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Organizing your community to bring public attention to builder’s bad deeds and seeking assistance from local, state and federal elected officials has proven to be more effective and much quicker for thousands of families. You do have choices and alternatives.  Janet Ahmad

Associated Press: National spotlight on a culture of Texas "crony capitalism"
Friday, 23 September 2011

Texas tea partiers decry state 'crony capitalism'
Gov. Rick Perry's run for president is putting a national spotlight on a culture of "crony capitalism" he and the Republican-dominated state Legislature built in Texas, a small group of tea party activists charged Thursday.  Janet Ahmad, president of Homeowners for Better Building, complained that homebuilder Bob Perry _ who is not related to the governor but has contributed $14 million to Perry and the Republican Governor's Association _ effectively purchased his own state agency, the Texas Residential Construction Commission, in 2003.

The Associated Press
Texas tea partiers decry state 'crony capitalism'
Will Weissert

Gov. Rick Perry's run for president is putting a national spotlight on a culture of "crony capitalism" he and the Republican-dominated state Legislature built in Texas, a small group of tea party activists charged Thursday.

Perry, the frontrunner in the field vying for the Republican presidential nomination, has taken heat from rivals including Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann for his 2007 executive order requiring Texas girls to be vaccinated against human papillomavirus, a sexually transmitted disease that can cause cervical cancer. The order was eventually overturned by the state Legislature. Merck & Co., which makes the vaccine, employed Mike Toomey, Perry's former chief of staff, as a Texas lobbyist, and the firm had donated generously to Perry's campaigns.

Speaking at a news conference at the state capitol in Austin, Debra Medina, who ran against Perry last year as a lightly supported tea party candidate for Texas governor, said the vaccination order is "really the tip of the iceberg."

"Governor Perry's executive order was driven on money, not driven on good policy," she said, "and we want to take the opportunity and say it's not an HPV mandate but across all areas of public policy in Texas we've seen those sorts of practices."

Medina took aim at, "investment of taxpayer dollars in private business and laws that give preferential treatment to favored friends."

"The stagnant economy is a predictable outcome of government picking winners and losers in businesses and industries that they will favor," she said.

Perry has championed Texas' economy nationally, saying the state has created more than 1 million jobs since he took office in 2000. Many of those are low-paying, however, and state unemployment rose to 8.5 percent in August, its highest rate in nearly 25 years.

Medina cited as examples of "pay-to-play" in Texas under Perry the influence of Dallas billionaire Harold Simmons, who has contributed more than $1.1 million to the governor's campaigns over the years. According to a recent report by the nonprofit Texans for Public Justice, Simmons' Waste Control Specialists lobbied the Legislature in 2003 to create a private monopoly franchise for a low-level nuclear waste dump. This year, the Legislature approved accepting waste from 36 other states, and Medina said that shortly after that vote, Simmons wrote a $100,000 check to Perry's presidential campaign.

"They cannot champion limited government and then micromanage us," said Medina, who said she supports tea party favorite and fellow Texan Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul but isn't campaigning for him.

Perry's campaign spokesman Mark Miner called Medina's charges, "false and misleading political propaganda that has been brought up before."

"Governor Perry is a true conservative and a responsible candidate," he said. "He has been a fiscal conservative in Texas and will be a fiscally conservative leader in the presidential race."

Janet Ahmad, president of Homeowners for Better Building, complained that homebuilder Bob Perry _ who is not related to the governor but has contributed $14 million to Perry and the Republican Governor's Association _ effectively purchased his own state agency, the Texas Residential Construction Commission, in 2003.

The commission was supposed to mediate disputes between new home buyers and builders. But, according Texans for Public Justice, John Krugh, Bob Perry's general counsel, helped draft legislation that created the agency, and the governor stocked it with housing industry representatives. The Legislature abolished the commission in 2009.

Medina said the problem is not only Perry, but lawmakers in the Texas House and Senate, where Republicans hold a large majority.

"They have these great campaign slogans about serving the people," she said, "and instead what they've been doing is serving their own pockets and their own re-election efforts."

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/news/ap/politics/2011/Sep/22/texas_tea_partiers_decry_state__crony_capitalism_.html

 

 
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BY: GRETCHEN MORGENSON
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Outsized Ambition, Greed and
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