Rick Perry is the Republican governor of the State of Texas since 2000. He was sworn in as the state's 47th governor on December 21, 2000, and elected to four-year terms in 2002, 2006, and 2010. 
On February 2, 2007, Perry "issued an executive order that made Texas the first state to require girls entering the sixth grade to receive the HPV [human papilloma virus] vaccine, beginning in September 2008." The only HPV vaccine at the time was Merck's Gardasil, which had received FDA approval in June 2006. 
Some questioned why Perry, a social conservative, would be so eager to mandate a new and controversial vaccine for a sexually-transmitted disease. "One of [Merck]’s three lobbyists in Texas is Mike Toomey, Perry’s former chief of staff," reported Associated Press. Perry "also received $6,000 from Merck’s political action committee during his re-election campaign." 
Friend of Zion
In June 2007, Perry traveled to Israel courtesy of Global Capital Associates. While in Israel he received the "Friend of Zion" award, and met with Ehud Olmert, the current Israeli PM, and Benjamin Netanyahu, the former PM. As a consequence of his trip to Israel, Perry is seeking to implement a divestment from the Texas state employee pension fund of all companies doing business in Iran and Sudan.
Philip Giraldi, the former CIA intelligence analyst, comments on Perry's recent pronouncements:
- On June 28, 2011, Perry wrote a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder regarding “Violations of U.S. Law by Organizers of Gaza Flotilla.” The letter is on official state letterhead, and Perry signed it as governor, not as a private citizen. Now you might well express surprise that such a communication even exists; after all, what does the Gaza flotilla have to do with the governance of Texas? Perry does not exactly answer that question except by noting that he is an “American citizen and governor of one of its largest states.” His letter claims that the flotilla would “interfere with Israel’s maritime blockade of the Gaza Strip,” and it calls on Holder to prevent “these illegal actions” and “prosecute anyone who may elect to engage in them.”Citing “additional information provided … by Shurat HaDin,” the letter asserts that “a coalition of violent anti-Israeli organizations” is behind the flotilla.
To strengthen his case, Perry further maintains that the flotilla is a “naval expedition against a people with whom the United States is at peace … with the intent that it be employed to commit hostilities” and that it constitutes, under the PATRIOT Act, “provision of material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization.” He then reminds Holder that last year’s Gaza flotilla ended with the “deaths of nine people and serious injury to numerous IDF SEALs and other Israelis.” Perry concludes by calling on Holder to “bring to justice all parties found to be in violation of U.S. law by their participation in these efforts."
Where to start? First of all, Perry is a governor who is acting in his official capacity on behalf of a foreign country in criminalizing a peaceful protest by U.S. citizens taking place 7,000 miles away and in which his state has no possible interest. It is by no means clear who exactly egged the governor on to write the letter, but he does cite the assistance of Shurat HaDin, the Israeli lawfare center, which is dedicated to using lawsuits to silence any and all criticism of Israel. You might reasonably conclude that Perry is engaged in pandering to the many friends of Israel in the media and elsewhere and is making sure that he is in the good graces of the Israel Lobby in case he decides to make his presidential run, but it is also possible that he believes what he has written. He is an evangelical who has visited Israel a number of times, pledged his undying loyalty to the government of that country, and on a 2007 visit received the Friend of Zion award.
Coal and the Environment
In 2006, Texas Gov. Rick Perry fast-tracked the permitting process for 11 new col plants for TXU, the state's largest utility, shrinking a process that usually takes one to four years down to six months. The new plants were resisted by local residents and Perry's executive order was later challenged in court and deemed unconstitutional by a Travis County judge. Only three of TXU's new coal plants were built, but Perry stood by the utility through the 16-month battle. Between January 2001 and July 2011, TXU (now known as Energy Future Holdings), gave Perry $633,575—more than any other politician. Former TXU chairman Erle Nye, whom Perry appointed to Texas A&M's Board of Regents in 2003, gave the governor $2,000 on the day he signed the coal-plant executive order, and another $25,000 six months later. TXU's PAC also gave Perry $5,000 shortly after he signed the order.
Perry has also fought a years-long battle with the EPA: from 2009-2011, Texas sued the EPA a dozen times. In 2010, the state sued the agency when the EPA struck down the state's "flexible" air quality permitting system for violating the Clean Air Act. In February 2010, Texas sued the EPA over its plans to begin to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, a move that Perry slammed as "arbitrary and capricious" and "contrary to the Clean Air Act." As of 2011, Texas ranks No. 1 in the nation for carbon dioxide emissions.
Rick Perry was "born in West Texas (4 March 1950). He attended Texas A&M University, earning a degree in animal science in 1972. From 1972 to 1977, he served in the U.S. Air Force, flying C-130 tactical airlift aircraft in the United States, Europe, and the Middle East. From 1985 to 1990, he was a member of the Texas House of Representatives, serving on the Appropriations and Calendars Committees. ... From 1991 to 1998, he served as Texas commissioner of agriculture, successfully streamlining that agency and promoting and expanding markets for the state's agriculture products." 
In the 2010 GOP primary, Perry beat Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) by 20 points. This win sparked talk of a 2012 presidential run for Perry. The general election was closer with a surprisingly strong challenge from Houston Mayor Bill White (D) with Perry winning with 56.6 percent of the vote. 
Office of the Governor
P.O. Box 12428
Austin, Texas 78711-2428
Resources and articles
Related SourceWatch articles
- About Rick Perry
- Rick Perry profile, The Washington Post, accessed January 2011.
- Texas Becomes First State to Require HPV Vaccine, Feminist Daily News Wire, 5 Feb. 2007.
- Liz Austin Peterson,Perry's office says Legislature has final say on HPV vaccine, The Herald Democrat, 8 Feb. 2007.
- Peggy Fikac, Perry wants pension funds free of connections to Iran, Houston Chronicle, 18 July 2007.
- Philip Giraldi, Rick Perry Abuses His Office for Israel, AntiWar.com, 4 August 2011.
- Andy Kroll, "Rick Perry's Dirty Deals With Big Coal" Mother Jones, Sep. 21, 2011.
- Texas Governor Rick Perry, NGA
- "Perry trumps White to win re-election in governor's race", The Daily Cougar, November 3, 2010.
- Office of the Governor: Governor Rick Perry
- RickPerry.org, Governor Rick Perry's Campaign Website
- Liz Austin Peterson, "Perry’s office says Legislature has final say on HPV vaccine," Associated Press, February 8, 2007.
- Andrew Pollack and Stephanie Saul, "Merck to Halt Lobbying for Vaccine for Girls," New York Times, February 21, 2007.
- See how you compare to Rick Perry
- Rick Perry to delight climate sceptics by running for president