Rick Perry's No Conservative

His record has often infuriated Texas right wingers: Dave Mann
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 19, 2011 4:28 PM CDT
Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks to workers as he makes a campaign stop in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, this week.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

(Newser) – Rick Perry’s been anointed as the conservative savior in the 2012 presidential race, but Texas Observer editor Dave Mann isn’t sure he’s a conservative at all. “The closer you look at Perry’s record in Texas, the harder it is to discern any coherent ideology at all,” he writes in the New Republic, warning that conservative primary voters who look into his legislative accomplishments “won’t like what they find.”

Perry policies that have irked conservatives include:

  • He tried to seize farmland with eminent domain to build toll highways, with the contract going to a Spanish company, a “text-book example of a policy that classic small-government conservatives would hate.”
  • He tried to force all young girls in the state to receive the HPV vaccine—which would have been a windfall for Merck, which employed Perry’s ex-chief of staff as its top lobbyist.
  • He cut property taxes and instead created a business margins tax. “It’s been a disaster … the very definition of a ‘job-killing’ tax.”
  • He set up a “Texas Enterprise Fund,” which critics have said amounts to “corporate welfare,” and wasteful spending.
Mann’s conclusion? “If there’s one phrase that best describes Perry’s governing ideology, it isn’t ‘conservative.’ It’s crony capitalism.”

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