The Perry Trap

Latest News

Texas, Gateway to Havana?

Richard Whittaker, Dec. 21, 2014

Before Perry opposed Cuban thaw, his ag commissioner called for it

News Roundup: Lines, Trials, and Schools

the News Staff, Nov. 10, 2014

No Fun at Fun Fun; Rick Perry goes to court; and more

The Hightower Report

Jim Hightower, Sept. 5, 2014

Scary Perry foments fear that terrorists "could be" coming from Mexico
Gov. Rick Perry outside the Travis County courthouse last week

Perry: Welcome to the 'Lavatory'

Richard Whittaker, Aug. 29, 2014

Perry fights charges; has an "oops"

Perry's Aggressive Defense

Richard Whittaker, Aug. 22, 2014

Perry stands behind his veto

Then There's This: Suffer the Little Children

Amy Smith, July 25, 2014

Some Texas communities turn their backs as young refugees seek protection

Point Austin: Governor Oops! Again

Michael King, Feb. 1, 2013

Perry's vision of Texas rests on willful blindness

Point Austin: Can This Really Be the End?

Michael King, Dec. 28, 2012

A look forward, a look back

Point Austin: We Want Your Urine

Michael King, Nov. 23, 2012

Rick Perry's latest bright idea is pissing on Texas

Point Austin: The Devil and Gov. Perry

Michael King, Sept. 28, 2012

'Spiritual Warfare' is no substitute for the earthly obligations of government

Hightower Report

Jim Hightower, April 13, 2012

Texas' taxpayer till tapped to fund failure

Cain: 6,324 ... Perry: 2,494

Richard Whittaker, Jan. 27, 2012

Rick Perry's campaign fell hard and fast in 2012

Point Austin: Shameless

Michael King, Jan. 27, 2012

Perry's dismal campaign finds a worthy successor

Glen Maxey's Perry Tale

Michael King, Dec. 23, 2011

Glen Maxey's book recounts Perry's alleged very private life

The Hightower Report

Jim Hightower, Dec. 23, 2011

'Rick the Reformer's revolving door


Point Austin: Behind the Numbers

Michael King, March 4, 2011

Even before the swinging cuts hit, non-profits accurately predicted disaster for the state budget

Poverty Knocks

Richard Whittaker, May 29, 2010

After asking state agencies to cut 5% out of their 2010 general revenue budgets, Perry calls that the new baseline and demands another 10% cut for the next two years

A Billion Down

Richard Whittaker, May 18, 2010

So much for the Texas economic miracle: Due to lack of funds, Perry forced state agencies to cut $1.2 billion out of their approved budgets

Culture Wars

Gov. Perry:

Perry's Day of Fasting for Ballots

Richard Whittaker, June 7, 2011

The Response, Perry's bizarre day of prayer and fasting, depended on campaign pros specializing in getting out the evangelical vote

Bill of the Week: Proclamation for Days of Prayer for Rain in Texas

Richard Whittaker, April 29, 2011

Perry's declaration of a statewide day of prayer for rain was so successful that Texas went into the hottest, driest summer on record.

Perry the Censor

Richard Whittaker, April 26, 2010

How Perry's office was connected to a hate mail campaign against a play performed by students at a state university

Death Penalty

Forensic Science Commission Draws Heat

Jordan Smith, Aug. 20, 2010

Perry stands by the state Forensic Science Committee even when their flawed science puts people on death row

Perry on Willingham

Jordan Smith, Oct. 23, 2009

Even while science cast doubt on his conviction, Perry dubbed the executed Cameron Todd Willingham a "monster" and a "bad man"

Justice Can Wait

Jordan Smith, Oct. 9, 2009

Just as the Forensic Science Committee was about to review the Cameron Todd Willingham case, Perry effectively dissolves it


Perry's Fund Imbalance

Richard Whittaker, Oct. 6, 2010

How did $16 million in state subsidies go from the Texas Emerging Technology Fund to Perry donors?

If the Horseshoe Fits

Richard Whittaker, Aug. 3, 2010

The strange tale of two parcels of land, two business partners, and a $2.5 million grant to an airplane company

Enterprise Fund Carrying Too Many Ones?

Richard Whittaker, Jan. 27, 2010

Perry diverted $161.5 million from the state unemployment fund to bolster the Texas Enterprise Fund, but did it really create new jobs?


Perry Versus School Boards

Richard Whittaker, March 9, 2011

It was his state budget that cut school funds, but Perry blamed all the firings on local school boards

Perry vs. Texas Teachers

Richard Whittaker, Aug. 13, 2010

How Perry sabotaged Texas' application for federal school funds so he could score electoral points

Community Colleges Bestow Dunce Cap on Perry

Lee Nichols, July 27, 2007

Community colleges react to Perry's slashing $154 million in school funding


This inflatable coal plant provided the backdrop for a Sierra Club and Public Citizen announcement last year of a lawsuit filed against the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, now drawing ample heat from the  EPA for failing to enforce air quality laws.

EPA: Political Punching Bag or the New 'It' Agency?

