Dirty deals, done dirt cheap

So I missed this DMN story from the weekend about Rick Perry’s excellent fortune in the real estate market.

Three years after Gov. Rick Perry’s biggest real estate score, questions persist about whether the governor benefited from favoritism, backroom dealing and influence-buying.

The Dallas Morning News found evidence that Perry’s investment was enhanced by a series of professional courtesies and personal favors from friends, campaign donors and the head of a Texas family with a rich history of political power-brokering.

Together they may have enriched Perry by almost $500,000, according to an independent real estate appraisal commissioned by The News.

BOR breaks it down into small, easy pieces. Short version: It’s good to be the king. It’s even better when your business partner in the deal forgets to disclose it, as required by law.

State Sen. Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay, didn’t list his September 2000 acquisition of the waterfront lot on Lake Lyndon B. Johnson in the disclosure form he filed for that year. He also didn’t note a year later the fact that Perry purchased the property from him in 2001, the documents show.

State law requires elected officials such as Fraser, a friend and political ally of the governor, to describe “any and all” interests they or their families have in real property. They also must disclose any proceeds they received when those interests are sold. Failure to file the forms on time can result in civil penalties levied by the commission, though Fraser will not face enforcement because the commission doesn’t have the authority to levy fines for a 10-year-old violation.

Fraser, a wealthy investor, listed numerous stock holdings and other financial information on the 52-page filing but omitted the land deal. He was traveling out of the state on Wednesday and was unavailable for comment, said his chief of staff, Janice McCoy, who declined to discuss the issue.

Andy Wilson, a research associate for campaign finance issues at the watchdog group Public Citizen Texas, said the senator’s failure to correctly file the forms is no small matter. “The public’s right to know on this is absolute,” Wilson said. “Considering that, for most Texans, their homes are the most important thing that they own, I’m surprised that someone would forget to put this on a financial disclosure — especially waterfront property on Horseshoe Bay.”

I dunno, you’d think that buying and selling a house is the sort of thing you might remember doing. Unless of course there was something about it that you didn’t want people to know about.

Turns out that’s not the only questionable dealing Perry has done. The good folks at the Back to Basics PAC have uncovered a few more, which they detail at their latest website, RicksDirtyDeals.com. From their press release:

Today, Back to Basics PAC launched a new website highlighting a few of the suspicious and murky land deals that have put hundreds of thousands of dollars in Rick Perry’s pockets.

Rick Perry said, “The idea that you’re supposed to go get an ethics report when you buy a piece of property might be a bit cumbersome for elected officials.”

We disagree, Governor. Back to Basics PAC believes Texans have a right to know about Perry’s dirty deals, and we will continue doing everything we can to make sure all Texas voters hear about his unethical and corrupt behavior.

Visitors can watch Perry play “Let’s Make a Deal” at www.RicksDirtyDeals.com.

Here’s the source for that “cumbersome” quote. Hey, if it’s too much trouble to report that kind of thing, there’s always life in the private sector, where you can use your cronies to get as rich as you want without anyone caring too much about it.

By the way, that Ricks Dirty Deals site pays homage to that classic game show “Let’s Make A Deal”. For those of you who are too young to remember the 1970s, here’s a short clip to give you a feel for it:

Is it just me or does anyone else think that Monte Hall’s hair is a primordial ancestor of Rick Perry’s? Among the many charms of this show was the silly costumes the studio audience members wore to get Hall’s attention – I’ve been picturing Troy Fraser and Mike Toomey in fright wigs and clown shoes as a result of all this – and vintage 70’s muscle cars, of the kind they don’t make any more. Those were the days, my friends.

Finally, as an aficionado of 70s-era game shows, I recognize the theme music they’re using on www.RicksDirtyDeals.com – not from “Let’s Make A Deal”; clearly the Back to Basics folks are too young for this – but for the life of me I can’t place it, and it’s driving me crazy. A little help here, please? Thanks.

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7 Responses to Dirty deals, done dirt cheap

  1. Linkmeister says:

    The song is by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, but I can’t instantly remember its title.

  2. Martha Griffin says:

    I think it’s The Dating Game. Spanish Flea?

  3. Martha wins the prize. Noelle from Back To Basics confirmed that’s what it was. Now I’m imagining Rick Perry as Bachelor #1, and wishing I hadn’t.

  4. Pingback: Tweets that mention Dirty deals, done dirt cheap – Off the Kuff -- Topsy.com

  5. David Jennings says:

    How does Kuff “miss” a story that’s been around for years? Methinks he doesn’t but it might be an opportune time to talk about it. 😉

    This too shall pass because it doesn’t even come close to Bill White’s transgressions.

  6. Linkmeister says:

    Alpert and the TJB at YouTube playing the song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-_2QpbXMbw

  7. Martha Griffin says:

    I cannot wait to claim my prize!! I hope it is Bill White as my Governor in November.

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