Skip to comments.Perry Cements His Reputation As a Powerful Governor
Posted on 07/03/2011 12:39:44 PM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
Gov. Rick Perry may or may not try to become the leader of what was once called the free world. In the meantime, he has cemented his reputation as one of the most powerful governors ever to walk the corridors of the Texas Capitol.
As the longest serving governor in state history, Perry has named more people to boards and commissions than any predecessor 5,495 at last count, Legislative Reference Library figures show allowing him to put his conservative stamp on every corner of state government.
The reach of his power, and his willingness to use it, have been most striking in the recently concluded sessions of the Texas Legislature, which gave Perry a fairly long wish-list of conservative reforms. If Perry does end up on the presidential campaign trail, he will be ticking them off like a pre-trip checklist. Curbs on abortion done. Lawsuit restrictions check. Staggering cuts to programs once seen as off-limits yes, yes and yes.
Basically nobody has dominated the executive branch, that Im aware of, like Rick Perry has, said Jim Henson, a political scientist at the University of Texas at Austin. Its a very different kind of governorship now. Hes been there so long, and hes effectively used the resources at his disposal.
But some Republicans worry there will be political fallout for supporting the first decline in overall public education spending since at least 1949. And Perry did not get everything he wanted or successfully twist every arm of every legislator who bucked him.
Case in point: Rep. David Simpson, a freshman Republican of Longview, says he got called into the principals office to discuss his string of tirades against Perrys pet job-luring funds, which Simpson calls unseemly corporate welfare. During the meeting with the governor, Simpson said, Perry said, in a sense, We gotta keep taking pork back to the district. Simpson never backed down, but the governor got millions for both the Texas Enterprise Fund and the Emerging Technology Fund. Mark Miner, a spokesman for the governor, said Perry would not discuss his private conversations but believed the funds had helped create tens of thousands of high-quality jobs in Texas.
Democrats also have a darker vision of Perrys stroke: they say he is just doing what the Tea Party demands. This session I think the Tea Party was driving the train, said Rep. Pete Gallego, D-Alpine. I think Perry got in front of the train and managed to climb into the engine.
Many legislative veterans, however, say Perry, a former House member and farmer, finds himself at the height of his influence and has used it to redefine the limits of the Texas governors office. Texas has never been in the position were in with the governor, said state Rep. Warren Chisum, R-Pampa. This governor has probably appointed every office thats appointable.
That, in turn, has blunted the traditional push back from agencies on the chopping block, he said. Theres not very much resistance when we take away 100 employees from a large agency or send them less money, Chisum said. They know not just to cry to us, because the governor appointed and put those people in place, and so they know its coming directly from him.
Even with a full schedule of profile-boosting out-of-state events, Perry kept the pressure on lawmakers to do his bidding. The governor, who has no official role in writing the budget, insisted they slash spending while mostly keeping their hands off the states fat reserve fund. The governor bent a little, giving his blessing to a $3.1 billion draw from the Rainy Day Fund to pay for a past deficit, but he resisted often considerable pressure to take billions more, putting him at odds at times with Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, a Republican, and powerful G.O.P. senators. Perry won.
Legislatures often slap around governors in Texas, where constitutional authority in the executive branch is spread out. The governor does not really have a cabinet; the lieutenant governor, attorney general and comptroller are all independently elected and have broad powers over legal, financial and legislative matters.
But this session, the governor threw his weight around more than usual. When a rewrite of hurricane insurance came up, for example, Perry torpedoed what some of the parties negotiating the bill thought was a deal.
Until I agree to it, the governors office isnt an agreed-to place, Perry said when reporters asked. The issue later spilled into a special session, and the controversial legislation, opposed by trial lawyers, passed in a form more to Perrys liking.
More recently, when Republican defections knocked a controversial school-financing bill off the rails in the House, it was not Speaker Joe Straus who talked wavering members off the ledge, several participants say. It was Perrys chief of staff, Ray Sullivan, and his legislative liaison, Ken Armbrister (appropriately nicknamed Arm Twister).
