Former Perry Chief of Staff Led Green Party Ballot Effort

Witness identifies Mike Toomey as leader of Green Party ballot scam
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Earlier today, a key witness testified under oath that a top member of Rick Perry’s inner circle paid him about $12,000 to convince Green Party of Texas leaders to participate in an elaborate ballot petition scam. (Source: Austin American-Statesman, June 24, 2010)

Mike Toomey, a former Rick Perry Chief of Staff, paid Garrett Mize, a 22-year-old University of Texas student, from his personal checking account, to present a formal proposal to Green Party leaders. The proposal suggests using out-of-state funds to gather signatures needed to field candidates in the upcoming Texas election. The memo notes that, “many of the donors will be people that simply do not want to see the Democratic Party win.” The proposal by Mize can be seen here.

Toomey’s direct involvement elevates the matter to a level of wrongdoing not seen since the Sharpstown scandal of the 1970s. Mike Toomey is a member of Rick Perry’s closest inner-circle and described as “close friends” (Source: Texas Monthly, February 2005). It is irrational to believe that Mike Toomey would have made such an elaborate – and likely illegal – effort to field Green Party candidates without the knowledge and approval of Rick Perry.

The morning testimony left it unclear what happened after the original plan proposed by Mize fell apart. A second plan was formulated just two weeks before the deadline to turn in ballot petitions. This second plan funneled $532,500 in corporate money to pay for the effort to gather signatures for the Green Party in order to qualify candidates for the Texas ballot. Documents and testimony in the coming days should reveal whether Toomey masterminded this plan as well. (Source: Austin American-Statesman, June 24, 2010)

The Dallas Morning News broke the story last week that a secret donor funneled money through a non-profit corporation to finance the Green Party of Texas ballot initiative. The Lone Star Project has detailed the connection between the Republican operatives running the signature gathering effort and Perry’s top campaign consultant, Dave Carney. Today’s revelation connects the Green Party/GOP scam directly to Perry again by exposing his close confidant, Mike Toomey, as the mastermind behind an effort to field Green Party candidates.

This would not be the first time Mike Toomey has used secret corporate donations to illegally help elect Republicans in Texas. Toomey was implicated in the TRMPAC scandal and the Texas Association of Business lawsuit after the 2002 elections. The TRMPAC “indictments …noted that TAB board members Mike Toomey and Eric Glenn, both lobbyists, played prominent roles in soliciting money.” (Austin American-Statesman, September 8, 2005)

Toomey was sued alongside the Texas Association of Business for illegally using corporate money in elections. According to the Statesman, “Although state law generally forbids the spending of corporate money in connection with campaigns, Toomey and the corporations argue that the corporate money at the heart of the litigation was for issue ads – … and that therefore they were not required to tell the public who was paying for them….Other documents confirmed Toomey as a primary fundraiser among the 30 corporations that spent the money under the business association’s name without revealing their identities.” (Austin American-Statesman, September 7, 2006) 

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