Skip to comments.Sarah Palin Takes Aim At Perry in Iowa (Gucci Gulch is in her crosshairs)
Posted on 09/04/2011 12:42:11 PM PDT by Brices Crossroads
While watching Sarah Palin's speech yesterday at Indianola, it occurred to me that she is beloved by her supporters and detested and feared by her enemies for at least one common reason: She is an extraordinary political talent, willing and able to call a spade a spade and to do so with a combination of moxie and panache that is both devastating and funny. She represents a clear and present danger both to the GOP Establishment and to the Democrat left, the two sides of the same false coin which has embedded itself in D.C. as the "Permanent Political Class". Her supporters rightly see her as the one candidate with the charisma, bedrock honesty and courage to drain Gucci Gulch on K Street as she drained the fetid Corrupt Bastards Club in Juneau. The permanent political class can only exist on the oxygen supplied by crony capitalists, who "pay to play" (with our money, that is). Palin proposes to blow their cozy, little symbiotic relationship to smithereens. She means it. She has done it before. And it terrifies them.
In her speech, Palin alluded to the phenomenon of politicians who enter, and then cling to office, becoming members of the permanent political class, while proceeding to grow rich at the public trough:
"Ever notice how so many of them arrive in Washington, D.C. of modest means and then miraculously throughout the years they end up becoming very, very wealthy? Well, its because they derive power and their wealth from their access to our money to taxpayer dollars."
She may or may not have had Governor Rick Perry in mind when she said this, but it is a fact that Perry--who never fails to brandish his humble beginnings as a rural farmer--has become very wealthy over the course of his 27 years in public office. He has had a series of questionable real estate deals with other politicians and with contributors that have netted him millions. His Horseshoe Bay deal, for example, involved State Senator Troy Fraser and two business partners (one who sold the land to Fraser; the other who bought it from Perry) and netted the Governor a cool $823,000 profit in 2007 on only a 300,000 investment in 2001. Then there was the deal in which Perry, while serving as state Agriculture Commissioner, bought 10 acres of undeveloped land in 1993 for $123,000 and sold it the next year to Michael Dell, a computer magnate for $465,000, three times what he paid for it. Interestingly, Michael Toomey, an influential lobbyist actually closed the sale for Perry (who was out of town at the time). Toomey later became Perry's Chief of Staff and, after that, became a lobbyist for Merck where he was instrumental in lobbying Perry to issue the gardasil mandate, which stood to make millions for Merck, while endangering the health of pre-teen Texas girls. And these are just a few of the scores of examples of such shenanigans, which the opposition researchers in the White House are poring over.
In her speech, Palin did not just attack Obama for his crony capitalism, although her mention of him in this regard portends one key aspect of the campaign she intends to run against him. Merely replacing Obama is not enough, she said, if the gameplan remind the same. She clearly had her GOP opponents, particularly Rick Perry, in mind, when she said:
"Now to be fair, some GOP candidates also raised mammoth amounts of cash, and we need to ask them, too: What, if anything, do their donors expect in return for their investments? We need to know this because our country cant afford more trillion-dollar thank you notes to campaign backers. It is an important question, and it cuts to the heart of our problem. And I speak from experience in confronting the corruption and the crony capitalism since starting out in public office 20 years ago. Ive been out-spent in my campaigns two to one, three to one, five to one. (And, by the way, I dont play that game either of hiring expert political advisors just so theyll say something nice about me on TV if you ever wonder. You know how that games played too Im sure.) But the reason is simple: Its because like you, Im not for sale. Its because we believe in the free market. I believe in the free market, and that is why I detest crony capitalism. And Barack Obama has shown us cronyism on steroids. It will lead to our downfall if we dont stop it now. Its a root that grows our economic problems. Our unsustainable debt and our high unemployment numbers and a housing market thats in the tank and a stagnant economy these are all symptoms."
Notice how she linked crony capitalism to unsustainable debt, high unemployment, a crippled housing market and a stagnant economy, indicating just how vulnerable Obama is to such a connection, given the number of his close aides who benefited from Fannie and Freddie, bailouts and stimulus funds. Leaving aside Perry's own personal history of shady insider deals, he has created similar "funds" which have doled out $633 million to such "start up enterprises" as Home Depot, Tyson Foods, Sanderson Farms and Countrywide.
Perry's slush fund in Texas is classic "pay to play", and Palin called him on it, at least obliquely. If Perry had been in the audience at Indianola, he would have turned three shades of beet red.
Finally, and perhaps most damning of all, is that Perry's history of crony capitalism in Texas has coincided with an unprecedented debt and budget crisis there. Texas' debt is up 184% on his watch, from $13 billion to $37 billion. Texas' budget deficit is $13.4 billion a whopping 31% of the total budget, the fourth largest in America. The chart below shows 32 states with the biggest shortfalls:
By the way, if you are looking for Alaska on the list, you won't find it. Governor Palin's policies, including ACES and AGIA, as well as her veto pen, left the state in sound financial shape, and it sports a healthy budget surplus of $3.4 billion, plus 12 billion in reserves, and a booming economy, bucking the national trend.
Up to now, Perry has managed to disguise his gaping deficits through accounting gimmicks and the use of federal stimulus funds he received from... Barack Obama. That's right. In FY 2009, 97% of Texas' 6.6 billion budget shortfall was plugged with stimulus funds from Barack Obama.
