July 2, 2008

$100,000 gift led the attack on ethanol


That's not my headline up there. I took it from the Houston Chronicle, which wrote a scathing article on how the RFS waiver filed by Texas Gov. Rick Perry got started back in March before being filed in April.

Here's the time line the Chronicle put together:

March 25 : Poultry producer Lonnie "Bo" Pilgrim meets with Gov. Rick Perry to ask him to seek a waiver from federal mandates for the production of corn-based ethanol.

March 31: Pilgrim donates $100,000 to the Republican Governors Association chaired by Perry.

April 17: Pilgrim speaks to nine Republican governors in closed-door conference on energy in Grapevine.

April 24: Pilgrim's Pride lobbyists and public relations firm Public Strategies meet with Perry's staff on final details of waiver request.

April 25 : Perry formally requests waiver from Environmental Protection Agency.

June 24: Perry attends Washington, D.C., news conference promoting waiver. Event was organized by Public Strategies.

I'm not naive enough to believe this sort of thing doesn't happen. But it sure is nice to see it documented in this case. The reporter went through 596 pages of records obtained from the governor's office under the Texas Public Information Act. That's a lot of paper and a lot of good work.

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