Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Greg Abbott's Scandal O' Week, shared with Rick Perry

It's an old scandal, but as new details emerge, the boil continues to fester and ooze.  Wayne Slater, tying all the latest strings together.  (My emphasis below.)

A political group allied with Wendy Davis opened an attack Monday using cancer survivors to highlight allegations Republicans Greg Abbott and Rick Perry benefited from money designed for cancer research.

The Progress Texas political committee began airing an online video accusing the state leaders of complicity in the scandal. One cancer agency official has been indicted, the agency board has been replaced and a grand jury is investigating. Perry, who is considering another race for president, was instrumental in creation of the state cancer research agency. Agency grants have gone to political donors. As attorney general, Abbott was on the oversight board that failed to take action to avoid questionable grants, including at least one to an Abbott campaign donor.

After The Dallas Morning News first broke stories raising questions about funding problems, Abbott’s office announced it would investigate what went wrong at the Cancer Prevention and Research Fund. That announcement put Abbott in the position of investigating an agency over which his office already had oversight. That means the attorney general potentially is looking into the behavior of board members who are his campaign donors. Abbott says he sees no problems with these arrangements.

A grand jury investigation of Rick Perry is now under way for his threatening to withhold state funding for the Travis County District Attorney – while she was investigating activities at the cancer research fund. Perry has denied any wrongdoing.

More from Jonathan Tilove at the Statesman.

“When I found out the money had been misspent, at first I was angry, extremely angry. I mean, these are people’s lives. You go through anger, disbelief, shock, then you want to get even,” Becky Arreaga, an Austin business owner, says in the ad, in which she is joined by Austinites Kerry Tate, a homebuilder, and Berry Crowley, an attorney, and Pat Pangburn, a Dallas homemaker.


The gist of the attack on Abbott is that campaign donors were also investors in companies that received grants from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas — known as CPRIT — that had not been properly vetted, and that Abbott, who was part of the oversight board for the agency, turned a blind eye, not even attending the board meetings.

This is the same old cancer cronyism we've known about for a couple of years now.

In another time, place, or state, this would be a bombshell.  The presumptive governor-in-waiting would be forced to publicly address the accusations of corruption, and would be then held to account for his unethical conduct by the voters.  Of all political persuasions.

But this is Texas, and this is Rick Perry and Greg Abbott.  And they are Republicans.  And that's how Texas Republicans roll.  Abbott will go into hiding from the media for a week or two, while Perry will adjust his glasses, fly to Iowa with his state-paid Texas Rangers security team in tow (the tab is almost $3 million now), says "aw-shucks" and "second chances", and Republican primary voters will snort and say it's all just another liberal media conspiracy.

Facts cannot frack any understanding into their skulls.

We'd all like to think that it will be different this time around, but I'm not confident it will.

Update: Like cockroaches, built to last.

In the case of Perry and Abbott, it's as if both are trying to out-cockroach each other. Rick Perry's entire time in office has been one of bribery, slush-funds, under-the-table-payments for appointments and a million other gubernatorial transgressions. Maybe that's why he chose to be re-baptized recently. Nothing less than the Pacific Ocean will wash his political sins away.

And what of Greg Abbott? He wants to sacrifice four-year-olds to Pearson, the omnipotent gods of testing, but only for informational purposes. He hangs out with pedophiles and misogynists and worst of all, while he served as watchdog, on the Oversight Board of Cancer Research Institute, his donors' companies received $42 million of Texas' taxpayer money.


In spite of all the proof, the publicity, the news stories, and all the examples of backroom deals, illegal grant writing, and garden variety political theft, voters will continue their present state of passivity and continue to vote for the political profiteers based solely upon the single letter beside the candidate's name.


Gadfly said...

So, like Tricky Dick, does Abbott need a lawyer's lawyer?

PDiddie said...

How does an attorney general (versed in prosecutorial law, mind you) pick a defense lawyer?

"Hey, you beat me in several cases, so I guess you're pretty good"?

Lots of lawyers have beaten Greg Abbott in court, so maybe his choice will be easy. Do you think he'll try to negotiate the fee down, or just call Valero and ask for more money? Set up a legal defense fund?

There sure is a lot of potential hypocrisy, isn't there?

Bay Area Houston said...

Maybe Abbott needs Chris Christie's team of lawyers to investigate and clear him of all wrong doing.