Ethics Explorer A Guide to the Financial Interests of Elected Officials

Sources of Income

  • Perry has served as governor since December 2000.

  • He owns a broad array of publicly traded stocks, valued by the Tribune in 2011 to be worth between $132,000 and $340,000.

  • Other investments include municipal bonds and privately held companies.

  • He was elected lieutenant governor in 1998.

  • He was elected agriculture commissioner in 1990.

  • He was elected a state representative in 1984 and served three terms.

  • He worked in the cotton farming business with his father.

Property

No properties listed

Analysis

  • In 2011, Perry was fined $1,500 by the Ethics Commission for failing to properly disclose income from rental property in personal financial statements filed in 2008 and 2009. The Ethics Commission records two violations because the same omissions occurred in two separate years. The total undisclosed income from both reports was between $7,000 and $29,995. Perry corrected his filings and issued the following explanation: "We inadvertently omitted rental income and the mortgage information related to our house in College Station."

  • Perry owned a stake in MKS Natural Gas Company, a firm founded by the late Ric Williamson, Perry's former Transportation Commission Chairman, according to financial disclosures. The company, which controls about $3.4 million in mineral rights in the Barnett Shale region, according to the Daily Beast, is now owned by Williamson's widow, Mary Ann Williamson. She was appointed by Perry as chairwoman of the Texas Lottery Commission. Perry sold his interest in the company for an amount greater than $25,000, according to his 2011 personal financial statement.

  • Critics have said Perry presides over a "pay-to-play" culture, with lobbyists such as his longtime friend Mike Toomey getting preferential treatment. Toomey has profited from Perry’s power, winning $2 billion in state government contracts since 2008, a joint analysis by The Texas Tribune and The New York Times found. Toomey in turn has helped funnel donations into groups that have worked to bolster Perry's legislative majorities and his re-election efforts. Perry aides say political contributions play no role in his policy decisions.

  • Critics took issue with a real estate deal in which Perry acquired a lucrative piece of property with the help of Sen. Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay. Perry later sold the Horseshoe Bay property for a profit of $824,000.

  • To review Perry's tax returns between 1987 and 2010, click here