2012

Perry’s Donors Thrived in Texas

Maybe Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s opponents can use this to slow him down? He has received more than $37 million over the past decade from just 150 individuals and couples, and these donors have thrived during his reign in Texas. Nearly half have received government contracts, tax breaks, or appointments under Perry. B. J. "Red" McCombs, who gave Perry $400,000, is building a Formula One racetrack near Austin that the state will subsidize with $25 million each year. Perry’s second-biggest donor, Harold Simmons, has won permission from a Perry-appointed board to build a radioactive-waste-disposal site that will generate hundreds of millions of dollars. Perry’s team denies any wrongdoing, but observers note that donors have benefited far more under Perry than they did his predecessors George W. Bush and Ann Richards.