Some of You Tea Party Folk Think Perry’s the Answer?

Looks Tough Firing Blanks

If you’re a Tea Party member, or you have significant sympathies with them, I’d caution you against climbing aboard Rick Perry’s TransTexasCatastrophe.  The Media is doing everything possible to paint this guy as a bronc-busting, cattle-roping, Texan, but in truth, there are more than a few things you ought to know about him.   He’s no friend to individual rights, except in an election season, and he’s not really the trend-setter he’d have you believe.  His record on jobs isn’t actually so swift as he’d have you believe, and he’s got less in common with the average Texan than he does with the Wall Street types with whom he prefers to consort.  He’s no friend of Main Street, and he’s certainly no friend to real entrepreneurs, and for all his posturing as one of us, he isn’t, and it’s been quite plain.  Those of you from outside Texas can be forgiven for mistaking Perry for a conservative.  It’s assumed because he’s a Republican, and he’s from Texas, he must be. Let me now explain a bit of why this isn’t the case.

Friday I heard the increasingly estimable Mark Davis claim that you shouldn’t mind that Perry converted from the Democrat Party to the Republican Party because, as he points out, Ronald Reagan was once a Democrat too.  Of course, this is a lie by omission, because what Davis doesn’t mention is that it was a long stretch of years between Reagan’s conversion and his arrival in California electoral politics.  This isn’t the case with Rick Perry.  He was Al Gore’s Texas Campaign Manager in 1988, and following the loss, immediately reversed course and ran as a Republican.  I don’t know about you, but despite Davis’ rather disingenuous interpretation of Reagan’s conversion, painting it as just alike, I’m inclined to believe he left some details out intentionally.

Rick Perry has been a regular guest on Davis’ show on WBAP in the D/FW area for years, and to consider Davis anything like an objective or unbiased voice in this stretches all credulity.  Frankly, I hope Limbaugh finds somebody else to be a regular fill in, because Davis is clearly in the tank for Perry, and it runs against Limbaugh’s general premise that he will take no position in a Republican primary, except in general terms on behalf of conservatism.

You may have heard some of Perry’s more recent statements about conditions along the Texas border with Mexico, and you might be inclined to believe Mr. Perry thinks more should be done.  He even tried to repair his credibility on the issue by being broadcast on a live feed from a base of operations near the border for an interview on Greta Van Susteren’s show.   If you believe that stage-managed bit of theater, I’m inclined to let you know right now that he’s relatively no more conservative in real terms than George Bush, which is to say on the matter of his statist, globalist reflexes, he’s no conservative at all.  I’d hate it if anybody else broke the news to you, because I believe bad news is best delivered by a friend.  Check out the following video for where Rick Perry really stands on issues of the border:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UwD84nKA5y0]

I realize there’s a tendency to overstate things in the name of supporting one’s position, but it’s really no exaggeration to suggest that Perry isn’t really very close in his thinking to Tea Party Members, not when measured against what he’s been saying since October 2010, but in what he has said all along throughout his career.  He’s taken money and support from La Raza, ACORN, and other groups that advocate spending tax-payer dollars for dubious programs and projects.

He’s also a crony-capitalist.  If you’re like me, that’s simply something you can’t abide.  I love the free market, but Governor Perry’s revolving door between his staff and corporate boardrooms is a well-established phenomenon, and frankly, if you buy into his nonsense, he’s going to wind up exploiting your good intentions too.  Companies like Merck and Cintra are more his style, and his staff has reflected this over the years of his gubernatorial reign.

You’ve undoubtedly heard about the Gardasil flap, and likely been willing to dismiss it as a fluke.  That would be a serious and potentially tragic mistake.  The most ridiculously egregious thing he may have done in his tenure as Governor of Texas was the proposed TransTexas Corridor.  You may have heard of it, but may not have any details, so let me expound on that for a moment or two.  This was the project that first enlightened me to Perry’s big government answers to all things.  The upshot is this:  It was to be a vast network of toll roads, but more, it would have included some form of light and heavy rail, pipelines, and all manner of things.  On the surface, this might sound attractive, but as with any such project, the devil lies in the details.

