More On The Corporatization Of Your Government

Posted in Cronyism, Around The State at 12:39 am by wcnews

DMN has the story on Gov. Perry’s TexasOne “economic development initiative” that some call a “glorified slush fund”, With private funds, governor entertains, entices companies to Texas.

Bringing big business to Texas means spending big bucks.

Skybox seats at the Super Bowl and the NBA All-Star Game. First-class flights and hotel suites at the Ritz Carlton and the Four Seasons. And $15,000 worth of personalized cowboy boots and belt buckles, according to a Dallas Morning News analysis of top-dollar spending habits at TexasOne, Gov. Rick Perry’s nonprofit economic development initiative.

Critics call the organization a glorified slush fund that wines and dines wealthy executives to persuade them to bring companies and jobs to Texas. And while it’s funded by private donations and millions in corporate membership fees, some ethics watchdogs fear TexasOne allows corporations, which can’t legally donate campaign funds, to buy face time at such events with the governor, his aides and others who make the state’s economic development decisions, while getting a hearty tax write-off.

“What they’re getting is extraordinary access to the governor by donating to a nonprofit,” said Tom “Smitty” Smith, director of the Texas office of Public Citizen, a consumer advocacy group. “This is one of the new loopholes emerging as a way corporations can wield influence.”

State officials argue it’s par for the course when you’re marketing the state’s business climate to some of the nation’s biggest or most promising companies. Clinching a deal often means courting executives with expensive attractions and luxury accommodations, they say, and giving them a chance to talk shop with Texas’ best salesman – the governor.

TexasOne also gave our news Secretary of State, Phil Wilson an $80,000 check on the way out the door, Board voted to reward manager as he became secretary of state.

On the same June day Gov. Rick Perry named him Texas secretary of state, Phil Wilson received an $80,000 check from TexasOne – the nonprofit economic development organization that he managed as the governor’s deputy chief of staff.

That’s in addition to the tens of thousands of dollars Mr. Wilson has accepted in monthly salary supplements from the group, Mr. Perry’s key business recruitment initiative, since 2004.

That’s a big chunk of corporate money he’s been making over the years.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.