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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Rick Perry Revisited

A couple weeks back, a gentleman stopped me in front of the post office and questioned me about an article I’d written about Rick Perry. He had considered voting for Perry until he read the article. Now, he had questions.

Well, we all do, and I hastened to explain that while I had strong reservations about our governor, what I considered his negative aspects no way precluded my voting either for or against him.

I was just stating facts. And I could name more issues such as the birther stuff, seceding from the U.S., and his penchant to be a bedfellows with Cintra, a Spanish-based toll-road developer/operator and Texas-based Zachry Construction

But then, you and I could take each candidate and find a list of negatives as long as your arm.

Perry’s a farm boy. He was an Eagle scout, A&M graduate, and an Air Force pilot.

He started out in politics as a democrat, but along the way switched sides. Much is made of the fact he has never lost an election, although in 2006 he won only by a plurality over Chris Bell, Carole Keeton Strayhorn, Kinky Friedman, a Libertarian candidate, and a write-in independent.

Perry polled 39 percent; Bell 29.8 percent; Strayhorn 18 percent, and Friedman 12.6 percent. The Libertarian and the write-in polled 0.6 percent.

It is interesting to note that less than 40 percent of registered voters participated in the election. So, out of approximately 10.5 million registered voters, he receive 1.7 million votes.

Put another way, he was elected by 17-18% of Texas citizens. Certainly not a majority choice. Perhaps just the lesser of six evils, huh?

He became only the third governor in state history elected by a plurality of less than 40 percent of votes cast.

Other elections, he solidly defeated his opponent.

It is true during his tenure, almost half of the new jobs in the country have been created here in our state. How much credit he should get, I don’t know. I do know he used taxpayer money to entice companies to create jobs in the state, but then, isn’t a governor supposed to take steps to help his state prosper?

Texas is a right-to-work state, meaning we’re not at the mercy of unions (although in their way, they do good). We have no state income tax nor state tax on capital gains, all choice plums for businesses looking to relocate or start up. You can’t give him credit for that. We had that before him.

This last legislative session, he tried, but failed to ban sanctuary cities-those that do not allow municipal funds or resources to be used to enforce federal immigration laws, usually by now allowing police or municipal employees to inquire about one’s immigration status. I applaud him for the effort.

Austin, Baytown, Brownsville, Channelview, Denton, Dallas, El Cenizo, Fort Worth, Houston, Katy, Laredo, League City, McAllen, Port Arthur, and San Antonio are all considered sanctuary cities. That means illegals can live there without fear of arrest and deportation while at the same time milking cities of funds designed to support legal citizens of need. Those city officials should be real proud of themselves.

In 2003, Perry managed to get tort reform, which means he put caps on non-monetary medical malpractice damages. Such legislation was instrumental in bringing more doctors into the state.

Texas has always been a litigious state, with Jefferson County having one of the most favorable environments for trial attorneys. This last session, Perry signed a ‘loser pays’ bill, which, depending on the situation, makes a losing plaintiff liable for the other party’s attorney fees.

On the flip side of this legislation is the concern that the poor will not pursue legitimate claims out of fear of losing.

He signed the voter I.D. bill, which is designed to prevent fraud at the ballot box.
Would I vote for him?

To the gentleman in front of the post office, I’ll admit I’m not sure. Besides, we’ve a long way to go. I can’t help thinking that someone who packs a .380 magnum while jogging could very well shoot himself in the foot.

The gentleman with whom I spoke is like most us, desperate to get the country going again. Many probably share his feeling when he said, ‘if the election was between Mortimer Snerd and Obama, I’d vote for Mortimer.’

What if it were between Perry and Mortimer?

You call it.

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