The plan included 4400 linear miles of a toll road network, running parallel in many cases to existing Highways and Interstates already in existence.  The corridor’s right of way was to be a full 1/4 mile wide.  Simple math tells you that even ignoring junctions and interchanges, this would have consumed 1100 square miles of Texas’ territory.  You might argue that while it’s a lot of land, Texas is a big state.  That’s all well and good if the state already owns the land, but since it doesn’t, it was going to acquire it by use of eminent domain. Again, you might argue that building roads is one function for which eminent domain ought to apply, but once you look at the rules to be applied to this project, you might well conclude otherwise. Rather than basing their offers to property owners on free market value, they instead intended to limit it to “fair market value” as determined by a panel of cronies they would gin up for the chore.

This project actually proposed bisecting county and farm roads, and even property, dead-ending what are fairly important thoroughfares for the communities they serve.  More, it would have bisected school districts and even towns along its path.  Again, you might think that impossible until you understand that this was to be a closed system with few exits or on-ramps, only permitting access at major Highway and Interstate junctions.  This threatened to destroy many rural communities, and they rose up against it.  Once the details became clear to the public, it was quickly sent back for re-work, and eventually dumped.

Here were the things they didn’t advertise, but you need to know. It was supposed to be operate by a concessionaire, Cintra, for a period of 50 years.  It was going to employ tolls of roughly $0.26 per mile.  A geographical understanding of the scale of Texas immediately prompts the question: “Who on Earth would voluntarily pay to enter a closed-system roadway at that cost over the huge distances in Texas, when a free parallel alternative is just a few miles away in the form of an Interstate, or Highway?”  Good question, and the answer is: Almost nobody.  So how did they intend to make this work?  In 2004,TxDOT applied to the USDOT for a waiver so that they could charge a toll on the existing I-35.  The first leg of the proposed TTC system was called TTC-35, the leg that would run from Laredo to an undetermined point on the Oklahoma border.  In other words, it was a corridor to nowhere, but in order to get you to use it, they were going to toll the free Interstate and let it fall into disrepair.

Opponents at the time argued that the existing I-35 corridor could be widened, and this was met with a dismissive rejection by Perry’s Transportation Commission.  They said it couldn’t be done in a cost-efficient way.  Your confusion at this statement matches that of the average Texan who realizes that this couldn’t possibly be true. How hard is it to add a few lanes here and there?  Yes, you’ll have some eminent domain issues, but nothing on the scale of what the TTC proposed.

They also promised it would promote economic development, but what they kept concealed for a while, until they no longer could do so under the law, was that because it was a closed system, Cintra, the corporation from Spain that would build and operate it, would also have exclusive rights to all concessions along its length. More, due to the limitations on exits and on-ramps, it could never be shown how this colossal highway system would provide any sort of economic boon to anybody, because you wouldn’t be able to access most smaller towns from along its length.  I’m sure you’ll agree with me that the fact that one of Perry’s top staffers was a former Cintra VP, and the fact that one of his own staffers had gone on to work for Cintra had absolutely nothing to do with Perry’s TTC plans. Right?

Ladies and gentlemen, if you’ve fallen prey to the hype about Perry, you may be forgiven, particularly if you’re not from Texas. You’re not aware, as so many here, that Perry isn’t the fellow he’s now being portrayed to be.  He’s not a friend to the Tea Party, despite his seeming 2010 conversion, because much like his conversion in 1989, this conversion also seems to be one of convenience.  I will assure you, this is most definitely the case.

Perry likes to put on an act about his conservative credentials, and his sympathies with the Tea Party, but if the truth is told, he’s no more one of us than the man in the Moon.  You might want to let your fellow conservatives and Tea Party patriots know it too: We’re being hustled again.

Previous Posts on Perry:
Rick Perry Shows His True Nature
Why Rick Perry Isn’t Suited to Be President

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  • Brian

    Perry is only 'conservative' when convenient. While he's been an above average governor, he's not a movement conservative and not capable of cleaning up the mess after Obama.

    I worked for Perry: I pushed voter cards for him in Beaumont and Houston back in 1990. He's done a fair job at maintaining the status quo in Texas. He kept the growth of the number of state employees a little under population growth over 10 years.

    Meanwhile, he amassed powers in the office of governor never intended by the Texas founders.

    His record has nothing to suggest he'll reduce the size of government, cut costs, eliminate programs, or return power to the states and people.

