UPDATE: A source familiar with this story suggested to me that the application for the grant has been withdrawn. I called the Governor’s Office for comment, but was told it does not discuss TEF grants.
ORIGINAL POST: This is almost unbelievable. Rick Perry is going to give a Texas Enterprise Fund grant to a firm headed by, of all people, Mike Toomey, the governor’s closest political ally. It is so brazen. Perry has given state tax dollars to his pals before, but Toomey? At least Perry is consistent. He always does what he wants to do and doesn’t care how it looks. Here are the details:
AAA Auto Club–which is seeking a taxpayer handout from Perry–is headed by a Perry pal and patron…whose lobby firm is headed by Perry’s former chief of staff and ex-roommate. [That would be Mike Toomey].
So how is this going to provide jobs for the Texas economy? Well, there are the clerks at the rental counter and the folks who vaccuum the cars, and let’s not forget the bus drivers who take you to the terminal and the folks who fill out the rental agreement and tell you where to sign. These are not high-paying jobs, and they won’t provide much of an economic benefit to the state.
Before a Texas Enterprise Fund grant can take effect, both the Speaker of the House and the lieutenant governor must sign off on the grant. Let’s see if Dewhurst and Straus have the fortitude to say not only no, but hell no.