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2010: Perry On "Worst" List

Liberal watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington calls Gov. Rick Perry among the "worst," throwing him in with scandal-ridden likes of Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina and New York's Gov. David Paterson.

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Liberal watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, which is based in DC, does not think very highly of Republican Gov. Rick Perry.  In a just-released list of the 11 “worst governors,” they lump Perry in with the scandal-ridden likes of Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina and New York's Gov. David Paterson, one of two Democrats on the list (the other is next-door neighbor Bill Richardson of New Mexico).

Perry's reelection campaign was unfazed by the report. "The governor has one of the strictest ethics policies in the nation," said spokeswoman Catherine Frazier, citing a Sunshine Week study that ranked Texas first in online transparency. "Governor Perry is very proud of the policies he’s put in place to increase and strengthen transparency in state government. He has led the charge on many fronts to improve transparency at all levels of government and has always spoken of the importance of upholding that. So, his record speaks for itself."

Here’s the full list of officials who CREW says “have pushed their states’ best interests aside in favor of their supporters, families, political parties and bank accounts.”

• Gov. Haley Barbour (R-MS)

• Gov. Donald Carcieri (R-RI)

• Gov. Jim Gibbons (R-NV)

• Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA)

• Gov. David Paterson (D-NY)

• Gov. Sonny Perdue (R-GA)

• Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX)

• Gov. Bill Richardson (D-NM)

• Gov. Mike Rounds (R-SD)

• Gov. Mark Sanford (R-SC)

• Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA)

The charges CREW levels against Perry specifically are as follows:

• Allegedly disregarded campaign finance laws and aided a business that was especially generous to his campaign
• Refused to operate transparently, and has blocked access to information related to a death penalty case
• Rejected federal stimulus funds in a manner that appeared to put partisan politics ahead of the interests of the citizens of Texas
• Has perpetuated the revolving door between government and special interests
• Accepted travel and campaign donations from a business that received benefits from his official actions
• Used campaign funds for a personal trip with questionable relevance to his campaign for office

CREW also put together a Harper’s Index-style round-up of notable statistics:

Minimum number of former aides to Gov. Perry who became lobbyists: 17

Value of an alleged conduit contribution from Perry Homes that Gov. Perry’s campaign intentionally obscured through the misclassification of finance reports: $1 million

Minimum amount Bob and Doylenne Perry, owners of Perry Homes, have donated directly to Gov. Perry’s campaign: $840,000

Months after receiving a $100,000 from Bob Perry that Gov. Perry named Perry Homes executive John Krugh to the Texas Residential Construction Commission: 1

Months after receiving a $100,000 donation from Lonnie Pilgrim that Gov. Perry, as chair of the Republican Governor’s Association, requested a waiver from EPA requirements on Pilgrim’s behalf: 1

Months after the waiver came through that Pilgrim donated $25,000 to Gov. Perry’s PAC: 1

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