    At the federal level, we can't afford the status quo in the size or power of government. We need somebody who will reliably cut government and devolve power back to where it belongs. Only one candidate/potential candidate has actually ever reduced the size of government.

    • http://conservativeapologist.com Steve Yahn

      And who is the one candidate/potential candidate to whom you refer? I would also like to know who in the field of GOP candidates you think is more sympathetic to the tea party movevement?

      • http://www.markamerica.com MarkAmerica

        Hi Steve! I would say that Sarah Palin would fit that criteria. I might be inclined to say Bachmann also. The problem is that Bachmann has a number of issues regarding her substance, and Palin hasn't entered the race as yet. Many observers think that Palin probably will enter within the next 30 days or so. You can bet that when she does, it's going to be a hoot, because in truth, she's the only free-market person under consideration who isn't involved in crony capitalism and the usual parade of globalist ideas, except Ron Paul, and in truth, much as I like Dr. Paul, his foreign policy prescriptions will ultimately lead to a disaster for our country. I can't support that, even if I do support his economic views. I've been a Texan since before "Maw Richards." I'm not inclined to think the state has produced even a single good governor in all those years. The problem with Perry is that he and his ilk are part of the problem, and the only thing that has restrained his statist reflexes is the more conservative Texas legislature. Maybe, as Tammy Bruce argues, we could elect the Texas Legislature president instead? Thanks! Mark

      • Brian

        Actually, in fairness there were two governors who actually cut their state's budgets, reduced the state payroll, reduced state debt, and willingly ceded power back to the people and local authorities.

        As much as his position on social issues and foreign policy are unlikely to help him gain any traction, the fact is Gary Johnson dramatically reduced the size and power of government in New Mexico.

        Sarah Palin is who I was referring to as a governor who actually did in Alaska what we desperately need done in DC.

        Mark and I might disagree on Perry as governor, but it is precisely his big government by fiat approach which should alarm those in the Tea Party. Mark's analysis of the TTC in the article is spot on and provides insight into his real philosophy. Faced with an issue or challenge, Perry's knee-jerk reaction is another government program managed by his loyal army of appointees.

        FWIW, I remember Bill Clements as governor, Mark White, and then Bill Clements again, before Ma Richards.

        • http://www.markamerica.com MarkAmerica

          Brian, reasonable people can disagree and remain friends! ;-) Thing is this, and it goes to what you've said about Perry's proclivity for big government solutions: We agree entirely on the meat of this one. As for your reference to Palin and Johnson as the only ones to actually cut government spending, it seems you've done your homework. You're absolutely correct, and I think what Palin could do in DC is EXACTLY what needs to be done. Thanks! Mark

      • mistert1950

        Steve you sound like you vote without investigating what each candidate has done and not what they say; if I am wrong, then your question is one of being ill-informed. Don't buy into what the press, including Mark, tells you but instead look at the facts yourself. Can you dispute anything that Mark has said? Then, show us! Our country is rapidly sinking and this next election will either be one where it is fatal, by selecting a contradictory
        candidate or an election where our country can be saved by selecting a candidate who does what they say.I believed Obama would be transparent because he told me. but like most candidates, it was a ploy to be elected. We can't afford any more ploys & if this video is a lie, then show me the truth. Tell how granting lower tuition to illegal immigrants, supporting Obama's immigration policy & accepting billions in
        stimulus funds conducive to the Tea Party moment. If these are the policies that my Tea Party supports, then I have joined
        a movement that I am most against: more government, lax laws, and no responsibility, and I hereby offer my resignation to helping vocally & monitarily the Tea Party.

  • AndreaB

    Great post Mark! My family and I are Tea Party and we don't understand how some can see Perry as Tea Party material. My father and I always talk politics and we both see Perry as nothin more than a crony capitalist RINO. The border thing alone should be a big reason for Tea Party to not back him. Mark Davis had never liked Palin from what I remember and he's a bit off on Reagan. Reagan left the Democratic party because it started to become something he couldn't recognize. The party left him so he became a Republican and ran for president to serve the people. Perry was a Democrat and became a Republican because the tide was turning in Texas back then. He changed because if was good for his political career and it seems as though he serves himself the the donors that help him get elected.

    Thanks for all you do
    Andrea B

    • Cynthia

      Perry is definitely coming out clearly RINO and self serving to
      his political career. He is NOT interested in the American people
      that we (my family) can tell. Sarah Palin is sooo needed for this
      country to heal. Question is, has the media done her too much
      harm?

