August 15, 2004

Top Bush supporter funds attacks on Kerry's war record

The increasingly unhinged and incredibly shrinking
_resident's top fund-raising in Mass. is funding
the-shell-of-a-man-formerly-known-as-Ralph-Nader, the
increasingly unhinged and incredibly shrinking
_resident's top fund-raiser in TX (well, Kenny Boy has
run into some trouble) is funding the disgusting
attack smearing Sen. John F. Kerry's extraordinary
record of courage on the battlefield (condemned even
by the recently politically spayed Sen. John McCain
(R-AZ)...When Howard Dean (D-Jeffords) challenged
the-shell-of-a-man-formerly-known-as-Ralph-Nader about
the Bush cabal's Mass. fat cat funding his campaign,
the-shell-of-a-man-formerly-known-as-Ralph-Nader said,
"Maybe he cares about civil liberties." What will he
say about this guy? That he's deeply committed to
veterans affairs? And where are the
propapunditgandists of cable news networks and the
sunday morning shows (Fork the Nation, Meat the Press
and Week in Revision)? Where are the Editorial page
writers for the NYTwits and the WASHPs(who provide
cover for the lie-proffering that goes their front
pages)? AWOL, and on the dole. Well, it is all going to blow up
in their faces (politiically for the GOP and economically for the "US mainstream news media"), unless, of course, they don't blow
something up in our faces first (literally)...

Scott Gold, LA Times: A homebuilder who lives lakeside
in this Houston suburb, Perry has helped bankroll the
widespread success of Republican candidates here, has
long-standing ties to many close associates of
President Bush, and has contributed to Bush's last
four campaigns. According to interviews and campaign
documents, he has given a total of more than $5
million to scores of political candidates.
''And the vast majority of those people have never
laid eyes on him," said Court Koenning, executive
director of the Republican Party in Harris County,
which includes the Houston metropolitan area.
Despite the enormous influence of his money, Perry,
71, is reticent and guarded, and remains something of
a mystery in Texas. But his largess has now crept onto
the national stage.
A group called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth launched
television ads last week accusing Kerry, a
Massachusetts senator and the Democratic presidential
nominee, of lying about his military record. A
$100,000 check that Perry wrote to the group this year
represented about two-thirds of the money in its
accounts as of June 30, according to financial
documents.
The Bush campaign says it has no ties to the group.
The advertisements, running in the battleground states
of Wisconsin, Ohio, and West Virginia, are part of a
multimedia campaign questioning Kerry's fitness as a
leader and commander in chief. A book written by one
of the group's leaders, Houston lawyer John E.
O'Neill, is scheduled to be released today.

Cleanse the White House of the Chickenhawk Coup and
Its War Profiteering Cronies, Show Up for Democracy in
2004: Defeat Bush (again!)

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2004/08/15/top_bush_supporter_funds_attacks_on_kerrys_war_record/

Top Bush supporter funds attacks on Kerry's war record
Homebuilder is longtime force in Texas GOP
By Scott Gold, Los Angeles Times | August 15, 2004

NASSAU BAY, Texas -- Robert J. Perry, the main
financier behind the effort to discredit Senator John
F. Kerry's military record, is the most prolific
political donor in Texas.

A homebuilder who lives lakeside in this Houston
suburb, Perry has helped bankroll the widespread
success of Republican candidates here, has
long-standing ties to many close associates of
President Bush, and has contributed to Bush's last
four campaigns. According to interviews and campaign
documents, he has given a total of more than $5
million to scores of political candidates.

''And the vast majority of those people have never
laid eyes on him," said Court Koenning, executive
director of the Republican Party in Harris County,
which includes the Houston metropolitan area.

Despite the enormous influence of his money, Perry,
71, is reticent and guarded, and remains something of
a mystery in Texas. But his largess has now crept onto
the national stage.

A group called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth launched
television ads last week accusing Kerry, a
Massachusetts senator and the Democratic presidential
nominee, of lying about his military record. A
$100,000 check that Perry wrote to the group this year
represented about two-thirds of the money in its
accounts as of June 30, according to financial
documents.

The Bush campaign says it has no ties to the group.

The advertisements, running in the battleground states
of Wisconsin, Ohio, and West Virginia, are part of a
multimedia campaign questioning Kerry's fitness as a
leader and commander in chief. A book written by one
of the group's leaders, Houston lawyer John E.
O'Neill, is scheduled to be released today.

''Bob Perry is a very generous guy with his political
donations," Koenning said. ''His primary interest is
good government. . . . Everybody agrees that John
Kerry's service to this country is admirable. But if
he lied about it, that speaks to his character."

Kerry was awarded three Purple Hearts, a Bronze Star,
and a Silver Star for his service in Vietnam. Upon his
return, he became a leader of a veterans group that
declared the war a mistake. His military service is a
cornerstone of his presidential campaign, one his
advisers believe contrasts sharply with Bush's service
in the Texas Air National Guard.

None of the veterans featured in the advertisements
served on the river patrol boats Kerry commanded
during Vietnam.

Several of Kerry's crewmates have condemned the
advertisements, and Senator John McCain, Republican of
Arizona, once a prisoner of war in Vietnam, called
them ''dishonest and dishonorable."

''Bob Perry pulls the strings and never gets his hands
dirty. But even by his standards, this latest deal is
just over the top," said Charles Soechting, chairman
of the Texas Democratic Party.

Perry declined to comment through his spokesman, Bill
Miller, an Austin political consultant. Continued...

Page 2 of 2 -- Perry has been a political donor for years, working with White House political director Karl Rove during Rove's Texas years, contributing to Texas Governor Rick Perry's rise in politics and giving $20,000 to Bush's two campaigns for governor in the 1990s.

But Perry, no relation to the governor, began increasing his donations in 2000. Today, campaign documents and his representatives confirm that he has given more money to campaigns and political organizations in the past four years than any other Texan. A few of his donations have gone to Democratic candidates, but most have gone to Republicans and conservative causes.

He has given almost $1 million to the Texas Republican Party. He has donated at least $200,000 to Texans for Lawsuit Reform, one of the most successful ''tort reform" organizations in the nation.

In the 2002 election cycle, he also provided about $700,000 for the GOP's effort to dominate Texas politics. That included $165,000 given to Texans for a Republican Majority, an offshoot of US House majority leader Tom DeLay's Americans for a Republican Majority, formed to help conservatives get elected.

The election that year of a slate of DeLay-backed Republicans -- all supported by Perry -- gave the GOP control of the state House for the first time in 130 years. That paved the way for passage of a host of conservative measures, such as abortion restrictions and limits on medical malpractice cases. The GOP also redrew congressional maps for Texas, a move designed to shore up Republican control of Congress.

Perry is largely unknown outside campaign finance databases and a small group of political leaders, shunning social activities often embraced by major donors. Many of the politicians who have received Perry's money say they have never met him. One who has, Texas Agriculture Commissioner Susan Combs, said he wanted to know just one thing before supporting her: ''Are you a straight-talking, straight-shooting person who is going to represent Texas well?"

''I just think he's an unassuming guy," Combs said.

Born in a tiny ranching community in Bosque County, Texas, Perry attended Baylor University and then taught high school for a while, like his father before him. In 1968, he started a home-building business in Houston.

Today, Perry Homes does business across central and eastern Texas. The company's website lists 48 communities in the Houston area alone where the company is building or selling houses, which range from $110,000 to more than $400,000.

Copyright 2004 Globe Newspaper Company.

Posted by richard at August 15, 2004 11:59 AM