Plutocracy in Action: Rick Perry's Employment Agency and McCutcheon Simplified
The rumble began with Greg Abbott's new education model, "Teach the Best and Shoot the Rest" based on Charles Murray's white nationalist writing. It became louder with Rick Perry's favorable nod to his nuclear waste cronies on Monday, his abuse of political patronage and having Texas taxpayers foot the bill for his travels related to his thinly veiled presidential aspirations.
But the "big one" came this week with the SCOTUS ruling on McCutcheon.
There's no more point in waiting for an all clear; it's a daily series of aftershocks.
Rick Perry's 12-year reign as the king of pay-to-play state appointments is no secret, but lately, it's a blatant and unashamed succession of revolving doors. Rick Perry is running an employment agency for his cohort of Perryists; his lieutenants and benefactors. They are unqualified individuals whose only marketable skill is being his friend or contributor.
The latest of unqualified appointments is Joe Weber, Perry's closest friend when he was a cheerleader at Texas A&M. Weber's last stint was as A&M's vice president for student affairs. How that qualifies him to head TxDOT is a head-scratcher.
Weber will replace Phil Wilson who is another long-time member of Perry's political patronage club. Without any engineering experience, Wilson's chief qualification for leading the $10 billion-a-year agency was his cozy relationship with the governor.
Long before TxDOT, under His Perryness' reign, Wilson's held at least a half dozen public offices, including secretary of state and personal communications director. The most blatant breach of trust occurred in 2006, when he enabled a public private partnership on wind energy. It cost taxpayers a bundle, but it enriched both Wilson and the Guv. Wilson became a lobbyist for Luminant for a cool half-million a year and Perry received campaign contributions totaling $633,575 over ten years.