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It’s cronies all the way down

Is there anything Rick Perry does that isn’t for the benefit of himself and his cronies?

When Gov. Rick Perry announces that a company will get money from the Texas Emerging Technology Fund, he often describes it as an important investment in the state’s future.

Behind the scenes, some of the governor’s biggest political supporters have been making investments of their own – in Perry and in companies getting money from the tech fund.

An investigation by The Dallas Morning News found that more than $16 million from the Emerging Technology Fund has been awarded to companies with investors or officers who are large campaign donors to Perry.


The governor’s office administers the tech fund, and the governor must approve each award – a system that most other states with tech funds avoid to guard against political influence.

That’s the key bit right there. This process is done out of sight of the public, and in a way that just about guarantees at least the appearance of conflicts of interest. Other states keep the Governor out of it precisely to avoid these problems. But of course our Emerging Technology Fund, which was created through Perry’s influence in 2005, doesn’t work that way. And so his buddies get the benefit of your tax dollars, with no oversight and no review to see if we’re getting any value for our investment. As long as Rick Perry is in office, that’s the way things will be.

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