Gov. Rick Perry
Nov 6th - 6:23 pm
Gov. Rick Perry had some harsh words for President Barack Obama Wednesday. Obama traveled to Dallas to promote his landmark health care law and to urge the state to consider expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.
According to Obama, doing so would potentially cover more than a million Texans who are currently uninsured.
“One of the things that gets me a little frustrated,” Obama said, “are folks who are complaining about how the website’s not working, and why isn’t Obama fixing it. And yet they’re leaving more than a million people right now without health insurance that they could immediately fix.”
Gov. Perry has maintained that Texas will not expand Medicaid under Obamacare. Instead, he requested a federal block grant that would allow Texas to make changes to the program without having to follow federal guidelines. Gov. Perry did not mince words in his response to the President’s request, saying:
“President Obama deceived the American people by promising that anyone who liked their health care plan could keep it, but millions of Americans are now discovering that simply isn’t true. Now, he’s coming to Texas in a desperate attempt to salvage his ill-conceived and unpopular program from a Titanic fate by preaching expansion of the same Medicaid system he himself admits is broken. In Texas, where Medicaid already consumes a quarter of the state budget, we simply need the flexibility to implement fundamental, state-specific reforms to our Medicaid program, instead of a one-size-fits-all Washington mandate, before it bankrupts our state. Mr. President, Texans aren’t the reason Obamacare is crumbling; Obamacare is the reason Obamacare is crumbling.”
Texas is one of 21 states that declined to expand Medicaid as part of Obamacare. There were several bipartisan attempts last legislative session to come up with a Texas-specific version of expansion. None of those bills gained enough support to move forward.
Oct 28th - 3:48 pm
The political reaction was quick to today’s court ruling that parts of the state’s abortion law are unconsitutional.
Republican Gov. Rick Perry indicated the abortion debate does not end with Monday’s decision.
“Today’s decision will not stop our ongoing efforts to protect life and ensure the women of our state aren’t exposed to any more of the abortion-mill horror stories that have made headlines recently,” the governor said in a press release. “We will continue fighting to implement the laws passed by the duly-elected officials of our state, laws that reflect the will and values of Texans.”
Democratic State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte of San Antonio also issued a statement soon after the ruling.
“I’m grateful that a Texas court agreed today that House Bill 2 would have had harmful effects on women’s access to care and affirmed that the Republican-controlled Legislature went too far in its attacks on women” she said. Van de Putte is considering a run for lieutenant governor.
Oct 14th - 12:50 pm
Gov. Rick Perry will soon be appearing on national news networks, through a newly released ad that criticized Washington, D.C. and touts Texas’ economic policies.
“Washington needs to change, but the President keeps playing politics,” Perry says at the beginning of the 30-second spot. “Conservative governors are reforming taxes and regulations, helping small businesses grow, cutting and balancing budgets. Conservative leadership is putting people back to work, and families are building their futures. We need more of that and less of Washington.”
The ad campaign was launched by Americans for Economic Freedom, which was formed earlier this year as a 501(c)(4) nonprofit. The group’s stated goal is to “promote economic policies at the state level that are conducive to job creation, business development, and economic expansion.”
Gov. Perry, who is the face of the campaign, hasn’t said whether he will run again for the presidential nomination.
Oct 2nd - 1:10 pm
The day before Democratic State Sen. Wendy Davis’ announcement about a possible run for governor, someone else jumped into the race.
Libertarian candidate Kathie Glass announced she’s running in 2014 during an Austin news conference Wednesday morning at the Driskill Hotel.
Glass ran for governor in 2010, receiving a little more than 2 percent of the vote, to Governor Rick Perry’s 55 percent. Democrat Bill White pulled in 42 percent in that race.
She used the current federal government shutdown as an example of why she’s running again.
“This shutdown is just a glimpse of what might happen when there is a total collapse from Washington, because we know — the voters of Texas know — that Washington is broken,” Glass said. “The two-party system is corrupt and broken. They’ll never fix themselves and they can’t be reformed from within.”
Attorney General Greg Abbott and former Texas Worforce Commission Chairman Tom Pauken are among the Republican candidates who have already annouced a run for governor.
As was the case in 2010, Glass is campaigning on a platform of limited government.
She said to expect a lot of active, serious Libertarian campaigns for a variety of offices this election cycle.
Sep 18th - 3:45 pm
Sen. Kirk Watson is pushing back against Gov. Rick Perry’s call for stricter requirements for insurance navigators, saying it distorts the meaning of his original bill and makes it more difficult for Texans to get health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.
“I authored Senate Bill 1795 to make it easier for Texans to get health insurance, not harder,” Watson said in a statement. “This is a tool to improve our healthcare system, not dismantle it even further.”
The federal government has distributed nearly $11 million to Texas groups to help train so-called navigators to guide people through the enrollment process. Yesterday, Gov. Perry sent a letter to Texas Department of Insurance Commissioner Julia Rathgeber, directing the department to create state-specific rules for navigators. On top of federal requirements that include 20 to 30 hours of training and annual certification tests, Perry wants to require applicants to show proof of citizenship, take an additional 40 hours of coursework, submit to fingerprinting and periodic background checks.
