Thursday, October 21, 2010

Rick Perry Uses and Abuses Educators and Education

On Tuesday a memo penned by Michael Green, the Director of the Teacher Retirement System’s Investment Division, laid bare the way Rick Perry has used the retirement fund of Texas teachers for his own benefit. You can read it here.

It is damming in the detail it goes into, revealing how Rick Perry’s cronies and campaign contributors have directly benefited from gaining investment fees and kickbacks when the TRS invested in risky ventures.

Green writes:

“Over the last two years I’ve had the privilege to be a part of the team whose goal is to build a modern investment management organization within TRS. Over that time, however, my excitement has given way to increasing concern as relativistic ethics have taken root within parts of the senior management team as they’ve worked to gain the support and resources necessary to realize that goal. Rationalizing violations of TRS directives, policies and procedures, devaluing personal and professional ethics and the violation of state laws have become increasingly familiar.”
Senior management?

Senior management like Jim Lee, a Perry appointee who was also a chief Perry fundraiser. Jim Lee was in charge of investing billions of TRS dollars but had to step down when it was revealed that he had run up huge gambling debts in Las Vegas.

Senior management like R. David Kelly, also a current member of Perry’s campaign fundraising team.

Green writes that he was coerced into changing his decisions to decline investing in risky ventures. Ventures that ultimately trace back to Perry’s cronies.

The smoking gun is in full view. Not only is Rick Perry the guy who promotes a political agenda on the State Board of Education – degrading education standards in Texas, he is also the guy who used federal Education stimulus dollars to balance his budget. He is the guy that has presided over the highest rise in post-secondary tuition fees in Texas history.

He is now exposed as the guy who uses the hard-earned retirement money of Texas educators to benefit his campaign, his donors, and the business interests of his cronies.

Rick Perry is lower than a snake’s belly in a wagon rut.

Why a Texas teacher would cast a vote for Rick Perry is beyond me. Why anyone who has a child attending a Texas public school would vote for Rick Perry is similarly a mystery to me.

Teachers are astounded at this news. Here are several retired teachers who should rightfully be more outraged than they appear to be in the video. Sometimes teachers are too nice for their own good.

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