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Gov. Rick Perry

Self Description

June 2011: "A fifth generation Texan, Governor Rick Perry has taken an extraordinary Texas journey, from a tenant farm in the rolling West Texas plains to the governor's office of our nation's second largest state.

Texas' 47th governor, and the first Texas A&M graduate to occupy the Governor's Mansion, Rick Perry has led a life of public service, starting in the United States Air Force and continuing over two decades in elected office.

Governor Perry's administration has focused on creating a Texas of unlimited opportunity and prosperity by improving education, securing the border and increasing economic development through classic conservative values.

During his tenure, Governor Perry has maintained a strong focus on fiscal discipline, becoming the only Texas governor since World War II to sign budgets that reduced general revenue spending. He has used his line item veto to scrub more than $3 billion in budgeted spending, while encouraging investments in the building blocks of a prosperous state: the economy, education and security.

The Texas economy is performing well in the current global economic crisis, thanks to a focused effort to keep taxes low, regulations predictable and legal system fair. Gov. Perry led the effort to reform the legal system, signing into law a series of lawsuit reforms designed to stem the flow of frivolous lawsuits through Texas courts. As a result, employers can devote their resources to creating jobs instead of defending against those frivolous lawsuits. More importantly, the reforms reversed the trend on skyrocketing malpractice insurance rates which has led to an influx of doctors seeking to practice in Texas. As a result, obstetricians and other specialists are returning to practice in previously underserved, high-risk areas.

On the education front, Governor Perry has worked to improve the quality of Texas schools from top to bottom by increasing accountability, raising expectations and funding programs that work. In addition to introducing the largest teacher incentive pay program in the country, Governor Perry has overseen a 43 percent increase in total spending on public education in Texas. He also signed a school finance reform package that provided a 33 percent school property tax reduction, a $2,000 pay raise for teachers, record funding for classrooms and a reformed business tax.

Stepping into the gap left by the federal government, Governor Perry has worked with the legislature to fund coordinated border security efforts to the tune of more than $230 million over the past several years. Governor Perry has initiated a "boots on the ground" strategy, integrating and coordinating local, county, state and federal law enforcement efforts, resulting in significantly decreased crime in key areas along the border.

Rick Perry's political career started in 1985 as a representative for a rural West Texas district in the state House of Representatives. He was first elected to statewide office in 1990, and served as Texas Commissioner of Agriculture for two terms. Governor Perry hails from Paint Creek, a small farming community north of Abilene. His father, Ray Perry, served as a Haskell County Commissioner, school board member and a World War II tail gunner. Between 1972 and 1977, Governor Perry served in the United States Air Force, flying C-130 tactical airlift aircraft in the U.S., Europe and the Middle East.

He is a 1972 graduate of Texas A&M University where he was a member of the Corps of Cadets, a junior and senior yell leader and an animal science major. The younger of Ray and Amelia Perry's two children, Governor Perry is an Eagle Scout and lifetime member of American Legion Post #75.

He first met Anita Thigpen at a piano recital during their elementary school years. They married in 1982 and are the proud parents of two grown children -- Griffin and Sydney. Griffin married his wife, Meredith, in 2009."

Third-Party Descriptions

December 2013: "Morton now works on programs to help other innocent people behind bars. Earlier this year, Texas Gov. Rick Perry signed the Michael Morton Act into law, requiring prosecutors to turn evidence over to defense lawyers in criminal cases, upon the defendant's request, without the need for a court order."

August 2013: "Gov. Rick Perry suggested that the Justice Department was disregarding the 10th Amendment, which reserves to states and individuals those powers not delegated to the federal government."

July 2013: 'Gov. Rick Perry of Texas cast Mr. Holder’s remarks as an attempt by the Obama administration to weaken the state’s voter-integrity laws and said the comments demonstrated the administration’s “utter contempt for our country’s system of checks and balances.”'

July 2013: 'Officials in the states that are no longer covered by the law praised the court’s ruling, saying that it had been unfair — and needlessly expensive — to single them out for special scrutiny. Gov. Rick Perry of Texas said in a statement that “Texas may now implement the will of the people without being subject to outdated and unnecessary oversight and the overreach of federal power.”'

June 2011: "Texas has granted sales tax rebates to companies on goods and services they buy, but has apparently never allowed one to stop collecting taxes from its own customers. The Texas Retailers Association blasted the proposed Amazon deal as a carve-out that would leave the state’s brick-and-mortar stores at a disadvantage to the giant Internet retailer."


