I don’t really believe that Rick Perry is running for President again, and if he is I don’t expect he’ll be taken very seriously. I’m not even sure if he’s running for Governor again. But if he does run for something, or more than one something, in the future, I hope stories like this are a big part of the narrative about him and his candidacy.
For the last decade, Perry has enjoyed a GOP-controlled Legislature that largely has shared his philosophy and helped his agenda. They’ve backed his appointments, given him key authority over $800 million in economic development funds and adopted his budget-cutting dictates.
But this year, an unusual coalition of conservative, anti-establishment legislators has combined with reform-minded Democrats. It has given momentum to more than a half-dozen initiatives that, if not aimed directly at Perry, certainly have been inspired by him.
“I hope people would say, regardless of who the governor is, we need to correct improprieties,” said Rep. Chris Turner, D-Arlington.
A list of bills filed that would curtail others from doing what Perry has done:
Taxpayers can’t be charged for elected officials’ out-of-state security costs if the travel is purely for personal or political reasons. (House Bill 160)
State officeholders cannot draw pension benefits on top of their salary while still holding office. (HB 413)
Legislators and statewide officeholders who announce their candidacy for another job must resign their posts if there is less than 13 months left in their term. (HJR 73)
University regents appointed by the governor can’t vote until the Senate confirms them. (Senate Bill 15)
Other than the term limits resolutions, I think all of them are good ideas on their own merits. There’s a lot of bipartisan support for most of these measures as well. It’s all still a pretty small thing, especially if none of these measures passes out of the Legislature, but consider Rick Perry’s temperature to have been taken regardless.