When George W. Bush signed UTIMCO into existence, he created a lasting connection between the investment company and the governor's office. Rick Perry has, in every way possible, kept this tradition alive. The most obvious example of this relationship is the close correlation between the campaign donations Perry receives and the appointments that are then graciously given out to his donors.
In true democratic fashion, corporations and CEO's connected with UTIMCO heavily contributed to the $34.3 million total that Perry raised for his Lieutenant Governor and Governor races between June 1997 and June 2002. Hicks, Muse, Tate, & Furst donated 3,481, making them his fourth highest donor. Tom Hicks, the first chairman of UTIMCO, is one of the four principals of this firm. Steve Hicks, brother of Tom Hicks, gave 8,516 in donations in addition to $50,000 to Texans for Rick Perry. UTIMCO board member John McStay donated $33,000.
Woody Hunt, another UTIMCO board member and UT regent, donated $73,038 1, with an additional $63,400 coming from Hunt Building Corporation, of which Woody is the chairman and CEO. Perry also received $244,499 from Pilgrim's Pride Corporation, which as of June 2003 was the beneficiary of $236,915 worth of UTIMCO investments (despite their callous reputation; see their articles below). This is only a short list of some of the more important figures that donated to Perry's campaign. For more information, see this TPJ page.
This close connection between a few elite Texans, their deep pockets, and their appointed positions is not only dangerous but it is undemocratic. These people who make and control decisions have many negative affects on many different people, but usually not themselves. When a few connected individuals control University policies and its investments while fighting to gain even more power, less accountability and more corruption can be expected. Rick Perry, although he is a public servant, does not act on the public's behalf when controlling this elite group. This quid pro quo Good Ol' Boy system, on which Texas politics are now based, is continually damaging the University and those who are associated with it.
- Perry to name three regents by February (12/13/02)
- UTIMCO-invested company wanting to pump wastewater into local water (11/19/02)
- UTIMCO-invested company under fire (10/15/02)