A.B. in the News

Bloomberg: Perry’s Texas Friends Find Donations Dovetail With Contracts

“When Texas billionaire Harold Simmons wanted to build a radioactive waste dump, one data point that would loom large in the permitting process wasn’t required on the application: He is a major donor to Governor Rick Perry.

[…]

Simmons, who has donated more than $1.2 million to Perry’s campaigns, was granted the permit over the objections of some TCEQ staffers concerned the site threatened the Ogallala Aquifer, a water source for much of the plains.

[…]

The permit process for the site, run by Simmons’s company Waste Control Specialists LLC, a subsidiary of the publicly traded Valhi Inc. (VHI), is one example of how Perry’s donors’ close ties to the governor can influence government grants, appointments and permits.

[…]

“As Americans look past his swagger, they’ll see he represents more of the same lobbyist-run politics as usual that they despise,” said Rodell Mollineau, president of American Bridge 21st Century, a Washington-based Democratic opposition research group.

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