Mount Pleasant Patch: Couple Indicted for Illegal Donations to Graham

Campaign denies knowledge of illegal donations funneled from German businessman.

-By Adam Crisp

September 19, 2011- A Mount Pleasant business owner faces a multi-count federal indictment for a scheme to donate thousands of dollars in illegal campaign money to the re-election campaign of U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham.

Federal authorities allege in April indictments that were unsealed Monday that Jian-Yun “John” Dong took more than $30,000 from a German national and funneled the money through illegal sources from 2007-09 to support Graham’s re-election campaign.

He also used money from the German businessman to make donations to the Graham’s political action committee Fund for America’s Future.

Graham’s campaign on Monday said they have cooperated with investigators and they noted that in the indictment it notes that the campaign was not aware of the violations.

“Campaign officials met with authorities in October 2010 and provided information pertinent to the investigation,” said Thad Westbrook, treasurer of Lindsey Graham for Senate and Fund for America’s Future. “Our campaign has and will continue to cooperate fully with the investigation."

NY Times: Ex-A.I.G. Chief Hosts Perry Fund-Raiser

-By Michael D. Shear

September 20, 2011- Rick Perry minces no words in declaring what he thinks of the 2008 TARP bailout of big banks, saying in his book that such programs “turn America upside down, totally undermining the idea of limited government, free markets and federalism.”

But on Tuesday, Mr. Perry will be the guest of honor at a high-dollar, New York fund-raiser thrown by Maurice R. Greenberg, also known as Hank, the former chief executive of the American International Group, a company whose spectacular collapse helped set the stage for the bailouts that Mr. Perry dislikes.

Mr. Greenberg led A.I.G. for decades and was accused of fraud by the New York State attorney general before leaving his post in 2005. The company ended up taking more than  $180 billion in federal aid, including more than $40 billion from the TARP program.

Houston Chronicle: Calls to Perry donor raise questions

-By Patricia Kilday Hart

August 29, 2011- In the final week of Gov. Rick Perry's 2006 re-election campaign, his two biggest donors got out their checkbooks and into a gray area.

On the same day Houston homebuilder Bob Perry received three phone calls from someone at the Republican Governors Association, he overnighted a $500,000 check to the group.

Two days later, the executive director of the RGA personally handed Perry a contribution for the same amount.

Records of the phone calls between Bob Perry, no relation to the governor, and the RGA were contained in a lawsuit filed by Rick Perry's unsuccessful Democratic challenger, Chris Bell.

While Texas law allows for unlimited contributions, lawyers on behalf of Bell believe the contributions were routed through the RGA because the Perry campaign had attacked Bell for accepting a $1 million contribution from the late Houston trial lawyer John O'Quinn.

AlterNet: Meet the Shady Dallas Mega-Billionaire Industrialist Pouring Money into Rick Perry's Coffers

Most Americans have never heard of Harold Simmons, despite his fantastic wealth, because he wisely keeps his head low.

-By Joe Conason

August 29, 2011- Like so many Republican officials of the tea party persuasion, Rick Perry despises the Environmental Protection Agency—a feeling he has expressed repeatedly in speeches, lawsuits, legislation and even a book titled “Fed Up!” Perhaps that is only natural for the governor of Texas, a “dirty energy” state where the protection of air, water and human health rank well below the defense of oil company profits for most politicians.

But Perry has at least one other reason for smacking down those bureaucrats so eagerly. When environmental regulators do their job properly, that can mean serious trouble for Perry’s largest political donors.

The outstanding example is Harold Simmons, a Dallas mega-billionaire industrialist who has donated well over a million dollars to Perry’s campaign committees recently. With Perry’s eager assistance—and despite warnings from Texas environmental officials—Simmons has gotten approval to build an enormous radioactive waste dump on top of a crucial underground water supply.

Huffington Post: Rick Perry Super PACs Raise Issues of Coordination, Collusion

-by Paul Blumenthal and Jason Cherkis

August 13, 2011- WASHINGTON -- Texas Governor Rick Perry is set to officially jump into the Republican presidential primary race with unmatched backing from a collection of independent groups raising unlimited money from corporations and individuals to help get him the Republican nomination. The connections that these groups have to Perry's inner circle, however, are raising serious questions about their supposed independence and the appearance of collusion.

There are currently seven Super PACs -- independent political committees that can accept unlimited contributions from individuals, corporations and unions -- supporting Perry's bid. The most recently formed is Make Us Great Again, which is, perhaps, the most emblematic of the veil of independence worn by these candidate-centric committees.

The committee was founded by former Perry chief of staff and longtime associate Mike Toomey. Toomey is so close to the Perry inner circle he even co-owns a private island in New Hampshire with Perry's campaign manager Dave Carney. Toomey was also listed in a Texas Tribune report on the "folks" behind Perry.

The other pro-Perry Super PACs are no better in presenting themselves as independent.

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