What Drives Rick Perry?

He comes across as an ideologue dedicated to Tea Party ideals. But his career has been about money and power, as Alec MacGillis reports in this week’s New Republic and as most people in Texas who have dealt with their governor know.

MacGillis’s piece is worth the read. It’s based on solid, old-fashioned, foot-slogging reporting. One tidbit, about Perry’s biggest cash cow, the Texas Enterprise Fund:

Today, the Perry administration lists the Texas Energy Center as a going concern that has nearly reached its target of 1,500 jobs and resulted in $20 million in capital investment.

There’s just one problem: The Texas Energy Center no longer exists–at least not physically. The address listed on its tax forms is the address of the Fort Bend Economic Development Council, inside the Fluor tower. I arrived there late one Friday morning and asked for the Texas Energy Center. The secretary said: “Oh, it’s not here. It’s across the street. But there’s nothing there now. Jeff handles it here.” Jeff Wiley, the council’s president, would be out playing golf the rest of the day, she said. I went to the building across the street and asked for directions from an aide in the office of [former Congressman Tom] DeLay’s successor, which happened to be in the same building. She had not heard of the Texas Energy Center. But then I found its former haunt, a small vacant office space upstairs with a sign on an interior wall–the only mark of the center’s brief existence.

Yep, the very same industrial policy (handouts to favored donors) as Solyndra. That’s Perry, the Tea Party “conservative.”

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