Friday, March 27, 2009

Perry funnels money outside of proper channels

This morning's Statesman legislative blog reports that the back and forth about the Perry's unorthodox funneling of funds to A&M is not cooling off. In fact, the headline is Battle Between Perry and Pitts Heats Up. Jim Pitts is chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, and over the last few days, he has been questioning Perry's action.

The Statesman says, "fireworks could come in the afternoon."

Below is a brief recap of the brouhaha. Follow the link "revelations" to read more background.

"Committee Chairman Jim Pitts wants to ask more questions about a $50 million Emerging Technology Fund grant to the Texas A&M University System, particularly in light of revelations Thursday that the fund’s 17-member panel did not review the grant, as is its custom. Pitts said he had been led to believe by the governor’s office that the panel did review it.

"The governor’s press shop used the panel’s approval earlier in the week to shield Perry from criticism about the grant. Spokeswoman Allison Castle, who volunteered Thursday that the panel had in fact not reviewed the grant, said she got bad information from someone else in the governor’s office."

If Pitts's pummeling continues, could this bad publicity through the legislative session weaken Gov. 39% further, working to benefit KBH? Perry had hoped that his being on-site, hands-on during the high-profile session while KBH necessarily was mainly in DC would help him, but it won't if he further angers legislators, resulting in continuing negative coverage.

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