Thursday, September 15, 2011

Only Big Money Need Apply

Rick Perry is no liar. Well, of course, he did lie when he claimed of President Obama at the GOP presidential debate in Tampa

He had $800 billion worth of stimulus in the first round of stimulus. It created zero jobs. Four hundred plus billion dollars in this package, and I can do the math on that one. Half of zero jobs is going to be zero jobs.

A guy smart enough to know that half of zero is zero is also smart enough to know- aside from official calculations that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act created anywhere from 1million to 3.8 jobs- that spending money will create at least one job. Maybe millions, maybe thousands, maybe not enough- but zero? It wasn't hyperbole, either, given that Rush Limbaugh and other Republicans have been touting the idea that President Obama's initiative created no jobs whatsoever. GOP leaders could contend that only 1 million jobs (the lowest, bottom-line estimate of any analysis) resulted but that would imply that the Act created an insufficient number of jobs- which would suggest that conservative Republicans actually want jobs to be added to Obama's economy. That might be a bridge too far, a claim unable to be made without fingers crossed behind back.

But when defending his decision to require sixth-grade girls to receive an injection of Gardasil to guard against the HPV virus, which causes most cases cervical cancer, the Texas governor did not lie. He was entirely truthful when he maintained

Yes, sir. The company was Merck, and it was a $5,000 contribution that I had received from them. I raise about $30 million, and if you're saying that I can be bought for 5,000, I'm offended.

Rick Perry cannot be bought for $5,000. CBS News reports

According to records from the Texas Ethics Commission compiled by the Institute on Money in State Politics, Perry received a total of $28,500 in contributions from Merck's political action committee between 2002 and 2010. In 2006, the year before his executive order, he received $6,000, and in his most recent gubernatorial fundraising year, he received $5,000 -- the closest numbers to the $5,000 he mentioned in the debate.

It gets worse- or, if you're Michele Bachmann or Mitt Romney- better. James Moore, co-author of "Bush's Brain," told Lawrence O'Donnell (transcript of The Last Word, here)

It`s pretty funny because if you talk to lobbyists at the Texas capitol right now, the going rate, everybody says before you even get into a conversation with his officers and staff, is about $200,000. So, he`s right. He`s a bit pricier than $5,000.

And it gets even worse, though more complicated. Mike Toomey, then chief of staff to Governor Perry, left to become one of Merck's three lobbyists in Texas. Thereafter, Perry signed the Executive Order benefiting Merck, where Toomey still is a lobbyist and is close (professionally and personally, it appears) to Dave Carney, who is running Perry's presidential campaign. O'Donnell noted Toomey

is running a super Pac for the governor that`s going to raise promising to raise $55 million. That`s why super PACs exist so you can pretend that, you can lie and say you are only getting $5,000 from Merck when in fact you`re getting $30,00 plus another $300,000 or more that`s been detailed that`s was routed through the Republican governor`s association. These super PACs are set up so you can lie about how much money the lobbyist interests are giving you, and this is a classic example of it, isn`t it?

Rick Perry did not lie! He did receive $5,000 from the drug giant, although $23,500 previously. One-third of Merck's lobbying team is in charge of a super PAC from which the Texas governor probably will receive $55 million, an indirect payment from the company. But he was not asked about that. Rick Perry may well be offended- a man who cannot be bought cheaply, the political equivalent of Cuba Gooding Jr. shouting "show me the money!"


maynard g. krebski said...

Perry's a gol dang socialist. This governor, in his People’s Republic of Texas, has made sure that one in six workers is employed by the gubmint. Add to that the number of private sector jobs servicing the needs of these public sector positions.

Dobie Gillispie said...

More whoopin' Texass socialism: Texas’s private sector is buoyed by $21 billion in annual defense contracts, while its public sector is underwritten by $13 billion in defense spending, nearly $4 billion in NASA expenditures, and a large but classified amount in new security state projects. Add to this the fact that Texas gladly received the third largest amount of stimulus funds in the nation. Way to go, Comrade Perry!

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