Perry and ex-aide Mike Toomey have deep, mutually beneficial ties

SMU Political Science Professor Cal Jillson talks about the connection between Texas Governor Rick Perry and lobbyist Mike Toomey.

By Karen Tumulty

Any insider at the Texas Capitol could have identified which aide-turned-lobbyist Rep. Michele Bachmann was talking about when she attacked Texas Gov. Rick Perry over a 2007 executive order mandating that teenage girls receive a vaccination against the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus.

“There was a big drug company that made millions of dollars because of this mandate,” Bachmann (Minn.) said during Monday night’s GOP presidential debate in Tampa. “. . . The governor’s former chief of staff was the chief lobbyist for this drug company. The drug company gave thousands of dollars in political donations to the governor, and this is just flat-out wrong.”

Perry retorted that he was offended by any suggestion that he could be swayed by a $5,000 campaign contribution — an inaccurate figure, it turned out, that was only a fifth of the actual amount he had received from the company. . .

The business community in Texas is so powerful that Democrats sometimes refer to the lobbyist section in the capitol’s House gallery as “the owner’s box.”

As for Toomey, “I guess you would call him a fixer, and a go-between for the governor with the business lobby,” said Call Jillson, a political science professor at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. “You find Toomey all over — sometimes on the inside; sometimes on the outside.”

Jillson added: “He’s out there doing everything he can think of on Perry’s behalf, and if he doesn’t have the money to do it, he knows where to get it.”

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