Months After Vetoing Disclosure Bill, Rick Perry Gets a New Dark Money Group

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The cover story for Governor Rick Perry's feud with California Governor Jerry Brown, his job-poaching trip to Missouri and his visit to a Maryland gun manufacturer the day after this month's Navy Yard shooting, is that he's bolstering the Texas economy by spreading the state's low-tax gospel and wooing people and businesses.

No one really believes that. What he's actually doing, according to pretty much everyone, is laying the groundwork for a 2016 presidential run.

The most recent junkets have been financed by a new group called Americans for Economic Freedom, which was established in August using the $212,608 left over from the SuperPAC that backed Perry's woeful 2012 presidential bid.

See also: The Top Four Reasons Rick Perry Toured a Gun Factory the Day After a Mass Shooting

AEF, like its predecessor, is set up as a 501(c)(4) nonprofit social welfare organization. In the 2012 presidential election such organizations came to be known as "dark money groups" since, even though they often function as arms of a campaign, they don't have to disclose where they get their cash.

The general consensus, at least among non-billionaires, is that the unfettered flow of anonymous money into political campaigns has a corrosive effect on democracy. That's why a bill to require 501(c)(4) nonprofits to disclose major donors sailed through the Legislature this year with bipartisan support.

The victory was brief. Perry unceremoniously killed the bill with his first veto of the session. In a statement Perry described the veto in heroic terms:

Freedom of association and freedom of speech are two of our most important rights enshrined in the Constitution. My fear is that SB 346 would have a chilling effect on both of those rights in our democratic political process. While regulation is necessary in the administration of Texas political finance laws, no regulation is tolerable that puts anyone's participation at risk or that can be used by any government, organization or individual to intimidate those who choose to participate in our process through financial means.

That Perry's principled stand in defense of free speech happens to line up so perfectly with his presidential ambitions is no doubt pure happenstance. Americans for Economic Freedom is just a group of Perry's closest friends and allies, boldly standing up for their Constitutional right to free speech.

(h/t San Antonio Express-News)

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13 comments
susanwilliams407
susanwilliams407

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P1Gunter
P1Gunter

I half understood the people that voted for George W. Bush. I mean he was up against Al Gore, John Kerry, and Ralph Nader.  But unless the Democrats roll out a Clinton/Hitler ticket I can think of no readon why any rational human would vote for Rick Perry.

russell.allison1
russell.allison1

I'd like to believe that Rick Perry is capable of drafting such a reasonable and eloquent explanation for his veto...but it's Rick Perry.  I think he probably scribbled the word "NO" on the page with his crayon and having exhausted his allotment of thought for the day, went back to coloring while one of his sitters drafted the longer, more political response. 

LeroyJenkem
LeroyJenkem

Okay, so let's look at the facts. The dark money people like having pliant and willing puppets. Rick Perry likes the feel of someone else's arm up his ass. For them, it's win-win. Since the dark money people can't actually make his lips move in public on command, and Rick's going to have to learn at least a dozen big words if he's going to run, do they really think he stands a chance? Or are they only going to let him take a dive for Ted Cruz, whom himself will get his ass kicked up around his shoulder blades by, well, anybody?

LeroyJenkem
LeroyJenkem

Okay, so the people behind these dark money projects like to have a willing and pliable puppet, and Rick Perry likes the feel of someone else's hand up his ass. For them, this is win-win. But can they teach him enough big words to where he might actually have a chance at running for President?

Greg820
Greg820

Like Herpes, Rick never quite goes away.

ozonelarryb
ozonelarryb

Ricky whored out to money interests? Say it ain't so.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

"......, no regulation is tolerable that puts anyone's participation at risk,...."

Unless it's a Voter ID regulation that puts the participation of the poor and disadvantaged at risk.

RhetoricalQuestion
RhetoricalQuestion

@RTGolden1 That's a completely misguided point of view, or sinister if you intentionally spread that kind of thing.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@RhetoricalQuestion @RTGolden1 Please explain to me how it is misguided or sinister.  The Voter ID laws, as passed in TX, have the effect of putting the participation of poor and disadvantaged at risk.  Not to mention, State issued ID's are not free, so the ID restriction essentially becomes a poll tax, which is in violation of the Constitution.

Should we be looking for a way to eliminate voter fraud?  Certainly.  Considering the scale of identifiable voter fraud in Texas (it's really small) and the scope of the Voter ID laws, we're basically swatting at mosquitos with a 4x8 sheet of plywood.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@schermbeck @TexMarine 

Not that I think voter ID is a good idea, but until the left finally figures out that the best way to beat the conservative interests that support this is by beating them at their own game, this argument is moot.

What I can't seem to figure out is -  instead of crying about it, why aren't people on the left out promoting "Voter ID Drives" for the very folks that they say they are speaking for?

schermbeck
schermbeck

@TexMarine Right. And the fact that it makes it harder for minorities, the unemployed and old to vote, despite Abbot himself finding scant evidence of voter fraud and none in the voting booth, is just a beneficial side effect for Republicans....

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