FORT WORTH -- Texas’ gubernatorial candidates on Monday criticized what is being done to protect Texas’ border, and each took a few swipes at the other, as they spoke to about 500 Texas law enforcers.
Both Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill White and GOP Gov. Rick Perry told the Sheriffs Association of Texas of the need for more border security, even though President Obama is sending 1,200 National Guard troops to border states starting Sunday. Of those, 250 will come to Texas.
“We’ve got 64 percent of the border and we are getting 20 percent of the troops,” Perry said during the meeting at the Fort Worth Convention Center. “Even my Aggie math can figure that out. We’re getting shorted.”
He said he’s asked Obama to sit down with him when the president visits Austin for an Aug. 9 fundraiser. “We can show him how to secure the border of Texas with Mexico,” Perry said.
But White, the former mayor of Houston, said: “For 9 1/2 years, Rick Perry has had an opportunity to come through with more police and sheriffs. He has not been effective in delivering what we need to secure the border.”
White also criticized Perry for questions around a property deal in 2007 that turned Perry into a millionaire, saying that “if there was a sheriff (tied to the same land deal), there would be federal investigators over all that.” A report by The Dallas Morning News raised questions about whether Perry “benefited from favoritism, backroom dealing and influence-buying” regarding a piece of land in Horseshoe Bay.
“It raises questions about someone becoming a millionaire when they’ve been a state employee for 25 years,” White said.
Perry said the land deal was “open and honest” and that anyone involved in land deals in that part of the state between 2000-2007 likely showed a profit.
And he again questioned White’s past involvement in Mayors Against Illegal Guns, from which White quit his membership last year. “Why would you join a group that is an anti-Second Amendment group?”
White, who said he supports the Second Amendment, said he joined to try to help counter the problem of stolen weapons.
Perry said that even better than his releasing ethics advisories regarding the Horseshoe Bay land deal would be for White to “release his income tax records from when he served on Bill Clinton’s cabine.”
“He refuses to let people see how he was making money when he was working for the American people.”
Both candidates released lists of sheriffs supporting their candidacies.
-- Anna M. Tinsley