A Retrospective Decade
Top 10 reasons to wonder why anyone votes for Rick Perry
2001: GOVERNOR NO In his first year, Perry set a new record, vetoing 82 bills in one session without having bothered first to consult with lawmakers.
2002: THE ROAD EMPEROR Perry's imperial Trans-Texas Corridor promised 4,000 miles of private, tolled highway; the plan was eventually abandoned, but not before unifying small-government Libertarians and environmentalists against the bulldozers' best friend.
2003: MEET OR DIE Perry called three consecutive special Lege sessions to pass the Republican-friendly congressional redistricting map beloved by the gov and since-convicted felon Tom DeLay.
2004: I CAN'T HEAR YOU! Perry failed to respond to Cameron Todd Willingham's clemency request before Willingham was executed for the murder of his children. Seven years later, Perry continues to block any investigation into the likelihood that there was no murder at all and that Texas executed an innocent man.
2005: 'ADIOS, MOFO!' Perry's famous family-values farewell – caught by a mic – to a Houston TV reporter who asked him a tough question. Stay classy, Rick.
2006: SHELL GAME BUDGETING Perry championed a business franchise tax to enable property tax cuts; the new tax failed to deliver, the cuts came anyway, and the state now faces a financial abyss.
2007: YOU'LL FEEL JUST A STING Perry proposed that all sixth-grade girls be inoculated with Gardasil, an anti-HPV vaccine manufactured by Perry campaign donor Merck. He was for compulsory medical care before he was against it.
2008: I FEEL YOUR PAIN True man-of-the-people Perry empathized with Hurricane Ike evacuees. "I absolutely understand they want to get back to their homes," he said. "I'd like to get back to the mansion."
2009: STATE'S RIGHTS BAIT AND SWITCH After making a grand stand against $555 million in federal money that would have helped the unemployed, Perry happily but quietly accepted another $16 billion in federal stimulus cash.
2010: IT WAS HIM OR ME Just in time to burnish his gun-nut credentials, Perry claimed he got into a shoot-out with a coyote near his $10,000-a-month rental mansion – non habeas coyote corpus.