Perry says TDI has the authority to make the changes under Senate Bill 1795, which was authored by Democratic Sen. Kirk Watson, who says the law was never intended to be used in such a way.
“It’s not clear to me that all of the Governor’s instructions are even allowed under this bill or other state or federal law,” Watson said. “He’s twisting the meaning of protecting consumers to fulfill a political agenda. This will hurt Texans who need healthcare far more than it helps him in some GOP primary.”
Sep 12th - 1:40 pm
Gov. Rick Perry announced Thursday he will make Maryland the next stop on his “move to Texas” tour. He is planning to visit the state next week. As he has prior to previous trips, Perry launched television and radio ads, touting Texas’ “limited government, low taxes and a fair legal system.”
As in the past, the group Texas One is footing the $500,000 advertising bill and is paying for Perry’s travel expenses.
On Wednesday, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley dismissed Perry’s ads as a “tired old PR gimmick.”
Aug 20th - 6:02 pm
Gov. Rick Perry is negotiating with the Obama administration to accept Affordable Care Act money. As first reported by Politico, state health aides are in negotiations with the Obama administration to work out a deal that would allow the state to collect $100 million of Affordable Care Act money.
The federal funds would come from Community First Choice option, which is aimed at improving in-home services for disabled and elderly patients. The legislature approved the program this session. Now, according to Politico, Perry is asking the Obama administration to provide matching funds. About 12,000 Texans would benefit from the expansion.
The move comes as a surprise to many, as Gov. Perry has been one of the most outspoken critics of President Obama’s health care overhaul plan. He has repeatedly vowed that the state would not expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act and has repeatedly called it a “broken system.”
Perry spokesman Josh Havens says Texas has provided these types of services via medicaid waivers for decades. He issued this statement:
“Long before Obamacare was forced on the American people, Texas was implementing policies to provide those with intellectual disabilities more community options to enable them to live more independent lives at a lower cost to taxpayers. The Texas Health and Human Services Commission will continue to move forward with these policies because they are right for our citizens and our state, regardless of whatever funding schemes may be found in Obamacare.”
Aug 20th - 1:47 pm
Missouri will be the latest stop on Gov. Rick Perry’s “Wide Open for Business” road show. Perry will visit the state on August 29. A 30-second TV ad began airing today, ahead of the governor’s visit. Perry plans to meet with business leaders and owners and will attend a luncheon at the Missouri Chamber of Commerce.
This is just the latest state Perry has visited to tout Texas’ job market and economic growth. Earlier this year, he made trips to California, New York and Illinois. As in the past, the group Texas One is footing the bill for Perry’s travels and the $106,400 ad buy.
Aug 19th - 4:25 pm
A special prosecutor has been assigned to handle the criminal complaint filed against Governor Rick Perry. District Judge Robert Richardson today appointed San Antonio attorney Michael McCrum as the attorney Pro Tem.
The watchdog group Texans for Public Justice claims Perry abused his power and broke several laws when he threatened to veto funding for the Travis County Public Integrity Unit. Perry hoped his threat would force Travis County DA Rosemary Lehmberg to resign after her drunk driving arrest and conviction. Lehmberg refused, and Perry ultimately used a line item veto to strip more than $7 million from the unit.
As District Attorney, Lehmberg oversees that department. Texans for Public Justice says Perry used the power of his office in an attempt to coerce the District Attorney’s office. Lehmberg herself has accused Perry of playing politics with his threat. If Lehmberg, who is a Democrat, did step down, Republican Gov. Perry would appoint her replacement.
McCrum is a San Antonio based trial lawyer. According to his website, he has focused on white collar crimes as well as federal and state government investigations. He will lead an investigation into the complaint to determine if there is enough evidence to move forward. His findings could ultimately lead to a trial.
Aug 16th - 4:37 pm
Gov. Rick Perry has named the three people who will replace the six, current members of the state’s Water Development Board.
Carlos Rubinstein, Bech Bruun and Mary Ann Williamson will serve full-time starting next month, with Rubinstein serving as chair. Each of the members currently holds a different government post, and all were previously appointed or hired by Perry. Rubinstein has served on the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality since 2009; Bruun works in the governor’s office as the Director of Governmental Appointments; and Williamson has been a board member of the Texas Lottery Commission since 2008 and now serves as chair.
“The new board will provide leadership, planning, and financial and technical assistance for the responsible development of water for Texas,” Perry’s statement said.
The change was set in motion with the passage of House Bill 4, which calls for “active, full-time governance” from the board. The bill is also part of a larger funding plan that includes Senate Joint Resolution 1, which is set to go before voters in November.
The board is currently made up of six members serving six-year, staggered terms. Each of those terms will come to an early end on September 1, when the new appointments take effect.