Independent Texans has listed the following on its Web site as 10 reasons to impeach Gov. Rick Perry.
As part of its top 10 listing, Independent Texans notes that Perry vetoed 49 bills passed during the session, doing so after the Legislature went home so he could not be overridden.
“Mr. Veto would probably argue that he restrained himself from the record he set in 2001, when he vetoed 82 bills, more than any governor in any single legislative session in Texas history since reconstruction,” the Web site notes, adding, “According to Paul Burka of Texas Monthly, 17 of this year’s Perry vetoes were simply to get back at legislators who crossed him on his precious mega-special interest driven Trans-Texas Corridor and HPV vaccine mandate.”
Independent Texans’ top 10 list is as follows (for the organization’s extended comments, see the Web sites listed at the end):
1. In 2003, Perry and state Rep. Mike Krusee, R-Round Rock, pushed legislation through allowing for the Trans-Texas Corridor and freeway-to-tollway conversions. A former lobbyist for Cintra, the Spanish toll road consortium, went to work in the governor’s office writing transportation legislation.
2. Perry vetoed the first corridor/toll moratorium bill, House Bill 1892, out of the 80th Legislature and forced changes on the second bill, Senate Bill 792, before he would agree to sign it.
3. Perry vetoed eminent domain reform that was designed to protect private property rights. Independent Texans notes the legislation was intended to prevent the taking of more than 1 million acres of farm and ranchland, “the largest land seizure in U.S. history.”
4. Called three special sessions on mid-census redistricting, which Independent Texans says disenfranchised Democratic voters as well as independent voters because of the elimination of swing districts.
5. Independent Texans say Perry’s small business franchise tax has increased taxes for many small businesses by a 10-fold average, citing information from the National Federation of Independent Businesses.
6. Perry vetoed two bills and an appropriation rider relating to funding needs of the Community College System.
7. Independent Texans describes Perry’s veto of a bill banning diesel-fueled school buses from idling as “unbelievable.” Legislators intended the bill to help curb bus emissions that expose children to fine particles that can trigger asthma attacks. “This bill had widespread support, no voiced opposition (including the governor’s office) and was drawn upon an initiative by the president,” Independent Texans notes.
8. Independent Texans say Perry has “sold out” consumer protection by placing appointees from the construction industry on the Texas Residential Construction Commission. The group criticizes Perry for taking $690,000 from homebuilder Bob Perry (no relation to the governor) and appointing Perry Homes’ attorney John Krush to the commission.
9. Perry’s mandate that Texas girls be vaccinated against the HPV virus, before entering the sixth grade, which was overridden by the Legislature. Independent Texans has criticized Perry for receiving campaign money from Merck and notes his former chief of staff, Mike Toomey, is a lobbyist for Merck.
10. A series of Perry vetoes to bipartisan criminal justice reform that Independent Texans says would have slowed “the pace of incarceration and provide for alternative funding mechanisms.”
The organization has invited Texans to submit their own reasons to impeach Perry via its Web sites www.indytexans.org or http://impeachperry.indytexans.org.
E-mail JoAnn at firstname.lastname@example.org