  • http://rebintexas.wordpress.com RebinTexas

    Excellent article Mark – I will share it on Tea Party FB pages and elsewhere too….including your comments just above to Steve. Since I've worked to school myself, plus read most all of your previous articles, I didn't learn much – yet love how well you lay things out.

    Thanks for such good stuff!!
    Reb

  • http://twitter.com/Ax_D_WhiteMan Ax D WhiteMan (@Ax_D

    Very well done. The truth is, Perry is as much a "Statist" as Obama; he simply prefers that Tyranny be administered from the State and local level, rather than the Federal level. Contrary to what Perry preaches, Texas has moved along a similar path as California, with gradually diminished liberties and a growing State Gov. – we've just been going quite a bit slower. Believe me, Texas was a much better place "before Perry" rather than after. http://bit.ly/qkbcqk

  • http://iusbvision.wordpress.com/ iusbvision

    Mark. I know that you mean well and you have good intentions, but I am going to blast you pretty hard here for some good reasons. There are several parts that are wide open to critique but in the name of brevity I am going to stick to two basic points.

    First of all, name me a state that does not use eminent domain to build roads and highways.

    Second, that video you posted is a part of an orchestrated smear campaign that is a doctored edit job that is no different than the one that Alan Grayson in Florida used against his GOP opponent in 2010.

    Here is what Rick Perry said in his thought:

    [Sorry, the video would not fit in the comments section here.]

    Hmm that sorta changed everything. Look at what they left out.

    What Rick Perry said right AFTER those clips about the wall – He said that a wall isn't good enough and will give a false sense of security. Perry calls for an electronic frontier, predator drones, and he wants the military to do border enforcement and said that it can be good training for them. Fake "patriot" web sites and such are popping up all over hoping to dupe people with these fake videos and lies.

    Perry is on the record asking for this, demanding it repeatedly, and has kept every promise about increasing state spending for border enforcement.

    But there is only so much a governor can do. There is a real double standard when it comes to Perry on the border. Jan Brewer has whole sections of her border in AZ ceded to the cartels, but is she blamed for that??

    Mark, you should have double checked that video first BEFORE posting it. When you see a high production video like that which is just so perfectly slick and targets TEA Party sensitivities so perfectly,. that should raise an alarm. Someone with a budget is making all sorts of highly edited and doctored Rick Perry videos and putting them out.

    So like I said Mark, I think that you are a good guy, but this election is serious business so the time for amateur mistakes like not fact checking something that is just "too scrumptious" are over.

    • http://www.markamerica.com MarkAmerica

      First of all, you're not blasting me. Let's start with your first assertion:

      "First of all, name me a state that does not use eminent domain to build roads and highways. "

      I said as much in my own post. Read more closely. I also said that under the TTC plan, Perry intended to use "fair market value"(as decided by government) rather than "free market value"(as determined by free negotiations.) Do you understand the difference? I realize that from time to time, eminent domain is used. I don't think it's actually proper in most cases, but assuming it is, there should be no question that the properties involved ought to be purchased at free market value, and not at some value to be determined by the state and its cronies. Okay?

      I was not able to let your video be posted due to the constraints of the comment section. Feel free to come back and put a link up. I deleted it in editing the post without saving the link. Apologies.

      Having said that, the video does nothing to change my opinion. Rick Perry's actions, or rather, inactions on the border have been consistent until the last year or so as he sought re-election to governor, and presumably, prepared to run for higher office. Now, that said, do I believe people slap together misleading youtube videos? Sure. Do I believe that was the case here? No.

      The election is indeed a serious business, which is why I won't cede anything to those who shill for RINOs whether they have a drawl, or not.

      • http://trishwalker.wordpress.com trishwalker

        Amen, and amen. I have posted your article on my Facebook page for all my red-blooded, but very confused, Republican relatives. They try, they really do, but they don't get my staunch opposition to this guy.

        Rick Perry is a scary globalist … having said that, I would take him over Obama, though there isn't much difference in the end.

  • http://iusbvision.wordpress.com/ iusbvision

    video

    Thank you for your timely response. Here is the video again.

    I know very well about how wordpress commenting works as my blog gets 40,000 hits a month.

