Rick Perry exploits the sacred Alamo for political grandstanding

Link to article here.

There’s scarcely more sacred ground in Texas than the Alamo, and Rick Perry trampled on it Monday when he faked signing a bill that was really a constitutional amendment that didn’t need his signature. Even worse, the amendment that was already headed to the voters was personally watered down by Perry’s goons that police the Legislature, reducing the measure to nothing more than window dressing for his election year politicking. This after Perry VETOED real eminent domain reform, HB 2006, last session. Anyone with a pulse ought to see this flip flopping grandstanding for what it is. Perry is no more for meaningful eminent domain reform than he is for affordable transportation.
Genuine protection from the Supreme Court’s eminent domain Kelo case would torpedo Perry’s plans to sell Texas highways to private corporations in a scheme to forcibly take Texans land, pay them next to nothing for it, and hand it foreign toll operators for private profits. He’s made it his mission to prevent Texans from gaining private property protections that more than half the states have secured for their citizens since the Kelo decision. His motto: name your price and I’ll sell you Texas.

Insiders at the Legislature said Perry was holding the eminent domain bill hostage until lawmakers capitulated to re-authorizing the private toll contracts (called public private partnerships or CDAs in Texas) that essentially sell Texas highways to Spain. Due to the infighting over the local option gas tax at the end of the session, Perry didn’t get his private toll contracts, and the citizens of Texas didn’t get genuine eminent domain reform.
The fact that the Express-News took Perry’s bait and made him appear the hero to Texas landowners rubs salt in the wound. We give the paper kudos for acknowledging its mistake and attempting to correct it.

Setting It Straight: ‘Eminent domain fight’

San Antonio Express-News
06/16/2009

Gov. Rick Perry signed something in front of the Alamo Monday, but, it turns out, it wasn’t a bill to allow Texas voters to decide a constitutional amendment restricting eminent domain because the governor doesn’t figure in that process and doesn’t sign anything approving it.

The Express-News’ coverage resulted in an inaccurate story Tuesday that editors learned of late Tuesday.

The event, on a sunny Monday morning, with the Shrine of Texas Liberty in the background, did, however, garner news attention. The Express-News report was printed on the front of the Business section beneath a headline, “Eminent domain fight,” and a sub-headline: “Perry signs bill allowing vote on constitutional amendment limiting its use.”

Staff writer Jennifer Hiller described the event as Perry signing a bill “that would send the property rights decision to voters …”

A June 12 media advisory from Perry’s office promised he “will sign legislation to allow Texans to vote on a constitutional amendment to increase property owners’ rights.” And a story on the governor’s Web site Monday was headlined: “Gov. Perry signs legislation protecting Texas property owners.”

Unfortunately, with that kind of help from the governor’s office, the Express-News got the story wrong. While it requires two-thirds approval by both houses of the Legislature, a constitutional amendment does not require the governor’s approval to be put on the ballot.

A Perry spokeswoman, Allison Castle, told the Express-News via e-mail: “It was a ceremonial signing as the governor has done numerous times before to highlight priority issues,” citing events in 2007, 2005, 2003 and 2001.

However, the ceremony was unnecessary to the amendment process or to whether it goes to voters, and for erroneously explaining that process, the Express-News apologizes to its readers.

Story as it was published: http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local_news/Gov_Perry_takes_a_swing_at_eminent_domain.html

Bob Richter is the Express-News public editor. Contact him at brichter@express-news.net or (210) 250-3264.

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