That's the question that Texans are asking each other when they find out that Mike Toomey, the lobbyist for Merck in Texas, is Governor Perry's former chief of staff. That's thanks to our new TV ad, which is running heavily in media markets, that exposes the ties that bind Governor Perry together to Mike Toomey in the wake of the HPV mandate scandal.
For instance, did you know that Mike Toomey was involved in the Tom Delay scandal over the 2002 redistricting of congressional districts here in Texas? He was one of the shadiest, most central of figures in that scandal.
There's MUCH MORE about Mike Toomey, why he embodies the worst here in Texas that has led to deregulation, corruption, unethical figures like Tom Delay, and the enrichment of special big business interests at the expense of Texans.
And this is the kind of guy that Perry makes his best friend.
First, let me tell you about why we're focusing on Mike Toomey. This is the kind of guy that thinks he can get away with all the sleazy stuff he's done here to hurt regular Texans at the behest of big business special interests. For starters, on Mike Toomey's site for his lobbying firm, he proudly brags that he's the former chief of staff for two Texas Governors -- Rick Perry and Bill Clements.
Only individual in Texas history to be Chief of Staff for two Texas Governors
• Rick Perry -- Nov., 2002 - Sept. 2004
• William P. Clements, Jr. -- 1989 - 1990
This is the revolving door issue which he's so proud of -- using his government expertise to enrich his corporate clients like Aetna, UnitedHealth, Merck, Enron, Phillip Morris, and more. And he continues to take advantage of it by using Perry's aides and administration officials to carry out the goals of his clients such as Merck with the Gardasil HPV vaccine:
Critics had previously questioned Perry's ties to the company. Mike Toomey, Perry's former chief of staff and Delisi's predecessor, lobbies for the drug company. And the governor accepted a total of $6,000 from Merck during his re-election campaign, including $1,000 in December 2005.
According to Delisi's calendar, she met with Toomey three times in the six months before the order was issued.
In the wake of the HPV scandal, in which it was discovered that the $6,000 donation from Merck came on the same day that Perry's chief of staff, Delisi, met with other aides to discuss the HPV vaccine, there were furious denials from Governor Perry's press flack, Miner, about the timing of the donation. And what was even funnier, Governor Perry himself denied that Mike Toomey had any sort of influence on him even though Mike Toomey was being paid $260,000 by Merck to lobby Perry and his aides.
Evan Smith: He's a very powerful lobbyist. You know that.
RP: No, he's not. He's just another guy.
--Texas Monthly Talks, May 2007
Just another guy? Oh, really? Let's not forget the inconvenient fact that Mike Toomey helped Rick Perry get $465,000 in a land deal from Michael Dell, the computer magnate.
Perry once sold a 9.3-acre tract to computer magnate Michael Dell for nearly four times what he paid for it, using influential Texas lobbyist Mike Toomey as the broker. The West Austin property sold for $465,000 in 1995 and gave the Dell estate badly needed access to an adjacent municipal sewage district.
That's a hell of a guy who just happens to be a lobbyist, a former chief of staff to Governor, and an acolyte in the Tom Delay mold.
Let's also not forget that Mike Toomey was personally involved in the Green Party scandal, which some think was designed to draw away votes in the gubernational race. He has a very long storied history in the Texas GOP Party, including the fact that he helped tutor former President George W. Bush on how to understand the TX state government, and was Karl Rove's friend as well.
And what is Mike Toomey currently doing? He's possibly hiding out on his own private island off the East Coast, that is also co-owned by Perry's political strategist, Dave Carney. It's to avoid being served with a subpoena for his involvement in the Green Party scandal here in Texas. He and Governor Perry have more things in common -- they sure love their luxury rental homes...
Mike Toomey's got to return back to Austin sometime, and when he does, we'll be right there waiting for him. Mike Toomey has gone for too long unnoticed in his dealings with the state government and his involvement with Tom Delay, Karl Rove, George W. Bush, and other Republicans.
Mike Toomey's a lackey for his special big business friends, and Perry's best friend. That's who he is.
If you like what we're doing, you can help out by donating $5, $10, or more to support our work against Governor Perry!
Disclosure: Donations will be used by the Back to Basics PAC to advocate on behalf of Texans against the hypocrisy of self-serving politicians.
written by Noelle Bell aka slinkerwink, Director of New Media at Back To Basics PAC
Follow Noelle Bell on Twitter: www.twitter.com/RUbuzzworthy