Governor Perry, With Eye On 2012, Makes California Swing

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Governor Rick Perry will swing through California this week for private meetings with Republican leaders, potential fundraisers and legislators that will stoke speculation that he plans to enter the 2012 Republican presidential contest.

His California swing starts today in San Diego, where he will speak at a Boy Scouts event.

Perry is scheduled to hold a closed-door event Thursday morning with business leaders in Beverly Hills, a city known as a rich source of campaign dollars. He then heads to Newport Beach in Orange County, where he will meet privately with Republican Party officials, before flying to Sacramento to meet with several dozen GOP legislators.

It will be the Republican governor’s second trip to the nation’s most populous state in less than three weeks.

A Perry spokesman said the stopover was not connected with the 2012 campaign, but some Republicans said the governor’s extensive agenda in California leaves no doubt about his intentions.

“I sense that he is beyond considering running for president. He is now planning to run for president,” said Republican National Committee member Shawn Steel, an attorney from Palos Verdes.

Perry’s California trip “has everything to do with 2012,” added Steel, who plans to attend the Orange County event.

Los Angeles lawyer David Fleming, a former chairman of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce and a prominent political fundraiser, described the Beverly Hills meeting as a “kind of a meet-and-greet” where Perry “wants to come out and meet some business leaders in Southern California.”

“I wasn’t aware it was a fundraiser, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was,” Fleming quipped, alluding to the speculation about Perry’s political future.

With Perry considering the race, his appearance will amount to a California debut before Republicans who polls show are eager to see more candidates join a field that includes former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia, pizza magnate Herman Cain, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann.

It will also introduce him to party insiders, conservative activists and fundraisers who could become the backbone of a campaign, should be decide to run.

A Perry spokesman, Mark Miner, said the governor plans to talk about the Texas economy and the trip is not connected with the presidential campaign.

“The governor has not made a decision,” Miner said.

Perry had dismissed talk that he would seek the GOP nomination next year, but he reignited speculation in May with an off-the-cuff remark: “I’m going to think about it.” Since then, two of Perry’s former top political advisers fled Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaign, while Perry traveled to Los Angeles, New York and New Orleans on trips that raised his national profile.

California Assemblyman Dan Logue, who organized a website urging Perry to join the 2012 field, said about 40 legislators will meet with the governor in Sacramento.

“I think he has the best chance of … being our next president,” Logue said. “People are saying this guy has to do this.”

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

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  • Ken Trout

    I’m holding my own little personal “Day of Prayer” —- Praying to GOD you never get elected!

  • Simon

    Rick seems to forget that most of the country isn’t from Texas where ignorance is bliss AND Republican education policy. Most Americans would recoil in terror when they learned what Perry REALLY stands for!

  • Jake34

    Ditto Ken and Ditto Simon.

  • Kim Dar

    To that I say a hardy AMEN. Most of the nation thinks he is a JOKE with a capital J. Perhaps if he spent more time taking care of what the citizens of Texas pay him to do, our education system would not be the laughing stock of the country. Where are we in the list of states according to education? I think we are #46 or 47 out of the 50 states. I guess that is good enough for our Texas state government, but not for the folks that live here and then to add insult to injury they cut all that money from the education fund. It is time for some of those folks in Austin to be looking for a new job. It would also be nice that the one at the top would keep his hiney in Austin to take care of the business that he was elected to take care of ( no I did not vote for him). I do have one question. While he is flitting all over the country, are we paying him and for the travel of entourage? If I don’t work, I don’t get paid.

    • undertaker

      you do realize obama is guilty of all the same that you’re hoping he’s not guilty of concerning your tax dollars….

      • Jake34

        Would you care to explain that Undertaker?

  • Primetime Editorials

    govenor perry has a better chance of getting ice cold lemonade in hell than being president
    sit down perry

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  • Emily Mascarenhas-Bennett

    Perry for President. Yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Rusty Havener

    It seems to me that with the State Legeslature in and EMERGENCY Session, and about to continue to a 2nd one, with our budget crisis in our state and the other little things going on that our “Leader” should be… I don’t know, somewhere other than OUT OF HIS OFFICE!…

    Just sayin….

  • Hemroidious

    Rick Perry will be the next President of the United States. Write it down.

  • trueredin tex

    Governor Perry is the epitome of ‘big government’ and all it has to offer it’s ‘top dog’. First Texas gave the U.S. emperor Bush… now Perry seems to thirst for MORE power. If Perry is the best the Republican Party can come up with, Obama will be a shoe in.

    What has Perry done to Texans? Perry quickly distanced himself from the school funding shortfall even though it was he and the legislature that required school districts across the state to lower their respective tax rates while giving these districts moneys from the state that were not guaranteed to be there year after year. (Gov. Perry was able to lure people and businesses to Texas because of this mandated reduction of property taxes.) Perry said he and the Tx Legislature would not be firing one teacher… as that would be a ‘local’ decision. Perry supports the conversion of existing roadways into toll roads without voter approval. Higher fines on a wide assortment of traffic tickets under Perry’s rule. If property taxes haven’t risen, then why has my property tax bill, as a well as others, risen over the last 15 years? Taxpayers have funded apprx. $600,000.00 for a posh rental home while the Governor’s Mansion is being renovated. Nothing is too good for Perry as long as taxpayers foot the bill. Taxpayers funded DPS security (apprx. $70,000.00) for Perry on a privately funded trip for a party of 20 to the Middle East by a big oil executive. Another trip cost Texas taxpayers apprx $129,000.00 for DPS security for Perry. Perry recently vetoed the texting while driving bill (apparently not caring enough about safety of road travelers). Perry claims the texting bill was government overreach. (Then Perry, let’s end all dui, dwi, speeding, seatbelt, and other traffic laws for government overreach.)

    Perry also signed into law SB313 that strips certain voters of their liberty to vote without any form of DUE PROCESS being given as guaranteed under the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Voters in an area without a water district no longer have a right to vote whether or not to join an existing water district. The Board of the existing water district now decides whether or not to bring an area (with these people getting no vote) into their district… thanks to Perry. Least we forget when Perry tried to forcibly make young girls get a Gardasil vaccine through an executive order signed by Perry (later rescinded because of public outcry). Talk about government overreach!

    And least we forget about the non-profit fund, TexasOne, that is run out of the Governor’s office. Donate ‘big money’ to this fund (that allows Perry and his family to take trips abroad in the name of promoting Texas) … and who knows what kinds of favors you will receive in return?
    Governor Perry (RINO) isn’t being bashed by the left… but by his own ‘true’ conservatives within the Republican Party. Perry’s fellow liberal RINOs really like this guy.

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