Rick Perry Is Just Trolling Now

Texas Gov. Rick Perry.<a href="Rick Perry">http://www.flickr.com/photos/rickperry/</a>/Flickr

On Tuesday, Texas governor Rick Perry kind-of-sort-of called on Mitt Romney to release his tax returns (and President Obama to release his college transcripts), telling reporters, “I’m all about transparency.” This has been taken as a sign that Republicans are increasingly frustrated with Romney’s secrecy regarding his tax returns, which is probably true. But the larger takeaway here is that Rick Perry is trolling all of us—because Rick Perry is absolutely not “all about transparency.”

As my colleague Andy Kroll explained last August:

Perry and his administration have withheld information in 100 public-records requests during his time in Austin, and on occasion failed to respond on time to other records requests as required by state law. His administration has also refused to hand over notes and records about how the state’s two honeypots for economic growth, the Emerging Technology Fund and the Texas Enterprise Fund, decided to dole out grant money, including on one occasion to a company owned by a Perry donor. The Chronicle went so far as to sue the Perry administration for refusing to hand over notes on its decision not to grant clemency to Cameron Todd Willingham, a man who was executed in 2004 after being convicted of multiple murders on the basis of flawed arson pseudoscience.

He didn’t just walk the walk, he talked the talk. In October 2010, when he was pressed for more details on his public schedule, Perry told reporters: “I think we give so much information already that it is boring.”

Oh, and he’s still blocking me on Twitter.


In 2014, before Donald Trump announced his run for president, we knew we had to do something different to address the fundamental challenge facing journalism: how hard-hitting reporting that can hold the powerful accountable can survive as the bottom falls out of the news business.

Being a nonprofit, we started planning The Moment for Mother Jones: A special campaign to raise $25 million for key investments to make Mother Jones the strongest watchdog it can be. Five years later, readers have stepped up and contributed an astonishing $23 million in gifts and future pledges. This is an incredible statement from the Mother Jones community in the face of the huge threats—both economic and political—against the free press.

Read more about The Moment and see what we've been able to accomplish thanks to readers' incredible generosity so far, and please join them today. Your gift will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $500,000 total, during this critical moment for journalism.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.


We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.