The Hightower Report
'Rick the Reformer's revolving door
As the wise, old adage goes, those who live in glass houses ought not throw stones. That's the moral of today's Perry Tale, tracking the truth-impaired governor of Texas as he stumbles madly across the country in the vain of hope of being the GOP presidential nominee.
The latest Perry Tale is in the form of a campaign ad he's running. In it, he scolds members of Congress who leave office to become lobbyists. That's "a form of legal corruption," Perry piously intones. Well, he's right about that, but there's not even an iota of truth to the suggestion that he's the one to fix it. As governor, Perry's been the poster child for revolving-door corruption between his own office and corporate lobbyists.
For example, guess who is now heading the super PAC that's supporting Perry's White House bid? Mike Toomey, who went from being a state legislator to being a highly paid tassel-toed corporate lobbyist in Texas. Then, Toomey the lobbyist spun back through that revolving door of corruption to become Gov. Perry's very own chief of staff. Then – whoop, whoop, whoop – he spun out again to become an even higher-paid lobbyist, using his ties to Perry to get government favors for his corporate clients.
Indeed, several of Perry's top staffers have been "revolvers," coming to his office directly from the lobbying corps or leaving the Governor's Office to go into corporate lobbying – or both. And while he's now pointing his finger of shame at Washington's revolving door, he's hush-hush about the fact that Texas has had more lawmakers-turned-lobbyists than any other state. Yet, in his 11 years as governor, he never made a peep of protest about their corruption.
No matter what Perry's campaign ads say, "Rick the Reformer" is to governmental ethics what Newt Gingrich is to marital fidelity.
For more information on Jim Hightower's work – and to subscribe to his award-winning monthly newsletter, "The Hightower Lowdown" – visit www.jimhightower.com. You can hear his radio commentaries on KOOP Radio 91.7FM, weekdays at 10:58am and 12:58pm.