I presume by now that everyone has heard the rumors about Gov. Perry and the Big News that was supposed to break about his personal life Any Day Now. I never wrote anything about it because I never really believed it. Besides, if it was all true, sooner or later someone was going to take an action that couldn't be explained away.
Anyway, the Austin Chronicle did what should be done and tried to find out if there was anything to the stories. They found nothing, and they say so. That should be pretty much be that.
But do read to the bottom of the story, because despite the lack of truth to all of the bosom-heaving that was floating around, our Governor was indeed involved in scurrilous activities recently, and all of it was happening right in front of our faces.
Gov. Perry and his wife spent Presidents Day weekend in the Bahamas, accompanied by major political sponsors James and Cecelia Leininger and John and Bobbi Nau, who together have donated more than $175,000 to the governor's campaigns. Also on the trip to the Abaco Islands were Perry's political adviser Dave Carney; Chief of Staff Mike Toomey; Deputy Chief of Staff Deirdre Delisi and her husband, GOP political consultant Ted Delisi; Perry's budget director, Mike Morrissey; Texas Public Policy Foundation President Brooke Rollins and her husband, Mark; and GOP anti-tax fanatic Grover Norquist.
When public interest groups complained about the unseemliness of the governor vacationing with deep-pocketed donors, spokesman Robert Black described the cruise as a "working trip" paid for by "campaign funds" and devoted to a discussion of "public school finance." That is, during a luxury retreat in the Bahamas, the governor discussed "public school finance" with a group of wealthy right-wing activists who have done everything in their power to undermine, or even abolish, public education. But we should be reassured by the knowledge that foxes paid for the chicken feed.
UPDATE: Harvey Kronberg weighs in on the Perry rumors, and he minces no words. Full text below the More link, as this will evenetually disappear.
Like most news organizations, we here at the Quorum Report have wrestled with a relentless rumor mill over the last month and a half that has proven to be little more than an enormous distraction.
We are not going to get into all the details of ever-morphing rumors about Governor Perry, but the last six weeks make Monty Python movies seem like serious political discourse.
We break our silence because -- well frankly -- enough is enough.
This publication is as wired into the Texas political scene as well as any other, and more wired than most. We pride ourselves on our breadth of both traditional and non-traditional sources.
We have not been able to find even a scintilla of corroboration for any of the rumors. And since the rumors change every day, the matter is now simply silly.
Besides having devolved into an exercise in tedium, the ever evolving rumor is becoming insulting.
It presumes that a voracious and adversarial capitol press corps is asleep at the wheel.
This publication and this writer have never hesitated to take Governor Perry to task when we thought he was wrong. And we will do so in the future. But the Jerry Springer mentality that promotes the relentless nonsense of the last six weeks represents the worst side of politics and demeans all of us who participate.
We blew the whistle on FreePac's smear mailers two years ago. We routinely refuse to buy into the worst impulses of the worst campaigns. When we find offenders who believe that any level of dirty tricks is acceptable as long its politics, we blow the whistle. And if we knew the perps on this cycle of rumors we would do it again.
Absent some connection to the real world, it's time to put the nonsense behind us.Posted by Charles Kuffner on February 26, 2004 to Show Business for Ugly People | TrackBack