Katherine Gregor, June 11, 2010

Before Perry declared war on the whole Federal government, he started with the Environmental Protection Agency, threatening to take their clean air rules to court

It's the Carbon, Stupid!

Daniel Mottola, Dec. 1, 2006

As 30 states pass climate change legislation, Perry fast-tracks coal plant permits

Rick 'N' Rita

Amy Smith, Sept. 30, 2005

A bright spot in his career: Perry opens Texas up to Hurricane Katrina evacuees

Farmer Perry

Image Over Substance

Nate Blakeslee, Oct. 30, 1998

How Perry became a friend to the pesticide industry, and how they helped him become agriculture commissioner

Off the Desk

Jan. 26, 1996

Cotton farmers in the Rio Grande valley vote to end one of Perry's pet projects - the Texas Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation - after its indiscriminate pesticide sprays almost wipes out their farms

Perry Wears Egg

Nov. 3, 1995

Texas cotton farmers blame $200 million in losses on Perry's dedication to wiping out boll weevils killed off all many natural predators and beneficial insects

Gov. Rick Perry may be new on the national stage, but he's old news in Austin. Over the nearly three decades of his political career, The Austin Chronicle has charted his rise to power. We've examined his links to big business and big donors, his indiscriminate use of the death penalty, his flirtation with every conservative movement from the Religious Right to the Tea Party, and loads more.

You'll find the best of our past coverage below, along with regular updates, as we continue report his movements and catalogue his many guises.

The Perry Trap Gallery

The Perry Trap Gallery
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Foreign Policy

Perry, Pakistan, and the Bush Revival

Richard Whittaker, July 19, 2011

A lunch date with a former dictator: Why his meeting with Pervez Musharraf raised the specter of a Neo-Con revival

Will Border Crackdown Cause Ranger Drain?

Richard Whittaker, Sept. 25, 2009

Perry sent the Texas Rangers to the border, but all it meant was less resources for rural cops

Perry and the Fine Art of Hardship

Richard Whittaker, Sept. 22, 2008

Perry compares life in a rented mansion to the plight of hurricane evacuees

Health & Reproductive Rights

Perry Gets His Ultrasound: Next Stop Courthouse

Jordan Smith, May 20, 2011

By making an intrusive, medically unnecessary pre-abortion ultrasound mandatory, Perry ensured the state would end up in court

Point Austin: Fed Up Yet?

Michael King, Nov. 12, 2010

Perry rails against Federal healthcare, even though Texas depends on DC for 61% of Medicaid funding

Point Austin: Left Unstated

Michael King, Jan. 30, 2009

A few omissions in the Gov's 2009 State of the State – like leading the nation in uninsured children


Perry's Pride: Not So Special Tally

Perry's Pride: Not So Special Tally

Richard Whittaker, July 8, 2011

Perry called the legislature back for an emergency special session, but failed to crack the whip

Show Them the Need

Richard Whittaker, June 10, 2011

With this year's state budget collapsing and unemployment rising, Perry wasted precious time on far right policies that crippled the legislature

Special Bills for a Special Session

Richard Whittaker, May 31, 2011

When lawmakers leave unfinished business, Perry calls them back to hand him new pandering policies

Lite Guv

On The Lege

April 29, 1999

Perry's decade-long quest to introduce school vouchers

Million Dollar Man

Robert Bryce, Jan. 28, 1999

How the Texas GOP's sugar daddy James Leininger became a prime Perry donor

Bittersweet Ending

Nov. 6, 1998

Riding a statewide Republican wave, Perry scrapes over the line with a 2% win to become George W. Bush's lieutenant governor

Run, Ricky, Run!

Perry: Onward and Fed Upward

Richard Whittaker, Nov. 5, 2010

How Perry started parlaying his success in the last gubernatorial election into a presidential run
Get in the Ring

Get in the Ring

Richard Whittaker, Oct. 29, 2010

Republicans talk about Perry's election success: But is he really any good as a campaigner?

The Man Who Wasn't There (If Only)

Richard Whittaker, Sept. 10, 2010

There's an easy way to avoid losing a debate: Just don't show up. That's what Perry did for the single televised debate in the 2010 gubernatorial race.


A Retrospective Decade

Richard Whittaker, Jan. 7, 2011

A decade under the influence: Ten years of scandals, oddities and bad policy decisions

Perry's Fund Imbalance

Richard Whittaker, Oct. 6, 2010

How did $16 million in state subsidies go from the Texas Emerging Technology Fund to Perry donors?

If the Horseshoe Fits

Richard Whittaker, Aug. 3, 2010

The strange tale of two parcels of land, two business partners, and a $2.5 million grant to an airplane company


Special Bills for a Special Session

Richard Whittaker, May 31, 2011

When lawmakers leave unfinished business, Perry calls them back to hand him new pandering policies
Texas Teabagging Not So Sweet

Texas Teabagging Not So Sweet

Richard Whittaker, April 16, 2009

Crowd at Perry's famous secession speech show cracks in conservative unity

16 Billion Reasons Not to Read Perry's Book

Richard Whittaker, May 26, 2010

You might have thought that Perry may say "Thanks!" for $16 billion in federal stimulus cash. Instead, he writes a book about how they're crippling states' rights