Thursday | February 2, 2012

Vol. 101 Issue 49

Regents suppoRt Rick peRRy
Lilly made his first donation to Perry’s campaign in October 2008, followed by a $25,000 donation in November 2008, two months prior to being appointed. He donated $50,000 on June 30, 2009, four months following his appointment. Both William Scott and Lilly declined to comment regarding their campaign contribution decisions. Charles Amato, chairman of the Texas State University System Board, donated $31,400 to Texans for Rick Perry while Ron Mitchell, a regent from Horseshoe Bay, donated $9,785. Rossanna Salazar, a regent from Austin who served as a formal adviser to Texans for Rick Perry, donated $1,577, according to commission records. Neither Amato, Mitchell nor Salazar returned messages for comment. Records also showed Dr. Jaime Garza of San Antonio donated $6,000 to Perry’s campaign and Trisha Pollard, a regent from Bellaire, has given $5,500. Donna Williams, regent and wife of Texas Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams, donated $2,000. Craig McDonald, director for Texans for Public Justice, said it is not uncommon for campaign contributions to play a role in being selected to an institution’s board of regents. “It’s not just Rick Perry who appoints people to attract campaign funds or to award donors,” McDonald said. However, other university systems’ Board of Regent members in Texas have made larger donations to Perry. The University of Texas System regents have donated a total of $1.5 million with an average of $140,000 per donor. The Texas A&M University System regents donated a total of $1.4 million with an average of $118,000 per donor, according to figures compiled by the Texas Tribune. “When regents are appointed based on the campaign contributions given to the governor, perhaps maybe the most qualified aren’t getting appointed,” McDonald said. “It shows this job is based more on your political clout rather than on your qualifications to serve.” Perry spokeswoman Steffany Duke said appointments are made “in the best interest of Texans. Appointees are selected based on their willingness to serve, qualifications and any criteria that is required for the position.” She said campaign contributions do not play a role in Perry’s appointments. McDonald said qualifications such as higher education and public policy experience and financial management with respect to a public university should be play a larger role than political contributions when appointing a regent. “One thing that would mitigate the problem would be to limit campaign funds in state elections, similar to federal funds,” McDonald said.

BoARD oF Regents

c. Amato $31,400

J. garza $6,000

k. Lilly $85,277

R. Mitchell $9,785

D. Montague t. pollard $0 $5,500

R. salazar $1,577

W.F. scott $103,587

D. Williams $2,000

Andrew cobb, star illustrator

Board of Regents donates thousands to Rick Perry
By kolten parker News Reporter Members of the Texas State University System Board of Regents have donated a combined total of $245,126 to Gov. Rick Perry. Eight of nine voting members on the Board of Regents donated to Perry’s gubernatorial campaign fund — Texans for Rick Perry. Perry appoints all of the public university regents, who are influential administrators within a university system. The regents meet quarterly to make budget decisions and set tuition and fees for each of the universities in the system. They set the salary of administrators, determine degree programs

and approve Campus Master Plans. Texas State University System regents are not paid a salary, but the title results in including travel reimbursements and may include reserved seating at athletic events at certain universities. William F. Scott, the most recently appointed Texas State University System regent, donated the largest amount to Perry’s campaign -- $103,587 -- according to Texas Ethics Commission records. Scott, appointed in September with a term ending Feb. 1, 2013, is a co-owner of Trans-Global, Inc. He earned a bachelor of science in government at Lamar University, where he currently sits on multiple boards. Scott’s brother and co-owner of Trans-Global, Inc., Richard Scott, donated a total of $306,000 to Perry’s campaign, according to Texas Ethics Commission records. Each of the Scotts was named one of 204 mega-donors for Perry by Texans for Public Justice, a campaign finance watchdog organization based in Austin. Kevin Lilly, a regent from Houston who was appointed in Febuary 2009, donated $85,277 to Perry’s campaign, according to Texas Ethics Commission records.

See BoARD oF Regents, Page 3

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful