Sunday, April 11, 2010

Rick Perry "Say No to Washington"

Texas Governor Rick Perry delivered a firebrand speech as the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans. He said:

"It's going to take principled leadership. It's going to take men and women going to Washington, D.C. and saying no."

Funny, Perry can't say no to 1001 Pennsylvania Avenue, corporate offices of The Carlyle Group. The Governor adjusted Texas Enterprise Fund contracts with two Carlyle affiliates, Vought Aircraft and Authentix, after both failed miserably on their employment promises.

Vought's failure to provide the promised 3,000 jobs to Texas was compounded by their abysmal record in delivering quality 787 fuselages to Boeing. That was a multi-year failure.

In 2009 Vought estimated it would owe Texas $2.1 million. Their annual report stated:

We reclassified $2.1 million related to the Texas grant to the Accrued and Other Liabilities caption in our Consolidated Balance Sheet due to a potential repayment of grant funds in 2010 based on the agreement.
After Rick Perry rewrote the agreement, Vought paid back a mere $900,000. That's 25% of the original principal at zero interest over 6 years. Perry said we needed to "take care of the job creators," only he's taken care of employment ghost providers. What principle is that?

Perry spoke of a 2003 budget crisis in Texas, one he solved with principles. The state balanced the budget on the back of 200,000 kids who left CHIP. When he granted the $35 million to Vought in March 2004, over 100,000 kids no longer had children's health insurance coverage. Whatever principle this is, it should haunt the cocksure Governor.

Perry spoke about the RSLC host city, a city with ghosts of its own.

"It's been five years since the one two punch of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita."
Hurricane Katrina was the impetus for Carlyle's other abdication, this one by affiliate LifeCare Hospitals. Their New Orleans facility lost 25 patients in the storm's toxic aftermath, the highest death toll of any hospital. This fact was omitted from the White House Lessons Learned report.

LifeCare's corporate offices are in Dallas, as are Vought's. Parent Carlyle charges the two millions in annual management fees. Thus, they have a role in corporate strategy and decision making.

The irony comes from LifeCare's defense in wrongful death lawsuits. They claim patients became wards of the federal government as soon as FEMA evacuation teams set up in New Orleans. This means "say yes to Washington when it means a transfer of losses or liability."

Governor Perry's theatrics are for public consumption. Behind closed doors, he serves his landed friends well. That includes the Carlyle Group brand of Washington, D.C.

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