Thursday, November 15, 2007

Rick Perry Gets Sued By Chris Bell

When I first saw that Chris Bell had filed suit against Governor Rick Perry, his one-time political opponent in the Texas Gubernatorial race, I said to myself “Well it’s about time. That jerk needs suing.”

But for what?

Doesn’t matter, he needs suing. Sue him for having that hair. Sue him for anything.

Or. . .

Find out that he and his cronies did some shifty things late in the campaign to hide the source of campaign contributions.

Essentially money laundering, akin to what TRMPAC did to funnel $190,000 in PAC money to individual Republican legislators’ campaign funds.

What the heck. Don’t just sue him, arrest him.

It seems in the late days of the campaign, Houston’s millionaire homebuilder, Bob "Swiftboat Bob" Perry, made contributions of over a million dollars to the Republican Governors’ Association. They then transferred the gift into Rick Perry’s campaign my slyly dividing it into two $500,000 contributions.

Buck Wood, Bell’s attorney in the lawsuit pointed out that this was a deliberate act to hide where the campaign contributions actually came from. From the Dallas Morning News:

“Because of the way Perry's campaign reported the contribution, the public
had no way to see the sources of the contributions to the governors association
that made it to Perry's campaign.”

Perry spokesman unleashed all sorts of bile and venom, saying it’s all because Perry wouldn’t give Chris Bell a contract. They also implied that he is launching the lawsuit because Bell needs the money.

That’s it? Sour grapes and he needs the money?

I think this is brilliant. It’s obvious that the ethics standards and safeguards we have in place in this state aren’t working or this stuff would have stopped a long time ago. Yes, the Texas Ethics Commission has fined all sorts of state politicians for ethics violations, but has the tide been turned? Hardly. TEC fines are mere slaps on the wrist. If we are going to clean up this kleptocracy known as Texas state government, we have to hit them, hit them hard, and hit them where it hurts.

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