Is Rick Perry a Crook? The Evidence is Mounting…

Bang! Bang!

Americans don’t demand much from elected officials. We just want them to be transparent and fair. What we don’t want are the kind of people who pass out appointments to top donors, take special measures to conceal their questionable financial activity, and use taxpayer money to help fund expensive vacations. But that’s the kind of guy Texans have in Republican Gov. Rick Perry – and it’s the type of President Americans will have if the current GOP frontrunner defeats President Obama at the polls.

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Perry Spends Tax Dollars on Travels – But Seals Records from Taxpayer View

If you buy gasoline or have registered a vehicle in Texas, you are helping to pay for the cost of Rick Perry’s lavish trips.

Perry is using taxpayer money from the state highway fund to pay for his traveling security staff – which is, in itself, not usual. What does raise a red flag is this: Perry tucked a rider into a school finance bill last month to hide how much taxpayer money he’s spending until just after the 2012 Presidential election.

The move is even drawing fire from his own Party. One Republican legislator, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told the Washington Post that Perry actively lobbied key legislators to get this secretive spending provision written into a school finance bill. Another Republican, Rep. David Simpson from Longview, said:

“The money belongs to the people of Texas and they need to have an account of it. You can do this without jeopardizing security.”

To give you a sense of how Perry has spent taxpayer money in the past (while the public still had access to such records), here’s some data on past trips:

Perry Appoints Top Campaign Donors to Top Posts in Texas

Just last week Perry used his executive power to appoint multiple top donors to state government posts, including:


 

Perry Was Reprimanded by the Ethics Commission, Paid $1,500 Fine

Perry has been the subject of several inquiries by the Texas Ethics Commission, but seems to have escaped the more serious charges thus far. In March of this year, however, the Commission levied a $1,500 fine against Perry for failing to report income earned on a rental property and for filing incomplete information regarding debts on the same property.

Perry Gets Rich while Public Official, Hides Earnings in Blind Trust

There’s certainly no law against getting rich. But when you get rich while also climbing the ranks in politics – and do your best to hide those earnings away from public view – that does raise some eyebrows.

When Perry became a state representative from Haskell in 1985, his earnings were fairly meager. The earliest federal tax return Perry has released dates to 1987, when he and his wife reported a total income of $45,224. Now flash-forward to 2007: Perry reported income of more than $1 million from the sale of a lot in a resort community called Horseshoe Bay.

Kudos to Perry for knowing how to play the real estate market, right? Perhaps his investments and property flips didn’t detract much from his public duties. Still, enough questions remain to shed doubt on Perry’s character and intentions. For instance, the liberal watchdog group Texans for Public Justice has suggested Perry made that cool million from a dubious deal, considering that the previous owner of the land and the person Perry sold the land to in 2007 were business partners.

That’s not all. In 1996, Perry established a blind trust, which means that most of Perry’s investments are shielded from public view and his net worth is a mystery. Now, why would someone want to do that?

Make sure you make it to the polls on Tuesday, November 6, 2012 and vote against the Republican candidate, Rick Perry or otherwise. Too much is riding on this election to stay home.

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