The Pesky Truth blog has done an outstanding job compiling all of these criticisms into a blog post entitled "Seventeen things the critics are saying about Rick Perry." The author acknowledges that, as a resident of Texas, he voted for Perry for governor three times. However, his analysis of Perry's positions seems to be very fair and truthful. This entire post is well worth the read.
There are several criticisms that I want to highlight that fall into two categories: Those that I agree with and those that I don't agree with but still will be major points against him in other's eyes.
Those I agree with:
1. The Gardasil Issue
- Perry signed an Executive Order in 2007 that mandated that all Texas girls be vaccinated with Gardasil by the sixth grade. Parents could opt out.
- Critics alleged that this Executive Order was issued because Perry's former chief of staff was a lobbyist for Merck, the company that developed Gardasil. Merck had also contributed (a very small amount, $6,000 or .025% of Perry's total) to Perry's campaign in 2007.
- Perry justified the mandate this way: "...insurance companies wouldn’t cover the $360 cost of the vaccine ($120 for each of a 3-shot regimen) when it was simply an optional “recommended” vaccine....
- "When Perry mandated Gardasil, it would have become part of a school-related vaccine package which was then covered by insurance for simply the cost of a co-pay."
- The legislature overturned this Executive Order.
- Perry rescinded the mandate.
2. Perry has raised taxes as governor.
- Rick Perry has generally kept taxes low. He vetoed many bills that sought to increase taxes on various things. However, Perry has raised taxes on things such as cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, fireworks, and diesel equipment.
- "He also implemented a change to the business franchise tax law that increased the franchise tax that businesses pay to operate in Texas – that was an actual business tax increase."
- FYI- The unemployment tax also went up during Perry's tenure, but it literally was out of his hands. That tax is set automatically and is out of the governor's control.
3. Perry supports in-state tuition for illegals.
- Texas was the first state to do this.
- Qualifications: Live in Texas for 3 years, graduate from a Texas high school, must apply for citizenship.
- Perry was in the mainstream in supporting this. There were no "NO" votes on it in the Texas Senate.
I wasn't sure which category to put this one in. He isn't the strongest person when it comes to illegal immigration, but he could be worse.
- Perry is against sanctuary cities and supported a bill prohibiting them.
- Perry's view on the Arizona immigration bill was that it "wasn't the right direction" for Texas. He was referring to the portion of the bill that required police officers to verify immigration status. Perry believed this should be left up to the officers' discretion.
- Perry isn't a supporter of E-Verify unless the border is secured. Texas does have a means of identifying illegals who seek work. Texas currently uses I-9 forms. These forms are "filled out by the employer and new employees to document that each employee — citizen and non-citizen alike — is authorized to work in the United States."
- Rick Perry says he would support a "path for citizenship" for illegals already in the country if the border was secured.
Those I disagree with:
1. The Trans-Texas Corridor
- A 1200 ft. highway system from the Texas/Mexico border to Oklahoma
- A Spanish firm would be the main financier and collect the toll revenue although Texas would still maintain ownership of the roads
- There was a fear of double taxation. No public money was supposed to go to pay for the TTC. If it did, Texans would be paying taxes from gasoline revenue and from the tolls.
- Eminent domian was an issue. 580,000 acres would be needed from locals.
- Perry's defense of the TTC was "that as Texas continues to grow by about 1,200 people every day, the state’s infrastructure must be improved to accommodate the growth."
- As with the Gardasil issue, once the public expressed their disapproval of the TTC, Perry killed the idea. "The TTC is now a dead issue in Texas. It cannot be resurrected under any other name. In fact, the governor recently signed HB 1201, which removed all remaining references to the TTC from state statutes. "
- This was over 20 years ago. Al Gore was way more conservative then.
- He has been a Republican for years now. He didn't change parties recently for political expediency, but for conviction.
This is one of the dumbest criticisms out there.
Let's assume this is true. Which situation is better: A governor that creates low paying jobs or a president that creates no jobs?
- Cost of living is a lot lower in Texas than other states.
- When the cost of living is factored in, Texas' household median income is $53,009. This is more than California, New York, and Connecticut.
- Texas' wages have climbed higher than the national average. Texas wages rose 7.4% between May 2008 and May 2010. The national average was 5%.