Rick Perry Avoids Question on his own Corporate Connections

Kevin Rutledge on February 17, 2015
When Rick Perry was questioned about being a member of the board of directors of a major energy corporation trying to build an oil pipeline through Iowa, he responded "I think that's, I think that's irrelevant frankly."

After a day full of private meetings, former Texas Governor Rick Perry held a townhall meeting in Sioux City on February 16.

I asked him about his membership on the board of directors of Energy Transfer Partners, a Fortune 500 natural gas and propane company based in Texas, which has proposed building an oil pipeline through Iowa from the Brakken oil fields in North Dakota. How could we expect him to govern in the public interest, I asked, when he was working for the interest of a corporation like this one?  

Governor Perry tried to sidestep, saying "The issue is do you believe that the public utility commission in Iowa will make the right decision about where the pipeline is going to go?  Not whether or not there’s someone who sits on a board.  I think that’s irrelevant frankly.

We went back and forth for several rounds, me saying the issue is “governing under the influence,” him saying the issue is energy security. 

The interchange was reported in the Sioux City Journal, which confirmed that James R. Perry joined the board of Energy Transfer Partners this month.

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Kevin Rutledge

Kevin Rutledge AFSC Governing Under the Influence Presidential Campaign Project

Kevin Rutledge is the Grassroots Education Coordinator with AFSC’s Presidential Campaign Project in Iowa.  Kevin has deep family roots in Quaker activism for peace and social justice.  A graduate from Iowa State University in Sociology and Criminal Justice, his previous work includes: United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) organizer, Public Citizen online organizer to overturn Citizens United, U.S. Senator Tom Harkin, and a youth residential treatment facility.  Kevin hopes to one day return to Brazil and live by the beach.

“What the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” – Napoleon Hill .