This is pretty much all you need to know about how government works around here.
Less than one month after receiving $100,000 from Houston homebuilder Bob Perry, Gov. Rick Perry (no relation to Bob - ed) named a top executive from Perry Homes to a commission implementing a new law designed to reduce lawsuits against builders.
John Krugh was appointed Sept. 8 to the Residential Construction Commission, a nine-member body charged with developing building performance standards and setting up a dispute resolution process. A homeowner would have to go through the review process before bringing a lawsuit against a builder.
Bob Perry, chief executive officer of Perry Homes, is the longtime top donor to Rick Perry. Since June 1997, when Rick Perry was agriculture commissioner planning a race for lieutenant governor, Bob Perry has contributed $580,000.
His most recent donations came on Aug. 14, when he wrote two $50,000 checks to Texans for Rick Perry, according to a campaign finance report filed with the Texas Ethics Commission.
This year, Perry Homes was a driving force behind House Bill 730. Krugh, senior vice president and corporate counsel for Perry Homes, led a task force that crafted the legislation for the Texas Association of Builders.
Kathy Walt, a spokeswoman for the governor, said Krugh was appointed because of his experience in the building industry.
Houston homeowner John Cobarruvias, who applied for the commission, said he had hoped that Perry would appoint a consumer advocate like himself. Cobarruvias, president of the Texas chapter of Homeowners Against Deficient Dwellings, said he's disappointed but not surprised at the appointments.
"We expected them to stack this commission somehow, some way," said Cobarruvias. "I look at the makeup and just don't see us having a chance of doing anything in support of the consumers."
Krugh said he asked to be appointed to the commission. He said the law's benefits are the same for consumers as they are for builders.
"It's an opportunity for disputes to be resolved in a more amicable fashion and without people having to go to court. At the same time, we're not taking away the rights of consumers to have legal action against builders," said Krugh.