CREW, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a left-leaning activist group, today named Rick Perry as one of the six worst governors in the country, 1200 WOAI news reports.
CREW cited what it said was 'widespread cronyism' in the Perry Administration, appointing hundreds of campaign donors to state posts and raising millions of dollars in campaign funds from his appointees and their spouses.
CREW executive director Melanie Sloan tells 1200 WOAI news that the governor's Texas Enterprise Fund and Texas Emerging Technology Fund, two Perry-controlled funds to be used to help lure new businesses to Texas, are ripe with cronyism.
"State funded and giving money to most of Rick Perry's friends and cronies and campaign donors," she said.
The CREW report also cited what it alls a 'lack of transparency' in Perry's official duties, deleting official e-mails every seven days, and failing to release the governor's daily schedule or who stays overnight at the Governor's Mansion.
They also cite the fact that in 2011, Perry convinced the Legislature to allow him to keep his security costs secret for 18 months, a period of time which covered huge costs racked up by the team during his unsuccessful run for President.
But the number one complaint that CREW has against Perry is his 'double dipping.'
"In 2011, Gov. Perry began taking advantage of an obscure provision in Texas law which allows him to begin taking pension benefits for previous positions, which simultaneously continuing to collect his governor's salary," Sloan said. "But at the same time, he signed a bill making it harder for public school teachers to engage n a similar practice by instituting a required 12 consecutive month break in service after retirement before returning to draw a full time salary as a state employee."
It is the second straight year that Perry has made CREW's list of the country's worst governors.
All six of the governors labeled as the worst by CREW are Republicans, but Sloan says Democrats, including Democratic Party rising star Andrew Cuomo of New York, are cited in the report as in the second tier of the 'worst' governors.