Rick Perry: One-Fourth of His Political Appointments Went to Campaign Donors


Appointing Donors 'No Cause for Undo Condemnation'

"I had to appoint people ... to positions of importance," Quinn told the Tribune. "And I wanted to find the best people, and many people who have helped me politically, I've known for years, decades, and they support me because they believe in my approach to government."

As of March 2011, 26 of the 59 people that South Carolina Gov. Haley appointed had contributed to her campaign, giving a total of about $75,000 throughout the 2010 election, the State newspaper reported.

"Obviously, any politician is going to rely on the people who support him," Smith of the Center for Competitive Politics said. "And the people you appoint to high positions are successful people and these people make a lot of money so typically they are going to be financial supporters.

"It is sort of unfair to say it's all corrupt. Like so many things in life, the reality is pretty complex," Smith added. "Politicians want people who have proven their loyalty. So I guess that is a long way of saying it's the nature of the beast."

But while appointing campaign donors is common practice, Craig Holman, government affairs lobbyist for advocate Public Citizen, said Perry has taken it to extremes.

"All we can see form the numbers that are disclosed is there is an obvious pattern," Holman said. "The pattern in itself should be very troubling. It's higher than I've seen among nearly all politicians."

Perry has also appointed more people than almost any other governor because he has been in office longer. Appointees should be judged on the results they get while in office, Smith cautioned, not the money they give to campaigns.

"I wouldn't say it's no cause for concern," he said, "but it is also no cause for undo condemnation."

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