Lawsuit reveals contradictory stories about an illicit $1 million campaign contribution from “Swift Boat” funder
By Mark Hertsgaar
“Follow the money” is an elementary rule for understanding American politics, and in the case of Texas Gov. Rick Perry, the money trail leads to a case of apparent money laundering that involves his Republican presidential rival Mitt Romney and a $1 million contribution from the same Texas tycoon who bankrolled the “Swift Boat” attacks against the 2004 Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. John Kerry.
Bobby Jack “Bob” Perry, a residential construction magnate in Houston, is not related to Rick Perry by blood, only money. But there has been lots of that. As with the Swift Boaters to whom he donated $4.45 million, Bob Perry ranks as the single largest donor to Rick Perry during the latter’s 10 years as governor of Texas, according to official figures tabulated and analyzed by Texans for Public Justice, a nonprofit watchdog group in the state capital of Austin.
Bob Perry contributed $2,531,799 directly to Rick Perry from January 2001 to July 2011, TPJ reports in “Crony Capitalism: The Republican Governors Association in the Perry Years.” That puts him well ahead of such other notable donors as Koch Industries, the energy conglomerate owned by David and Charles Koch, the chief funders of the Tea Party, and Contran Corp., whose efforts to establish a nuclear waste dump in Texas have succeeded thanks to regulators appointed by Perry. (As Justin Elliott reported this week, Perry is also a leading funder of Karl Rove’s American Crossroads political action committee.) READ MORE