    Mark, you have made my point, name me a state that does eminent domain using the criteria you have specified. It is a prescription for bias, p[laying favorites and for unequal treatment. The state has a set of rules and a process for eminent domain set in law by the legislature. Now when the state does not follow those rules in good faith, which does happen from time to time, then you have a case, to blast Perry as a "rino" for using the same process that pretty much every state uses is unfair. Ultimately this is small potatoes. Lets get to the video.

    While nothing in the more complete unchopped video I posted and you deleted changes your opinion, it does change the context and meaning of Perry's spoken thought dramatically.

    To go from "Perry is am open borders guy who opposes a fence" – to – Perry saying that a fence is not good enough and we need an electronic frontier, predator drones, and the military patrolling the border; are two radically different things and are about as different as different can be and any person with even a residue of honesty would have to admit that.

    • http://www.markamerica.com MarkAmerica

      Again, it doesn't fit the style sheet for my comment section. My comment column is too narrow and it will mess up the layout. Also, I'm glad to know you've been at this a while. I've been at it 41 days and have approximately 41000 page views, so gee, imagine that.

      No, you made my point. The fact that nearly every state does something doesn't mean it should be done, does it? That argument is worse than that of a twelve year old: "He did it TOO."

      No, you see, one piece of video doesn't tell the story. Rick Perry's record pre-2010 is pretty clear. When Texas legislators began to talk about a bill to mimic AZ's 1070, Perry quickly came out an d quashed it. Do you deny this? Yes or no?

      Part of your problem is that you're relying solely on what Perry has said since he first began entertaining a white house run, and when he saw a strong primary challenge for his office in 2010. You need to drop all the way back to the beginning. I am exercising extreme patience here. Don't test it. I haven't insulted you, and if you wish to have another comment posted, I'd ask you to refrain from the same.

      Thanks.

    • http://www.markamerica.com MarkAmerica

      By the way, how do you answer the whole in-state tuition for illegals issue? Just curious…

    • Brian

      Just on the TTC portion, I think there is also a difference in the scope. TTC was going to take massive amounts of land. Frequently, the use of ED is to widen existing roads. Most people recognize there isn't a lot of options. The roads need to be widened and building an alternative route is cost-prohibitive and damages the corridor of businesses even more than widening.

      New interstates are relatively rare. One, which I use frequently, is the toll road 45/130 running from Buda to Georgetown to the east of Austin. Despite the disaster that is I-35 going through Austin, toll 45/130 is hardly used, it's almost a mile wide. It's great for me, but what about the land owners who lost existing road access, had their farmland divided, and I guarantee they received far less than real market value.

      An argument can be made Toll 45/130 was logical given Austin's growth (gee, what would cause Austin to grow so fast over the last 20 years? I wonder, government?) to create an alternative to I-35 through Travis County.

      What is the logic for parallel roads along I-10, I-45, and other interstates in the middle of nowhere? What is the logic for making an existing gas-tax paid for I-35 from Laredo to San Antonio a toll road? I-35 in South Texas is properly sized and well maintained.

      Sorry, that is just a gratuitous grab, unjustified, and at the expense of property owners and taxpayers for a boondoggle.

      You might be able to pick apart some details in the minutiae, but the over-arching reality is Perry is a big government guy.

      I maintain Perry's been an above average governor, just like 24 other sitting governors. He is not the right answer for what ails us in DC, because he's never reversed the encroachment of government, ceded powers, eliminated agencies, or cut the state payroll.

      • http://trishwalker.wordpress.com trishwalker

        I agree with Brian, but saying someone is an "above average governor," is not saying much at all about the person. It might even be an insult.
        :)

  • http://therightaintwrong.wordpress.com/ writerchick

    Thanks for an excellent post. I've known of his rino-ism before and have been collecting info on him, to warn others. I've noticed too for all the ballyhoo about his great poll numbers that in the three weeks since he's announced he drops a couple of points. I think the public is getting wise to him. Fingers crossed.

    I think I'll link to this post if you don't mind?

    Writer Chick

    • http://www.markamerica.com MarkAmerica

      You may indeed! Thank you!

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  • http://gravatar.com/kilt1iron kilt1iron

    MarkAmerica —

    I do not have the techno-smarts to post videos and links, but I will forward this article to my "Patriots4Liberty " readership group!

    Continue your fine work, sir.