Houston Homebuilder Bob Perry
Continues Reign as King of Dirty Politics
|For Immediate Release:|
For More Information Contact:
|October 22, 2008|
Craig McDonald, 512-472-9770
Austin: Defending his title as "King of Dirty Politics," Houston homebuilder Bob Perry just bankrolled a racist ad attacking Democratic candidate Joel Redmond, who is battling Republican Ken Legler for an open House seat representing the Pasadena area.
The mailed ad features a picture of Redmond, who is white, surrounded by photos of five minority lawmakers under the caption, "Bad company corrupts good character." The brown and black faces of Redmond's "bad company" are those of Sen. Barack Obama and Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, as well as three state lawmakers: Sen. Mario Gallegos, and Reps. Harold Dutton and Garnett Coleman. All of these "bad" people are African American, except for Latino Sen. Gallegos.
The flip side of the mailer reproduces the same photos under the silhouettes of blackbirds and the headline, "Birds of a feather flock together." The mailer is sponsored by Empower Texans, which was founded by Midland oilman and Craddick ally Tim Dunn. Dunn recruited Michael Sullivan from James Leininger's Texas Public Policy Foundation to run Empower and its PAC. Empower PAC's most recent disclosure says that the PAC raised $56,000 since the end of June, with Bob Perry supplying $50,000 of that total.
Apart from being Texas' No. 1 individual political donor (moving more than $7 million to state committees and candidates in the 2006 election cycle), Perry established himself in recent years as the nation's top financier of dirty politics and attack ads.
Contributing $4.4 million, Perry was the No. 1 funder of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth's untruthful attacks on the military record of 2004 presidential candidate John Kerry. Since 2004, Perry has provided so-called "527 political groups" with millions of dollars for "push polls" and attack ads against Democratic congressional candidates. This includes:
- $5 million for the Economic Freedom Fund, a 527 that unleashed attack ads and illegal push polls against seven Democratic congressional candidates in 2006.
- $3 million to Americans for Honesty on Issues, a 527 that ran 2006 ads that falsely claimed that Colorado Senate candidate Ed Purlmutter "sponsored legislation giving taxpayer money to illegal immigrants."
- $1 million to the Free Enterprise Fund (which had no other donor) for its infamous 2006 ad that presented itself as a trailer to the gay cowboy film "Brokeback Mountain." Noting Montana Democratic Senate Candidate Jon Tester's opposition to banning gay marriages, the ad closed with a cowboy drawling, "I guess Tester doesn't know how to quit taxin.'"
View the Empower Texans ad