Rep. Jim Pitts, chairman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, said it was one of many times this session that he had called on the governor and his team to help him secure votes. Pitts said the governor was particularly influential with a group of about 25 hard-core budget cutters dominated by Tea Party-backed freshmen that dance with the governor and sing his song.
The governor had a lot of influence in the Texas House, in my opinion, this session more than any session that Ive been involved in, Pitts said. On a scale of 1 to 10, he was a 91/2.
2012—The Black Messiah is re-elected.
2016—Rick Perry becomes President, even if he runs and loses this time around.
It’s pretty obvious. The Big Money chooses the President (via the Electoral College). It’s always been this way. Follow the bribes, er, election campaign contributions, and you, too, can accurately predict who wins.
Rick Perry is a Conservative ... Really - as compared to obama maybe. But Perry is not a real Conservative - he is a pretend Conservative...
If Perry were really so “powerful” he wouldn’t have folded like a cheap camera when Bob Perry and the H-E-B Prez ordered the Sanctuary Cities bill to be killed - by far the most important bill of the special session.
Maybe a better comparison than “more” Bush, would be a “conservative version of LBJ”. It would be nice if someone could push things as far to the right as LBJ pushed to the left. It will be necessary just to get back near the middle after these past few years.
” Really - as compared to obama maybe. Perry is not a real Conservative - he is a pretend Conservative...” ======
Texas fiscal shape is superb because Perry is not a conservative. Texas rocks on jobs (greater than any other state in the union) because Perry is not a conservative. Texas boasts a governor who is hell on wheels for state rights, which is not conservative. /s /s /s
This tells us something is wrong in Texas, no different than Washington.
Something is wrong with Texas?? Yeah, we don’t elect Dayton or that Truther Ventura or Al Franken. Now, again, tell us what is wrong with Texas?
Perry has been Governor for 10 years and as such has had lots of appointments to make. Why? Because we re-elected him.
Downright eerie how Perry’s people talked about Merck product on same day Merck gave Perry money
Perry’s Trans-Texas Corridor plan is a hard sell
Senators: Perry evading law with expired appointments
Texas Eminent Domain Bill Vetoed By Govenor Perry
Campaign to impeach Gov. Perry launched online
Tempers Flare At Trans-Texas Corridor Hearing
Secretive Bilderberg meeting set for Turkey
Karl in a Corner
Second, Roves opponents would regularly find that they had suddenly become the target
of a criminal investigation, and details concerning the investigation would be
aggressively fanned to the press. Rove mastered this technique in a contest
for the Texas Agriculture Commissioners post that he managed for now-Governor Rick Perry.
It Started in Texas: Karl Roves Political Prosecutions
1. Rove was hired to run the campaign of Rick Perry, the current governor,
for the powerful Texas office of Commissioner of Agriculture, then held by
Democrat Jim Hightower. Shortly thereafter, it was clear that a major
FBI investigation had been launched into the workings of the Texas Agriculture
Department (TDA), focusing on Hightower and his senior lieutenants, who had been
pursuing a populist, anti-corporate agriculture and pro-small-farmer agenda.
Jim Hightower talks about his new book, “Thieves in High Places: They’ve Stolen Our Country and it’s Time to Take it Back”
HIGHTOWER: Rick Perry, back then (currently Texas Governor), was his client, so to speak,
and Perry had been recruited. He was sort of a nothing Texas legislator who had been brought
in — again as an affable fellow without any brain muscle. Perry was essentially sent to
wander around out in West Texas during the campaign so he would be out of the way,
while Rove worked this FBI agent and raised money from the chemical industry
and other corporate interests that opposed me. Rove had George Bush go on
television against me. Then Rove ran a series of television ads that
established a new low in negative advertising.
