood against the love of his long-time friend and the rest of the thousands of LGBT couples in Texas simply looking to be treated like everyone else. That sounds like the bad guy in a James Cameron movie."

Read what else Greg Abbott and other prominent Republican figures had to say below the jump.

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Perry: Texas Won't Work With Feds To Prevent Prison Rape

by: Nick Hudson

Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 02:57 PM CDT

Citing what he calls a "counterproductive and unnecessarily cumbersome and costly regulatory mess," Texas Governor Rick Perry on Friday sent a three-page letter to US Attorney General Eric Holder declaring that Texas would not comply with the federal Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA).

The Prison Rape Elimination Act was signed by President George W. Bush in 2003 with unanimous support from both parties in Congress. The purpose of the act was to "provide for the analysts of the incidence and effects of prison rape in Federal, State, and local institutions and to provide information, resources, recommendations and funding to protect individuals from prison rape."

Scott over at Grits for Breakfast has acquired Perry's letter to Holder and excerpted it copiously.

Read more below the jump!

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Governor Rick Perry: Focus on Equal Pay is "Nonsense"

by: Katie Singh

Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 09:00 AM CDT

Last week, the issue of equal pay came to the forefront of the Texas governor's race. Not only did Republican surrogates say that women were "bad negotiators" who are ""too busy for equal pay, Greg Abbott's practice of paying women less than men came to light.

The latest Republican man to lend his unhelpful opinion to the issue of equal pay is Governor Rick Perry. Speaking on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" yesterday, Perry declared that focusing on equal pay in the governor's race is "nonsense" because there are already laws in place to deal with the issue.

If Perry had been paying attention to what is going on in his home state, he might have realized that those already-existing laws aren't exactly working as well as he thinks they are--on average, Texas women still make only 79 cents to every dollar a man makes.

It's clear that Perry, like the many other Texas Republicans, is out of touch with the issues Texas women face. But that hasn't stopped him from continuing to offensively speak out against equal pay.

Read the rest of Perry's commentary about equal pay after the jump.

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Rick Perry Places Third In New Presidential Poll

by: Nick Hudson

Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 01:00 PM CDT

Rick Perry at CPAC 2014
Rick Perry is in third place among the potential Republican field of 2016 presidential contenders, according to a new CNN/ORC International survey.

Perry has the backing of 11% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents surveyed. His level of support is behind Rand Paul, who garnered 16% in the survey, and Paul Ryan, who received 15%.

At 11%, Governor Perry received more support than former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee who came in with 10%, Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush at 9%, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Texas Senator Ted Cruz, both at 8%, Marco Rubio at 5%, and Rick Santorum at 3%.

Continue reading below the jump.

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Rick Perry Won't "Ride Off Into the Sunset" When His Term Ends

by: Emily Cadik

Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 11:00 AM CST

Many are waiting eagerly for Rick Perry to leave the Governor's mansion in January after 14 long years. But unfortunately for Texas and the country, he won't be leaving public life.

"I'm not going to ride off into the sunset," Perry recently told NBC News in an interview. "I'm pretty sure I'm not going to go back to Paint Creek, Texas, and shut my doors."

Nor is he shutting the door to the possibility of running for president. On Sunday, he told CNN that he wouldn't rule out giving it another go. Though he says he won't make an official decision until next year, he's clearly already testing the waters.

There's more after the jump.

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Rick Perry Violates Legislative Intent With Overreach And Overregulation of Texas' ACA Navigators

by: Joe Deshotel

Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 00:04 PM CST

On Monday the Texas Department of Insurance held a final hearing on proposed rules placed on Affordable Care Act navigators that Democratic legislators contend is politically motivated to ensure the law's failure. Just days before the initial launch of Healthcare.gov Governor Perry instructed TDI to implement strict regulations on navigators who are tasked with helping individuals sign up for health insurance. The timing of the Governor's decision and the fact that he has bet his future's political capital on opposing the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion point to political calculations within the agency whose Commissioner he appointed.

It appears from statements made by TDI officials that their agency worked with the federal Health and Human Services Department to ensure that they could maximize the additional regulations without running afoul of federal law. In a statement to the press Rep. Lon Burnam (D-Fort Worth) who has filed extensive open records request said he also received internal documents from TDI indicating that the additional training and fees were primarily due to political influence. Burnam has urged the agency to make the documents public.

See why the new rules could be a significant blow to non-profits and the communities they serve below the jump...

