Gov. Rick Perry Absent During Winter Emergency

AUSTIN (AP) – One notable Texan quietly left the state before the ice and rolling blackouts wreaked havoc: Governor Rick Perry.

Perry is on a five-day swing through California to meet with business leaders and participate in weekend events paying tribute to former President Ronald Reagan. The governor, who has courted the national spotlight as a critic of the Obama Administration and bloated federal government, left town on the same day Texas experienced its worst winter power outage in modern history.

Aides say the Republican governor is in constant contact with emergency management officials back home, but his absence is already sparking criticism from Democrats.

Texas Democratic Party spokeswoman Kirsten Gray said it would “surprise and disgust” many Texans to know that Perry had left the state while Texans were dealing with the fallout from the storm.

“The governor talks about California like he hates the place, but then again he says the same thing about Washington but still took billions in federal stimulus funds,” Gray said. “Perry’s actions are as meaningless as his words.”

Perry spokesman Mark Miner said the governor was planning to meet soldiers aboard the USS Ronald Reagan on Thursday. He also said Perry was in “private meetings” with California business leaders, trying to persuade them to relocate to Texas. Miner said the travel was not at taxpayers’ expense. He declined to identify the business leaders.

“It’s unfortunate the Democrats are trying to make this a political issue when the governor is recruiting new businesses to Texas and is spending time with those who are protecting our country,” Miner said. “Clearly, the Democrats are once again misinformed.”

Acting as governor while Perry is gone is Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, who presides over the state Senate and will take over Perry’s duties until the governor returns on Sunday night, officials said. Dewhurst said the extreme weather knocked out power to 50 Texas power plants Wednesday. He said a “lack of adequate winterization and preparation appear to be a major cause of the outages.”

The state was hit with rolling power blackouts Wednesday after the electrical grid experienced peak demand and diminished power plant capacity.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


One Comment

  1. Ugly gray matter says:

    Leave it to the DING BAT Gray to spout her polital BS at this time. I guess Rick should have cancelled his plans and lost his deposit and forgot about bringing new jobs to Texas, that would have made the little liberal happy. No jobs means more entitlements, right up her alley. DIdn’t we just get a talk about civility????

  2. Hemroidious says:

    Storm? Emergency? Looks like winter to me. I guess this summer when it’s 110 outside that will be an emergency too? This is a non-story contrived by Whining Liberals. Go find something more meaningful to report about, Mofo’s.

  3. Really? says:

    This is an ERCOT and PUC problem which, they have solved within 24 hours. If the situation persisted longer there may be a point but, sense it was resolved and relatively quickly, it is a mute point. Besides, Rick is a politician, not an engineer. What would you expect him to do? This is just clear political mud slinging.

  4. Tom says:

    I still think Perry is better than Bill White, end of that story, but, you know, he’s pretty much absent, eben when he’s in Austin!

  5. Chuck says:

    My power was out for 15 min I knew that it might happen, so what is the emergency?

  6. Eve Hall says:

    Rick? In CA where all of us nasty liberals live? He needs to stay in TX, thank you very much. Isn’t this the guy who doesn’t like the rest of us and wants to secede?

  7. M.W. White says:

    Let Governor good hair stay in California, he does’nt do us any good here, he just spends our money on his friends and hairspray living in his rented 12 thou. a month mansion.

Comments are closed.

More From CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

Drip Pan: CBS Local App
Drip Pan: Weather App

Watch & Listen LIVE