Texas Farm Bureau: No more bull from Rick Perry
DALLAS, TX The Texas Farm Bureau's political action committee is backing Kay Bailey Hutchison over Rick Perry for Governor. KERA's Shelley Kofler says the heavy-weight endorsement is part payback for Perry not protecting rural property rights.
Collin County Farmer Charles Ray Huddleston says the Farm Bureau's support Kay Bailey Hutchison came down to one big thing: trust.
Huddleston: We trust Kay Bailey Hutchison period. She has lead on agriculture and private property issues.
Implied is that many Farm Bureau leaders don't trust Rick Perry, a former rancher who also served as Texas Agriculture Commissioner. The Farm Bureau's Gene Hall says the big break with Perry came two years ago when Perry vetoed an eminent domain bill. Hall says that left ranchers with little hope of getting a fair price for their property when it's condemned for public use.
Hall: After telling the Farm Bureau board of directors he would support eminent domain reform the governor vetoed that legislation. That means a condemning entity -and there are thousands- can come out and low ball you and your property. Then if you don't think it's enough you have to incur all the costs and take it to court.
Hutchison for her part has hammered Perry for another initiative that sticks in the Farm Bureau's craw. The Trans-Texas Corridor, the statewide network of highways and infrastructure that would have cut through many family farms.
Hutchison: If I am governor I will dismantle the Trans-Texas Corridor and the strategy that every road in Texas should be a toll road.
The Perry campaign's Mark Miner responded by saying Perry signed eminent domain reform bills this year and in 2005. Miner claims the Farm Bureau is really supporting Hutchison because it sells insurance and Hutchison voted for federal stimulus money for the financial industry. The Farm Bureau's Hall calls that ludicrous and says the bill Perry vetoed was the one that offered real financial protection for property owners.
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