2. Perry’s government subsidy of banks doesn’t inspire confidence in his financial acumen.
An AP article reported that – under Perry’s leadership – Texas subsidized two of the banks that were major contributors to the subprime lending crisis (Countrywide and Washington Mutual) to the tune of $35 million. The article also reported that, after receiving grants from the Texas Enterprise Fund, the two banks increased their risky lending practices, and that the two banks contributed to Perry’s campaign fund. In 2007:
As credit-rating agencies continued downgrading hundreds of billions in mortgage-backed assets on Wall Street, Perry’s spokeswoman described Texas as ‘one of the hottest housing markets in the nation’ and dismissed concerns about the looming economic implosion as ‘slightly alarmist.’
NPR reported that:
Perry has been repeatedly accused of cronyism during his time as Texas governor in which both Perry and companies doing business in or with his state appear to benefit financially from the arrangement.
The allegation that cronyism was behind his 2007 executive order to have 12-year old Texas girls receive the HPV vaccine (his former chief of staff lobbied for the drug maker Merck) is at the heart of that controversy. And there are a number of other allegations that the Texas Enterprise Fund, meant to help bring jobs to Texas, was used to reward companies linked to Perry supporters.
Given the current state of the national economy, it seems that Republicans would be better served to pick a candidate with a more impressive financial resume.