Wednesday, November 02, 2011

How Did Rick Perry Get Rich?

Rick Perry is a multimillionaire. That is surprising financial success for someone not born to money who has spent his entire working life as a politician.
Wherever you find a crooked politician, you'll find a crooked businessman behind him. ~ Harry Truman
Perry claims he made his millions on shrewd land transactions done in his spare time while a Texas Agriculture Commissioner and governor.

That assumes that Perry is capable of a shrewd thought (unlikely, see Perry decidedly unshrewd tax plan). More likely, Perry cooked up several buy low/sell high land deals with rich businessmen wanting favors from him. I've seen it before.
  • One politician I know created a non-profit foundation to attract large corporate donations then hired his family at six-figure salaries to manage the foundation. Perfectly legal.
  • Another, a San Diego City Councilman from years ago, bought a new home in an upscale neighborhood for half what others were paying. He claimed he "negotiated a good deal," although ever after whenever that developer had a project before the City Council that politician was it biggest advocate. I worked on a campaign against this guy and we never used this story because it wouldn't be an effective attack. We also didn't use that fact he was married and separated because he had been caught banging his chief-of-staff in his private office after hours (couldn't prove it, no pictures). 
The fact is that Rick Perry got rich by selling his services and successfully laundered the bribes as "land transactions." The other fact is this is so common most voters don't care.
The way my luck is running, if I were a politician I would be an honest man. ~ Rodney Dangerfield

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