Few people know who Rick Perry really is. The corporate media with their lack of imagination and seeming distaste for research, are bent on simplistic stereotyping of Perry as the dumb Texas Aggie who got C’s and D’s on his college report card. But Gov. Perry is a river that runs much deeper than the shallow pictures they paint of him.
In February of 2007, Perry’s son Griffin gets a job with UBS, one of two large financial firms consulting with the governor’s office over the possible sale of the Texas lottery.
The governor’s office said that there is no connection between the two events and that Griffin Perry, 23, is a bright young economist who is pursuing a career on his own merits. ”He stands on his own two feet. And he got this job on his own,” Perry spokesman Robert Black told The Dallas Morning News. The younger Perry graduated from Vanderbilt University with an economics degree in May. He spent the summer and fall working on his father’s re-election campaign.
Karina Byrne, a UBS spokeswoman, said Griffin Perry was hired for a program in which about a dozen entry-level employees rotate through various parts of the company. The company has 11 such programs nationwide. She said the fact that his father is governor would not have weighed into the calculation. [And who on earth would think that she would say otherwise?]
Craig McDonald, director of the group Texans for Public Justice, which pushes for campaign finance changes, said the Griffin Perry hiring and its timing should raise questions. The brokering of a $14 billion lottery concession could mean tens of millions for the chosen firm.
“Hiring the governor’s son seems to be a way to enamor yourself with the man at the top,” McDonald said. He said he recognized that it’s not always easy to pick your way through opportunities when you’re related to the governor. “But he doesn’t have to work for the firm that has a lot of potential business in front of his father,” McDonald said. SOURCE
BARK! BARK! Is this really all that different from Chelsea Clinton going to work for a Wall Street Hedge fund when she graduated from college? You can bet that strings were pulled for that one as well. After all, these rich kids need to learn how to manage all the money they will inherit someday.
LOL. I’ve often joked that one of Rick Perry’s skills is that he can outdo any strong point of his opponents. For example, Debra Medina, a Tea Party Opponent who ran against Perry in 2010 for the Governor’s race, found this out first-hand. By the time Perry was through with her, the people were thinking that Perry was the Tea Party candidate and Medina was the Republican. Obama better look out or Perry will blindside him too and end up looking more liberal than Obama.
Yes, in addition to being a professional political chameleon, Rick Perry is a first class coalition builder. There was his Houston prayer rally –a perfect exposure of Perry as the good Christian to over 200,000 evangelicals. [In addition to 33,000 attendees, the entire day was live-streamed to 1,000 churches and live-streamed to over 100,000 people on the Internet. Thus, 200,000 is a conservative (pardon the pun) estimate.]
But those who like to portray Rick Perry as a narrow-minded bigot might be surprised to learn that he has more than once shown public support for the Muslim community. Now in Texas, that takes some big boots.
Get a load of this press release and you will see what I mean:
University of Texas and Aga Khan University Establish Historic Partnership
Sign Memorandum of Understanding
Saturday, April 12, 2008 • Press Release
AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry and His Highness the Aga Khan today participated in a display of unity and mutual respect at the State Capitol as the University of Texas at Austin and the Aga Khan University signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
The document establishes a partnership to solve shared challenges and achieve mutual goals. “We can achieve so much more when we work together, focusing on the common values that unite us instead of the differences that make us unique,” said Gov. Perry. “We must bridge the gap of understanding between East and West if we ever hope to experience a future of peace and prosperity.” MORE
Yes, Perry is a friend of the Aga Khan, the religious leader of the Ismailis, a sect of Shia Islam that claims a reported 15 to 20 million adherents worldwide. Sprouting from that friendship are at least two cooperation agreements between the state of Texas and Ismaili institutions, including a far-reaching program to educate Texas schoolchildren about Islam.
The Aga Khan, who claims a direct lineage to the Prophet Mohammed, controls a vast international network of business and philanthropic ventures; he is not a reclusive spiritual thinker, but rather a fabulously rich jet-setter. He has, for example, been married to two princesses. (His father was for a time married to the actress Rita Hayworth.) He reportedly owns 900 Thoroughbred race horses. And in 2010 Forbes put his net worth at $800 million. All of this has made the Aga Khan a fixture in the tabloids in the U.K., where he holds citizenship
Perry met the Aga Khan during a 2000 family trip to Paris (the Aga Khan owns a large estate, Aiglemont, north of the city), the Austin American-Statesman reported in 2008. Two years later, Perry spoke warmly at a dinner in Houston hosted by the Aga Khan. Over the years the governor attended other Ismaili events in Texas, culminating in a pair of formal agreements.
No doubt, there will be many who are surprised to learn that the “Texas Hick” has traveled abroad and spent time in Paris with exotic people like the Aga Khan. Perry, in spite of his accent is not at all the hayseed that the press paint him to be.
Note: There are ridiculous rumors on the Internet that Sydney Perry married one of the sons of Aga Khan. Totally unfounded and silly. Perry’s daughter lives in College Station in a home that her father owns. She shares it with several roommates.
So Perry has built coalitions with the Muslim Community (2.454,000), and the evangelicals (25 to 30 million voters)–anything else? Yes, it appears that he may be building a coalition with the Hispanic community of the USA–35 million voters.
Texas already has a Dream Act of sorts that allows undocumented students to pay in-state tuition provided they fulfill certain requirements of education and residency. Perry also has stated that he does not believe in a wall on the border that would divide the United States and Mexico.
The fact that Rick Perry called his Republican rivals “heartless” and used ethnically charged language to defend moderate parts of his immigration record will I’m sure sit well with Hispanics. Perry invoked race and ethnicity to defend the law that’s become known as the Texas Dream Act, saying: “The bottom line is, it doesn’t make any difference what the sound of your last name is. That is the American way.”
And finally, in regard to the Hispanic population’s attraction to Rick Perry, I attended his Prayer Meeting in Houston and I would estimate that fully one third of the attendees were Hispanic. It surprised me to the point that I commented on it to my friend because Hispanics are overwhelmingly Catholic–not evangelical.
It’s ironic to think that of the two candidates, Rick Perry may be the more liberal.