For eight of the ten years that Rick Perry has served as the Governor he had open access as well as a friendly relationship with then President G.W. Bush. Did the Governor go out of his way to prevail upon the President to ask Congress to do more to secure the Texas border? Did he push the President to demand comprehensive immigration reform when the Republicans held the majority in the U.S. Congress? Did Governor Perry work with border sheriffs and lawmakers to craft comprehensive and sustainable solutions on a state level?
No, of course he did not. Like most Republicans, Rick Perry loves cheap labor and he willingly turned a blind eye to the border problem.
Worse, Perry willfully diverted tax payer dollars targeted to the border.
Whether it is funding for the border or for schools Rick Perry obviously believes he can do whatever he wants with both federal and state taxpayer money. Apparently the hard work of the legislating process that includes debates, votes in Congress and in the Texas Legislature mean absolutely nothing to King Perry.
Now that it is an election year with the race tightening between the Governor and Bill White, Rick Perry desperately seeks a scapegoat on which to blame his failure to act boldly where border security is concerned. So, what is the Governor's cowardly solution? Play the blame game. Pin his sins of omission on President Obama and the Democrats.
Way to go Rick Perry.
Unlike Rick Perry, Democratic candidate Bill White does have a plan for potentially effective solutions. Though border security is a federal issue, there are steps that border state Governors, Congressmen and law enforcement officials can take on a state level.
"While the federal government has failed in its essential responsibility of securing our borders, Rick Perry has failed too. For ten years, Perry has failed to get the resources we need. For ten years, Perry has failed to be an effective advocate for our state, no matter what party has a majority in Congress, no matter who is President. As governor, I will set politics aside on border issues, and take action. I'll work with everyone from the President and our Texas congressional delegation to border governors and local law enforcement. We will find a solution so that daily, lawful business across the border thrives and communities remain safe," said Bill White.
Perry's record of failure on the border includes his $4 million pet program of border cameras which has yielded only 26 arrests. In April, Perry was slammed by border area congressmen for failing to allocate to the border sufficient federal dollars given to the state. In March, Perry "activated" a secret border plan without consulting local leaders, and elected officials and law enforcement criticized the governor's approach.
Perry consistently uses false border crime statistics despite being called to the carpet for it and has become infamous for his election year posturing. This month, Perry even went as far as falsely claiming that bombs were exploding in El Paso, harming local businesses and security efforts.
When former Houston mayor Bill White says he will set politics aside he means it. His track record as mayor proves this on so many levels from Hurricane management to crime to law enforcement.
In March, Bill White pressed U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano for more resources and airborne surveillance of the Texas border. As governor, Bill White will talk with senior officials in Washington to get things done, as he did throughout his time as Houston's mayor during both the previous and current administrations. "Law enforcement both along the border and in other areas of Texas requires working with sheriffs, police chiefs, state officials and federal agencies. An uncoordinated, secret plan is not an effective plan," White said.
According to the White campaign Governor Perry grossly exaggerated the situation in El Paso during an interview he had with Fox News.
You've got bullets hitting City Hall in El Paso. You've got bombs exploding in El Paso," Rick Perry told Fox News. "Perry later made a similar statement in Laredo, saying a car bomb went off in El Paso, according to Pro8News." "Perry did harm to the name and the goals of El Paso by trying to make a point to the nation that the federal government isn't doing its job of protecting our southern border."
According to folks in El Paso, Perry had confused El Paso with Juarez.
He made the same misstatement during a stop Friday in Laredo, saying a car bomb had exploded in El Paso.
Perry's campaign staff said it was obvious that he meant Juárez, the Mexican city that borders El Paso and that has been plagued by violence.
"He knows that bombs are not going off in El Paso," said Catherine Frazier, a campaign spokeswoman. "He is talking about Juárez -- right across the border."
But El Paso Mayor John Cook and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill White say Perry's imprecision adds to misconceptions that make businesses, tourists and military families leery about El Paso.
Crime surveys rate El Paso as the second-safest large city in the country, but city officials say they often have to battle misconceptions that it is crime-ridden.
The Governor is quoted as having said bombs exploded in El Paso. Saying it and then denying you said it does not work in the 24/7 rocket speed electronic world in which we live today. I guess Rick Perry fails to appreciate you tube and the internet.
Rick Perry has also lost significant support from border sheriffs.
After a meeting with border sheriffs in San Antonio today, Val Verde Sheriff Joe Frank Martinez said, "I wasn't too impressed with anything he said there. I don't see any change. We will have to handle our own problems."
Rick Perry's 10 years of failure on border security show a lack of understanding of local needs.
"I don't think [Perry] knows the extent of it...We know what the shortcomings are. There has to be flexibility. We will be accountable for whatever is done, but there has to be flexibility. My needs in Val Verde County might be different from the needs of Maverick County and might be different those in Brewster County."
It is no small wonder that the Sheriffs that protect 98.7% of Texans who live in border counties have now endorsed Bill White for governor.
If we think the exploding bombs that never exploded in El Paso is the top of Perry's over the top rhetoric on border security, we would be wrong. Today over at The Burnt Orange Report Phillip Martin reports that Perry has recently compared the border situation to Nazi Germany.
The governor must be getting mighty desperate to sink to this new low. Perhaps he ought to consider spending less times with the far right loony fringes. These would be the ones that show up at rallies with signs depicting the President of the United States as Hitler. Others refer to the President as "Obama bin lying."
Too much time spent in the very hot Texas sun, especially when surrounded by mostly racist and xenophobic crackpots and kooks can take its toll on one's overall mental stability.
We can only imagine what stunt Rick Perry will come up with next.
I wonder if the Governor has any plans other than the blame game, playing the fear card and fomenting conspiracy theories in efforts to whip his crackpot groupies into a frenzy fraught with fear and hate?
So much for a platform based on viable solutions for border security, creating new jobs in Texas, managing the $18 billion budget shortfall and for strengthening our local economies.
Governor Rick Perry = FAIL.