RoleNameTypeLast Updated
Member of (past or present) Republican Party (U.S.) / Republican National Committee Organization Jul 6, 2013
Organization Head/Leader (past or present) Organization Executive (past or present) Texas (State Government) Organization Jun 24, 2011
Student/Trainee (past or present) Texas A&M University Organization Jun 24, 2011
Member of (past or present) US Air Force (USAF) Organization Jun 24, 2011
Cooperation (past or present) Opponent (past or present) Speaker Newt Gingrich Person Jul 6, 2013
Opponent (past or present) Pres. Barack Hussein Obama Esq. Person Jul 6, 2013
Cooperation (past or present) Opponent (past or present) Governor Willard Mitt Romney Esq., MBA Person Jul 6, 2013

Articles and Resources

Date Resource Read it at:
Dec 04, 2013 Innocent man: How inmate Michael Morton lost 25 years of his life

QUOTE: a group of attorneys, working pro bono on Morton's behalf, managed to bring the truth to light. Not only was Morton innocent, but the prosecutor, Ken Anderson, was accused of withholding crucial evidence...."an extremely rare instance, and perhaps the first time, that a prosecutor has been criminally punished for failing to turn over exculpatory evidence," the Innocence Project said.

CNN (Cable News Network)
Aug 22, 2013 U.S. Is Suing in Texas Cases Over Voting by Minorities

QUOTE: The Justice Department said it would file paperwork to become a co-plaintiff in an existing lawsuit brought by civil rights groups and Texas lawmakers against a Texas redistricting plan. Separately, the department said, it filed a new lawsuit over a state law requiring voters to show photo identification.

New York Times
Jul 25, 2013 U.S. Asks Court to Limit Texas on Ballot Rules

QUOTE: The Obama administration on Thursday moved to protect minority voters after last month’s Supreme Court ruling striking down a central part of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, with the Justice Department asking a court to require Texas to get permission from the federal government before making changes....Gov. Rick Perry of Texas cast Mr. Holder’s remarks as an attempt by the Obama administration to weaken the state’s voter-integrity laws...

New York Times
Jul 05, 2013 After Ruling, States Rush to Enact Voting Laws

QUOTE: State officials across the South are aggressively moving ahead with new laws requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls after the Supreme Court decision striking down a portion of the Voting Rights Act. The Republicans who control state legislatures throughout the region say such laws are needed to prevent voter fraud. But such fraud is extremely rare, and Democrats are concerned that the proposed changes will make it harder for many poor voters and members of minorities — who tend to vote Democratic — to cast their ballots in states that once discriminated against black voters with poll taxes and literacy tests.

New York Times
Jun 23, 2011 Let’s Make a Deal, Amazon Tells Texas

QUOTE: Texas has granted sales tax rebates to companies on goods and services they buy, but has apparently never allowed one to stop collecting taxes from its own customers. The Texas Retailers Association blasted the proposed Amazon deal as a carve-out that would leave the state’s brick-and-mortar stores at a disadvantage to the giant Internet retailer.

New York Times
Apr 20, 2011 The New Anti-Abortion Math

QUOTE: Terrible sex education programs and a lack of access to contraceptives leads to a huge number of births to poor women… The Texas baby boom… marches off to underfunded schools... One of the first things the cash-strapped Legislature tried to cut was family planning.

New York Times
Apr 07, 2011 College Professor Rankings In Texas Spark National Debate

QUOTE: While one faculty member at Texas A&M earned more than $500,000 each year, the average counterpart at its College Station campus made around $120,000... Academia is clubby, professors' performances hard to gauge, and parents and students can easily become financially indentured in their quest for a small piece of the American Dream... "We see an enormous variation in what people do and what they get paid to do it."

Huffington Post
Feb 17, 2007 Furor on Rush to Require Cervical Cancer Vaccine

QUOTE: Gardasil and another vaccine under development by the drug maker GlaxoSmithKline are aimed at the human papilloma virus, or H.P.V., which is known to be the cause of cervical cancer. Analysts see a potential $5 billion a year market for H.P.V. vaccines, and some say that Merck is intent on inoculating as many girls as possible before the introduction of Glaxo’s product, which could become available this year.

New York Times
Aug 22, 2006 With bulk of Katrina evacuees, Texans begin to feel burden: A year after the hurricane, Houston complains about their persistent joblessness. State officials plea for federal help

QUOTE: Indeed, in Houston and other cities affected by the relocation, some officials are beginning to reassess the financial implications of their generosity over the past year. Their conclusion: The federal government should continue to support the state and municipalities where evacuee numbers remain high because many are still not on their feet almost a year after the storm.

Christian Science Monitor
Dec 13, 2005 Justices To Review DeLay-Led Districting: Texas Plan Has Been Called Discriminatory

QUOTE: The court will hear challenges from Democrats and minority groups who say that the mid-decade redistricting unlawfully diluted the strength of minority voters, injected undue partisanship into the congressional map and violated the concept of one person, one vote by drawing district lines with outdated census data.

Washington Post
Jun 13, 2005 Efforts to curb abortion proliferate at state level: Abortion foes try to chip away at Roe v. Wade, most recently through laws focusing on 'personhood' of a fetus.

QUOTE: Lately, however, more such bills are being signed, reflecting, in part, the nation's more conservative state legislatures, and perhaps also the opinion of many Americans, who want abortion to remain legal but would like some restrictions.

Christian Science Monitor