Rick Perry's Texas-sized Favors for Big Donors

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They say that everything is bigger in Texas. And in the case of presidential hopeful Gov. Rick Perry's (R) treatment of his big money donors, this certainly seems to be the case. From doling out state contracts to friends who write big campaign checks to the emergence of Perry Super PACs run by close former associates, there's no shortage of material on the plain-spoken Texan.

Here's a glimpse of Perry's record so far:

Rick Perry sure can fundraise. It might be easier when a large chunk of his campaign money comes from your own appointee's.

You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours.

Courting the Christian right...and their campaign cash.

  • From the Los Angeles Times: "...the event was opened by Leininger, a major Perry donor who made his fortune in hospital beds and other medical equipment and has since started dozens of companies, some of which received state economic development funds under Perry’s administration."
  • More from the Huffington Post .

Want a state contract in Perry's Texas? A campaign check goes a long way.

  • From Bloomberg News: "Perry has a public record of rewarding his political donors with jobs and state contracts. He has appointed about 4,000 people -- including many donors -- to commissions, boards and other posts, according to Texans for Public Justice, an Austin- based, nonpartisan group that tracks state political donations."

Big donors pave the way for Perry.

  • From ABC News: "In a state that places no limits on how much donors can give to campaigns, Perry has brought in more than $100 million during his 10-year tenure, almost half coming from large donations of at least $100,000."
  • More from Roll Call.

Perry's ties to lobbyist could be troublesome on national level.

  • From Politico: “All his [Texas] opponents have accused Perry of being a pay-to-play governor, but that seems to roll off his back here in Texas, said Craig McDonald, director of Texans for Public Justice, a watchdog group that publishes detailed studies on state campaign funding.

Pro-Perry Super PAC's run by former Perry staffers (and others with very close ties) raise coordination concerns.

  • From the Huffington Post: "The committee (PAC) was founded by former Perry chief of staff and longtime associate Mike Toomey. Toomey is so close to the Perry inner circle he even co-owns a private island in New Hampshire with Perry's campaign manager Dave Carney. Toomey was also listed in a Texas Tribune report on the "folks" behind Perry."

Politicians usually leave office to make their money. Not Rick Perry.

  • From the Star-Telgram: "In just about every campaign Perry has run since 1989, allegations of his using his position for financial gain have come up. It's an issue Perry long ago accepted would linger as long as he remains in the public eye."
Perry's position on AT&T and T-mobile merger called into question. I wonder if that $500,000 had anything to do with it.
  • From The Nation: "Not only has Perry endorsed the AT&T/T-Mobile merger, he has actively promoted it, writing a letter to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski and the other commissioners, in which he argued that '“this merger will continue to provide for great consumer choice, offer a wide range of service options, and spur continued innovation.”'

As the presidential race heats up, we'll be sure to monitor Perry's fundraising, Super PAC activities, and how he handles questions about the favors he's done for campaign donors over the years.