The credibility of the anti-Kerry Swift Boat Veterans for Truth took another hit today as the Washington Post revealed military records that contradict the story of one of the group's leading figures. John Kerry, emboldened by the Post story, unleashed his fiercest-yet counterattack on the Swift Boat group and the Bush campaign, which he said was using the vets to do its "dirty work." Today, Texans for Public Justice, an Austin-based consumer rights/civil justice advocacy and research organization that tracks money in Texas politics, went through its files for information on the Bush/Texas GOP donor behind the Swift Boat group.
From TPJ: "Bob Perry, a major Texas donor to the Republican Party, George W. Bush, Republican candidates, and conservative, pro-business political committees has contributed $200,000 to Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, a group attacking John Kerrys Vietnam service."
"The Houston-based Perry owns Perry Homes, one of the states largest homebuilders with reported revenues of $420 million in 2002. While an active political donor since the mid-1980's, over the past three years Perry has eclipsed the giving of Texas' elite money men and positioned himself as the largest single political donor in Texas giving candidates and committees more than $5.2 million since 2000. Perry worked with Karl Rove as early as 1986 when Perry served as Campaign Treasurer for Republican gubernatorial candidate William Clements and Rove served as a campaign consultant and fundraiser.
"Highlights of Perry's political contributions:
Perry contributed $46,000 to George W. Bush's 1994 and 1998 campaigns for Texas Governor. He has contributed the maximum allowable $2,000 to Bushs current reelection.
Perry was the largest individual contributor to the Texas Republican Party during the recent 2002-election cycle (calendar 2001 & 2002) giving $905,000.
Perry is Republican Governor Rick Perrys (no relation) largest patron, having contributed $225,000 since 2001.
Perry was the largest individual contributor to Republican Lt. Governor David Dewhursts 2002 campaign, giving $115,000.
Perry was the largest individual contributor to Republican Attorney General Greg Abbotts 2002 campaign, giving $387,600. Perry's wife Doylene gave Abbott an additional $150,000.
Perry was the second largest individual contributor to Republican Comptroller Carole Strayhorn's 2002 campaign, giving $100,000.
Perry was the largest contributor to Tom DeLay's Texans for a Republican Majority PAC (TRMPAC) giving $165,000 in the 2002 election cycle. TRMPAC is currently the subject of a criminal investigation by a Travis Country grand jury for allegedly misusing corporate contributions in the 2002 state elections.
Perry was the single largest contributor to the Texas Association of Business PAC in 2002, giving $105,000. The Association is also under criminal investigation for misuse of corporate funds in the 2002 Texas elections.
Perry contributed a total of $595,500 directly to the campaigns of 23 GOP legislative candidates in the 2002 cycle, including the 21-candidate slate supported by TRMPAC.
Perry contributed $95,000 to Tom DeLay's Republican Majority Issues PAC in 2001.
Perry has been a primary funder of efforts to limit civil liability in Texas, contributing $415,000 to Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC, the state's largest non-party political committee.
Sources: Campaign filings with the Texas Ethics Commission, IRS & FEC. Reports published by Texans for Public Justice and news accounts."