Governor Palin's strategy against Perry is coming into focus. His record of crony capitalism has helped to swell the deficit and deepen the debt crisis in Texas, in contrast to Alaska, which she left in robust fiscal health. To make matters worse, Perry's use of Obama's stimulus funds to close his budget deficit compromises his ability to make the case against federal overspending. Having ballooned Texas' deficits via crony capitalism, Perry accepted federal stimulus funds to cover the shortfall. This is not a narrative for success in November 2012. And Perry is not the candidate to stand up on the debate stage with Obama and make this case.
The nomination of Rick Perry would remove, at a stroke, two very critical issues against Obama: First, the Corruption Issue. The "Chicago Way" does not seem to differ appreciably from the "Austin Way". Every mention of Tony Rezko or Bill Daley or Fannie Mae would generate a retort about Horseshoe Bay, Gardasil and taxpayer subsidies for big Perry campaign contributors,individuals who who contribute to him directly but also corporations like Tyson and Home Depot, who contribute indirectly in the form of large soft money contributions to Perry friendly entities like the Republican Governor's Association which, in turn, cut checks to Perry.
Second, Perry's use of federal stimulus funds to cover his budget deficits will neuter any attack he might try to mount on Obama's overspending, because it would expose him to the charge of hypocrisy. Any attacks by Perry will lack resonance, since he himself has been a conspicuous part of the two headed hydra of big government, crony capitalism and out of control spending and debt.
Palin will draw a sharp contrast between her dealings with crony capitalists in Juneau, where so many took the perp walk and were hustled off to Club Fed, and Perry's associates, who grew fat and happy during his adminstration. She will point to her cuts in the state budget, ACTUAL cuts, not cuts in the rate of growth, whereby she reduced Governor Murkowski's budget of $11.7 billion in 2007 to $10.57 billion in 2010, a whopping 9.5% cut. Unlike Perry, Palin didn't need Obama's stimulus money to balance her budget (In fact she only accepted 55% of the $930 million Obama offered Alaska), and thus she would not be fettered in attacking the President on the issue of his overspending.
Palin will clearly never be writing any trillion dollar thank you notes to Gucci Gulch, nor will they be cutting any checks to her. Neither will she be issuing any endorsements to J. Rick Perry in the near future. That much is clear. But it sounds like she may be preparing an ultimatum...for Barack Obama.
This is a sobering truth about Perry and a great read - thanks!!!
You need cease to amaze me with your information and clarity.
I'm not anti Palin....not al all. Nice lady!!
I hear this argument every now and then and it's frankly stupid. Even though they pay taxes to the federal government, if they elect conservatives a state or congressional district should refuse to get any benefit from the money the Federal government spends? I'm sure the Democrats would love that idea.
I enjoyed the read.
Thanks. Perry has a lot of baggage. A lot. We are only scratching the surface.
Bump for later
(Closes eyes, rubs cheek repeatedly on monitor.)
Consider yourself *highly* commended.
“if the gameplan remind the same.”???????????
Thanks BC. Another politics as usual crony capitalist. He’ll never see another endorsement from Gov Palin. His cowardice in January 2011 when he said nothing in her defence in public when she was being accused of mass murder followed by lying about his intentions sealed the (no) deal. A pox on him.
Excellently done. I was aware of most of this on both sides—Palin and Perry—but you sum it all up in very persuasive terms.
I’m sending this one out to my email list.
“it is a fact that Perry—who never fails to brandish his humble beginnings as a rural farmer—has become very wealthy over the course of his 27 years in public office. He has had a series of questionable real estate deals with other politicians and with contributors that have netted him millions. His Horseshoe Bay deal, for example, involved State Senator Troy Fraser and two business partners (one who sold the land to Fraser; the other who bought it from Perry) and netted the Governor a cool $823,000 profit in 2007 on only a 300,000 investment in 2001. Then there was the deal in which Perry, while serving as state Agriculture Commissioner, bought 10 acres of undeveloped land in 1993 for $123,000 and sold it the next year to Michael Dell, a computer magnate for $465,000, three times what he paid for it. Interestingly, Michael Toomey, an influential lobbyist actually closed the sale for Perry (who was out of town at the time). Toomey later became Perry’s Chief of Staff and, after that, became a lobbyist for Merck where he was instrumental in lobbying Perry to issue the gardasil mandate, which stood to make millions for Merck, while endangering the health of pre-teen Texas girls.”
No wonder he isn’t the one saying “I’m not for sale.”
Unfortunately for Perry he might have got into the race a wee bit early. Gives too much time for the vetting process to occur. 5 months is a long time.
Honestly I never really thought Sarah Palin could go this long without declaring but she has five things going for her that Fred Thompson never had:
a)A Facebook and Twitter presence par excellence that is only behind Obama.
b)Instant name recognition (99%)
c)Organization4Palin recruiting new members in readiness for her entry into the race
Why does she need to declare? She is already running but with a zero burn rate.
Criticize her all you want it doesn’t change the fact that her supporters haven’t yet contributed one plug nickel to a Palin Presidential campaign yet.
Once she declares the money will flood in.
thanks grey. Glad you liked it.
Can you quote anything Palin said that mentioned Perry, even in a nice way? Sounds like a lot of this is your imagination. The Perry way is not pretty, but comparing it to the Chicago way? Come on, really?
“If the gameplan remains the same”
Playing devil’s advocate, won’t some s*it disturber from the media ask Governor Palin after she enters the race, if you feel this way about Rick Perry and crony capitalism, why did you endorse him for Governor of Texas?
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