Teachers and retirees, Gov. Perry may have a deal for you digging into your hardearned pensions to help build more roll roads for Texas.
In his Burkablog, linked below, Texas Monthly’s Paul Burka reminds us that Perry has entertained that idea in the past. The Teacher Retirement System board rejected it then, but as Burka also points out, Perry has been known to pressure reluctant appointees – or replace them – in order to get his way with other agencies. And, as a whistleblower pointed out in a memo made public by Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill White this week, the TRS board (all Perry appointees) is very susceptible to political pressure.
Toll roads are dicey propositions that could really harm the financial integrity of the TRS fund. What’s more, toll roads are very unpopular with many Texans. But, remember, Perry likes them, and they were key components of his widely hated and allegedly deceased Trans Texas Corridor.
Depending on who wins this election, maybe the Trans Texas Corridor will rise again – on the backs of educators and retirees.
In case you are still catching up on the TRS story, the whistleblower, a former TRS manager, said in his memo that Perry’s appointees on the TRS board had pressured TRS managers to make potentially risky investments with companies whose executives had given Perry large political contributions. TRS claimed an external “investigation” had cleared the agency of wrongdoing.
In his blog, Burka also notes that the alleged “investigation,” conducted by a lawyer with potential TRS conflicts of his own, was a sham.