For example, they showed a long-haired guy setting a flag on fire,
and throwing it on the ground. And then my picture came up out of the fire, and said
“Hightower supports flag burning,” which, of course, I don t. But it doesn t matter,
you know. I had to go around answering: “Why do you support flag burning?”
Rove had another ad of me campaigning with Jesse Jackson, who I supported in 1988
in the Presidential campaign. And Rove ran this ad that essentially was a smear
on Jackson and then tying me to him. The ad so angered the Black Caucus in the State Legislature
that they convened their own press conferences in Houston and Dallas to assail it. But again it was too late.
All this was happening in the last three weeks of the election. So, I mean, that s just who the guy is.
Gay rumors complicate Rick Perry’s presidential prospects
Naked City The Real Sins of Gov. Perry
On Tuesday morning, a small group of protesters (almost outnumbered by reporters and photographers)
gathered at the Governor’s Mansion for what was disingenuously billed as a “support rally” for Gov. Rick Perry,
under the theme, “It’s OK to Be Gay.” As any Austinite with access to e-mail or a cell phone knows by now,
for a couple of months rumors concerning the governor’s personal life have been flying furiously around the Capitol,
the capital city, the state, and indeed most of the Western Hemisphere.
The variations are multiple and quite inventive we won’t recount them here
but at their core is the tale that the governor’s marriage is in trouble, that his
wife Anita has/will/may decide to divorce him, and that the issue is Rick’s alleged infidelity,
with one or another member of his administration of undetermined gender.
(Rumors of this sort, about multitudinous politicians, circulate all the time,
but the current Perry rumors are indeed extraordinary in their baroque detail and remarkable persistence.)
"Basically nobody has dominated the executive branch, that I'm aware of, like Rick Perry has," said Jim Henson..."I'm Muppet at the capital right now, communicating with him via Ouija board," the writer adds.
To tell you the truth there are only two true conservatives worth considering.... DeMint and Palin
No state needs Dayton, Ventura or Franken, and no state needs 5,495 people on state boards or commissions. Bloated government is bad everywhere.
Would you allow those positions to go unfilled/open? As a ‘seeker of truth’ you may find out that Perry has been in the governors office for some ten years and only operating under the Texas State Constitution which grants those powers. Now there maybe things wrong with Texas but that is how it operates within the way the state was established in it’s constitution a few years ago.
Well said. I am trying to round up potential plaintiffs for a case to overturn Rick Perry’s DREAM ACT.
must be opposed to instate tuition for illegal aliens
Must be paying taxes on oil and gas revenues in TX.
E-mail me if interested
Since when did we start looking at “powerful” as a good thing in a president?
Did we become Russians when nobody was looking??
Will we start electing “strong leaders” now? Like Stalin? Pol Pot? Castro?
(wait, we already did that - see how it’s turning out?)
How about we elect a GOOD person. Not someone about power.
Someone patriotic, and fair.
Someone who wants the best for America. Not themselves.
Its important to point out that there is a huge difference in the Texas Dream Act and the The Dream Act that was pushed in Congress and failed. The Dream Act in Congress was full of all kinds of goodies other than allowing children of illegals to receive in state tuition. The Texas Dream Act was focused only on that. I happen to agree with The Texas Dream Act, and so did everyone in the Senate in Texas. It passed with ZERO no votes. Add to that, it has been proven to be successful.
These are a few things you need to know about the Texas Dream Act. The child has to have lived in Texas the three years leading up to high school graduation. These students are given no special treatment in getting into Texas colleges and universities. They must get in on their own merit. They are paying the tuition (with or without financial aid). Its estimated that these students make up about 1% of those entering college.
Most of us agree that border control MUST be dealt with first. The problem with all other efforts on this issue in the past is that the borders were not sealed. If there is anyone who we can trust to do that it is Gov. Perry (if he decides to run for President). He knows what goes on down at the border. He has gone there many times. He knows what needs to be done. There is no doubt in my mind that if he were President, he would seal our borders. But Perry also understands Hispanic outreach.
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