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Perry Appointee Works for Payday Lending Industry He's Responsible for Overseeing

by: Shelby Alexander

Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 00:30 PM CST

While the Finance Commission of Texas states that it aims to 'ensure that the banks, savings institutions, consumer credit grantors, and other regulated entities chartered or licensed under state law operate as sound and responsible institutions,' Governor Perry has ensured that just the opposite occurs because his appointee to chair this committee serves as vice president of a big-name payday lender that has been found guilty by federal officials of unsound business practices.

In addition, a story this week from the El Paso Times reveals that William White (Perry's appointee and chair of the Texas Finance Commission) believes any malpractices, like the kind his company Cash America paid $19 million in fines and fees for violating, is not at fault of payday lenders, but the consumers who have no other financial option but to fall prey to high-interest loans. Unfortunately, William White was appointed to protect this exact group of people he blames.

Wendy Davis has stepped forward again, who has previously pointed out White's conflict of interest and has long been a champion for payday lending reform, and is calling for White to step down from his chairmanship, or be removed. White's term on the Finance Commission doesn't expire until 2016.

Read more about William White's conflict of interest and Senator Wendy Davis' statement below the jump.

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States' Exchange Success Will Hurt Texas Republicans' Fight Against Obamacare

by: Joe Deshotel

Mon Dec 16, 2013 at 02:03 PM CST

Read All "12 Days of Enrollmas" posts here.

States who chose to create their own health insurance exchange are faring much better at getting their residents coverage than those using the federal exchange at Healthcare.gov.

So far Republican Governors and legislatures have chosen to spend their time, effort and states' tax dollars fighting the expansion of the affordable health insurance marketplace in lieu of developing alternatives or exercising discretion within their respective state exchanges.

While other states were weighing their options, calculating their eligibility numbers and devising a strategy for implementation many of Texas' U.S. Representatives, led by Ted Cruz, were busy shutting down the federal government. Despite every effort by their representatives to foil the ACA's success over 14,000 Texans have signed up for coverage. That number however pales in comparison to the states that chose to implement their own exchange, even those with much smaller populations than Texas.

See how Texas stacked up next to other states and what happened when a Texas GOP doctor and legislator sponsored the bill to create a state exchange...

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Amid Mack Brown Retirement Rumors, UT President Bill Powers Job Uncertain

by: Chaille Jolink

Wed Dec 11, 2013 at 10:00 AM CST

If you are anything like me you are miserably failing at avoiding all the rumors of Mack Brown stepping down as the head coach of UT football by the end of this week.

Yet strangely enough, Brown's departure from the University of Texas might not be the only one announced from the 40 acres this week.

UT Austin President Bill Powers's job is apparently on the agenda this week at the University of Texas System Board of Regents meeting. They are set to meet in executive session beginning Thursday morning.

Click below the jump to see what else is on the Board of Regents agenda and what's next for the University of Texas.

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Former CPRIT Executive Indicted by Grand Jury; Greg Abbott's Negligence on Full Display

by: Progress Texas

Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 01:21 PM CST

(Thanks to Progress Texas for keeping the focus on CPRIT! - promoted by Katherine Haenschen)

The following is cross-posted from Progress Texas.

Breaking news in the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) case - former executive Jerry Cobb was indicted earlier this morning by a grand jury. The Austin American-Statesman was the first to report:

A Travis County grand jury has indicted Jerald “Jerry” Cobbs, an executive at the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas who was involved in the awarding of an $11 million grant to a Dallas company without the required scientific and business reviews.

The first-degree felony indictment charges Cobbs with securing execution of a document by deception. According to the penal code, a person commits an offense if, with the intent to defraud, he causes another to sign or execute any document affecting the financial interest of any person.

CPRIT came under scandal when it became clear the agency, which was created to fund cancer research in Texas, was redirecting millions to GOP donors. The Dallas Morning News was the first to uncover Abbott's negligence:

Abbott’s absence from CPRIT’s crucial deliberations was hardly unusual. Though state law grants a seat to the attorney general or one of his staff members, Abbott never has attended any of CPRIT’s 23 meetings. Even as the agency was barreling toward near-death, he sent an aide to fill the chair.

Greg Abbott, despite sitting on the board of CPRIT, did nothing to end the corruption:

In the more than four years he served on the state cancer agency's governing board, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott exercised no oversight as the agency made misstep after misstep in awarding tens of millions of dollars to commercial interests.

The state's top lawyer and watchdog instead appointed one of his deputies, who missed about a third of the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas Oversight Committee meetings, and, by all accounts, was not much of a presence in the agency's questionable decision-making.

We will have more on this story as it develops. Watch our full video on CPRIT below the jump.

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